attack the problem together…

keep-calm-and-problem-solve-4As I wrote last week, my wife and I were recently able to attend an FCA Coach and Spouse Conference together.  Many things from the conference have stuck out and become very real that Erin and I have been trying to apply to our marriage.  One of the most striking lessons that the speaker shared was that we need to not attack each other, but identify and attack the problem together instead.  This really hit home to me as I know there are so many times that I let little things and even big things cause me to jump onto my wife.  Instead of getting on to her and causing division in our marriage, I was convicted that I need to slow down, identify whatever the problem is, and then with my wife attack it and solve it.

No sooner than we had left the conference was this conviction tested.  My wife had accidentally backed our van against a truck in her parent’s neighborhood.  Originally the owner of the truck she made contact with said there was no damage and not to worry. However, when we got back from our conference, he then said that this one small dent, that I’m not even sure is from her, is going to have to be fixed.  My first reaction was to not only be upset at this man for going back on his word, but also at my wife for backing into the truck.  But what good would that do?  Erin already felt terrible about the incident and was near tears.  If I jumped all over her and attacked her all I would be doing is tearing down someone who is already broken and needs my love and encouragement.  So, stepping back I prayed about the situation, told her we are going to attack the problem together and figure out how to handle it.  Since then we have just been bathing the whole problem in prayer together and praying for a miracle.  Instead of me being mad at her over the incident and her being mad at me for attacking her, we are working and praying together for a solution.  So far, we have not heard anything about having to pay to fix the truck and are still praying we won’t, but even if we do we are united and a situation that could cause division has brought us closer together.  So, I encourage you, attack the problems in your marriage, not each other!

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my response…

Yesterday was an interesting day as I watched all the red profile pictures pop up across Facebook.  I saw all the arguments going about equality and the right to marry whoever you want and honestly I was surprised and the different people that I saw supporting the different sides of the argument.  First, let me say that I am not writing a blog post that deals with the Supreme Court and what they should decide on the issue of gay marriage.  What I found discouraging yesterday was the fact of how people reacted.  I saw many Christians who did come across as hateful,homophobic, and not having a Christ-like heart toward this community.  At the same time I saw, may people who support gay marriage (both gay and straight supporters) who were just as hateful at the idea that anyone would dare disagree with them.  They classified those opposed to gay marriage as hateful, homophobic, pro-slavery, narrow-minded, and much worse for just having a different opinion.  The judgmental spirit that the pro side was saying the other side had was exactly what they were displaying themselves.

Last night, I stayed up for a long time trying to wrap my head around all the things that I had read and seen yesterday, when I came across this quote from the pastor of Saddleback Church, Rick Warren.

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As you can probably guess, I fall on the side of the argument that Biblically disagrees with gay marriage.  Does this mean that I have hate in my heart or despise those that disagree with me no it does not.   I have many friends that disagree with me on this issue, but not matter what they believe or do with their lives, my God has called me to love them and be compassionate to them.  I may never change their stance on the issue of gay marriage and homosexuality.  But, that’s not what I am called to do, I am called to live a life that honors and reflects Christ and shows His love to others.

I struggled with whether or not to even comment on this issue with all the hate I saw spewing from both sides yesterday.  But this quote from Pastor Warren really encouraged me that it’s ok to share my convictions, but it must be tempered with compassion and love.  I just want to encourage all Christians everywhere to remember you don’t have to compromise your convictions, especially those that are Biblical, but remember love and compassion as well.  And to anyone who ever has someone disagree with you, disagreement doesn’t mean fear and hate.