The challenge for all of us to ask the question more often: “How does my partner see this issue?”

Trading Places with Your Spouse
Honor Marriage – Part 2

Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 13:1-6

Key Verse:  Hebrews 13:4a

    Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure

As we continue from yesterday’s thoughts, I want to consider more on the “how to’s” of trading places with your spouse.  When couples get in trouble in their relationship, more often than not one of them will seek out counsel.  A high percentage of the time it is the wife that will first come and talk to me about their troubles.  During that session I often ask the question: “What would your spouse say is the problem?”  Interestingly, I don’t think I’ve ever been told, “I have no idea.”  In my office, when emotion has settled down, the spouse can trade places for a moment and tell me how their partner would see things!  That is called empathy!

            It is obvious that we can’t totally understand the inner thoughts of our spouse, but if we will force ourselves to ask the question, we will get a few good answers.  I would like to challenge all of us to ask the question more often: “How does my partner see this issue?”  And if there is a sincere desire to grow the relationship, the follow-up question is: “Why do they see it that way?”  Some answers might include: Because of their upbringing; because of their gender; because of their previous experiences in that area.

            Having empathy may not settle all the issues but it should bring some warmth to the discussion when a sincere effort has been made to see both sides of the issue.  Even if your spouse doesn’t join you in this empathy effort, it is the right thing to do as we walk with God.

Father, I want to be a mature follower of your Son Jesus Christ!  Grant me wisdom and discernment in my relationships.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

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