Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In the Face of Disappointment

I was talking with a friend the other day about a situation in which she and her husband feel differently. It’s a biggee — one of those issues premarital counselors would recommend you discuss and work out before you get married. Alas, they didn’t do that and now they have discovered that they do not want the same thing. It’s not a matter of right or wrong; they simply don’t share the same desire.

As we were talking, she recognized that she can feel anger toward him because he doesn’t feel the same way she does, but she also acknowledged that he has every right to feel the way he does. Then she started reflecting on all of the sacrifices he has made for her and their marriage over the past couple of years. And I’m talking some big sacrifices! They live where they do because of her dreams and desires. They are switching churches because of her comfort level. He took a job that is stressful and challenging but that pays more so that she doesn’t have to work full time.

I was very proud of her for focusing on the positives and recognizing all the ways her husband loves her and has shown that love. Even though I’m not married, my conversation with her challenged me to examine my attitude in my relationships. When I’m hurt or disappointed or just plain disagree with someone I care about, do I focus on the things that rub me the wrong way about that person or do I recall the many positive points that I appreciate about them? Do I allow Christ’s grace to fill me and overflow into the relationship? Do I recognize the many ways that God overlooks my flaws and even the areas where my desires do not yet line up with His and yet He loves me anyway?

Patty Dextrom

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