So the other day PMJ and I were sitting in a restaurant and I overheard a couple talking. Please don’t get me wrong…I didn’t mean to eaves drop. I just happened to hear what they were talking about. We were the only people sitting in that section so it was kind of unavoidable to hear. Plus I’ve got this ability to split my focus on more than three things at once…it comes with motherhood:-)
Anyhoooo. It was a real relaxing environment. You can’t help but to settle yourself into the surroundings so easily, so comfortably. The fact that it was basically a kids free zone made it official that couples could really just let their guards down. So there we were…just chilling on the open deck of the restaurant deliberately choosing light topics to chat about.
That’s when I heard it. The couple who were sitting a few feet away from us was in exactly the same vibe that we were in. The waiter came to their table, I assume to elaborate on the menu and wine they were having. After he left their table, the wife says to her husband in a most calm voice. I’m going to try to use her words; “Honey, you know how you tend to not look at a person who is speaking to you. I find that to be a bit disrespectful towards that person. I would really like it if you could make eye contact with someone if they are having a conversation with you. I respect you and if I didn’t know you as well as I do, I would not say this to you. But I know you would be mature enough to accept the reproach. It’s really not good manners to occupy yourself with other things while someone is talking to you. Please try and show interest to the waiter if he speaks to you next time.”
Now I don’t know if her husband was just tolerating the scolding (in my mind that was a scolding) or did he genuinely accept her teaching. His reply to her really blew my mind. In the same ever so calm manner he said: “I hear what you’re say darling and thank you very much for bringing it to my attention. I will do my best to improve my behavior around people addressing me. I really did not mean to be rude or anything, but I want to thank you for noticing it and thank you for informing me.”
And I’m like…???? What? Huh? Did you hear that? “She just dissed him and he said thank you???” In my mind that was “dissed” (when you insult/criticize/or attack someone’s character). On the flip side it wasn’t scolding at all. In the manner which she spoke to him and the way he replied, it wasn’t insulting at all.
I know all of us are not raised the same way, but if you grew up like I did then this would also amaze you like it did me. Making me realize that there is indeed a cultural difference in how we communicate. In my culture I assure you, the husband would have taken her observation as offending and he would then immediately felt as if being attacked. He would have defended himself by saying ‘There’s nothing wrong with my manners” His wife would’ve insisted that it was rude and soon they would start arguing. In just minutes it would’ve gotten so out of hand and loud that they would have to leave the tranquil place because of that incident. Yes its true…neither the husband nor the wife would’ve backed down. And they’ll probably be angry at each other for the rest of that day.
What do you think was done differently in both these cases? Or what do you think was lacking from the one?
I need to say this; it’s not that the love is missing in the second case, but rather neglected in that specific space of time. If we do everything we do in love then surely it will be received in a loving manner. We should be so careful about what and how we speak to our spouse as to not hurt their feelings. That is what God says about love between all isn’t it? That we should be humble towards one another.
What we should be practicing is being selfless like Jesus shows us to be. Paul’s letter in Philippians 2 verse 2-11 describes it so beautifully the nature we should have towards one another. Verse 3 says: “Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be Humble towards one another, always considering others better than yourselves. 4 And look out for one anothers interests, not just for your own.”
What I want to point out is that giving and receiving criticism in a loving manner creates a whole different sense of acceptance. That couple really meant to enrich each other by encouraging the other to make eye contact when having a conversation. And they did it in love. That’s what made the difference. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” That is a behavior that should be taught while growing up, so that when we find ourselves in a relationship, then we address each other with love.
You know what, I feel extremely honored to see how God is teaching me in the most unexpected places ever. It’s beautiful to look at things in a spiritual way and to see the lesson that God wants us to learn at all times. He continually shape me into the creative masterpiece he intended me to be. I realized that while on this purposeful enriching journey that God has placed me on, I have to be spiritually awake and attentive to capture these special moments that the Holy Spirit is teaching me. It’s wonderful to walk in alignment with God’s purpose for your life.
Embrace your purpose. Walk in alignment with Gods plan for your life. And learn how to have a Godly relationship with your spouse.
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each others faults because of your love. Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together.” Ephesians 4:2-3
Have a happy day!