Revising The Golden Rule

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12 NLT

I’ve always liked this rule. Its simple and straight to the point. Don’t treat people like garbage if you don’t want to be treated as such. Seems reasonable to me. However, as I have gotten older I realized that this concept is a little black and white. It is a good idea to treat people how you want to be treated however, it doesn’t really take into account how THEY want to be treated.

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For instance, my husband and I share a lot of similar personality traits however his love language is different than mine. I can’t approach him the way I would want to be approached in situations because he doesn’t respond to that.

When I was researching pictures to include in this post, I came across an article that talks about what I was just telling you. The man that wrote it is talking about it from a management angle but I believe that it works in all aspects of life. Do you take account peoples personalities when you have a disagreement with them? It doesn’t even have to be a disagreement, but just how you interact with people on a day to day basis.

I had a disagreement with a coworker…but it was really in my mind. If you asked them, they wouldn’t think we had a disagreement. They said some things to me I really didn’t like and I would never say those things to them. I was pretty upset about but I had to stop and think, what was their intention? Were their intentions good? They were. We don’t think the same and that is ok.

I had a friend that asked me for some constructive feedback and I wasn’t able to fully give it to her. I talked about how I don’t like constructive feedback because I am too hard on myself but that may not be the case for her. We all have blindspots and I could have been more helpful, but I was treating her how I like to be treated. I also didn’t want to hurt her feelings because mine would have been hurt if it was me, but this wasn’t about me.

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Finding the balance in how to treat people in a way that works for you and works for them is tricky but doable. Sometimes we get in caught up in our thought process and that is ok as long as your recognize it.

I believe the biggest thing to consider when trying to treat people how you want to be treated is remember compassion, empathy, respect and patience. Those things are universal.

The Golden Rule is a good place to start but its the baseline. If you start with this you will end up in a good space but if you take it a step further, you can probably have a solution that works for everybody.

Being a good partner

I was with my girls last weekend and of course we start talking about our men. Why don’t they listen, why are they so slow, why don’t they do things the way we do? These are great questions. If you think I have the answers here, think again!

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I’m no marriage expert but I have been married almost 10 years. Its wild. When we first got married I couldn’t imagine what 10 years married even looked like. My pastor talks all the time about what makes a good partner and it may surprise you. It certainly surprised me.

He says you shouldn’t tell the other person what to do, you should pray for them.

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That doesn’t seem super helpful. Prayer feels passive. I want action.

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I want to ask him to take out the trash and he just gets up and does it, no questions asked, no comments, immediately, not at the commercial, not after this play, NOW. That’s not a partner though that’s a child. I didn’t get married to have another child.

My husband has expressed to me on more than one occasion that he doesn’t always like the way I talk to him. He also told me he doesn’t say anything about it, he has just gotten used to it. I didn’t like that at all. I need to work on my tone, not him get used to it. I came across this verse in Proverbs that spoke exactly to what he was saying to me.

When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. Proverbs 31:26 NLT

Gives instructions with kindness. Do I do that? Not every time. Do you do that? I was listening to my girlfriends talk to their partners over the weekend and I didn’t hear a lot of kindness. According to Dictionary.com kindness means being generous, compassionate and friendly. I don’t yell or nag at my husband but can I be short, snappy, or rude? Yes I can.

I don’t much feel like giving instructions with kindness when I’ve had to give them more than once. I don’t feel like giving instructions with kindness when I feel like you shouldn’t need instructions in the first place. The bible doesn’t say that though. We are to give instructions with kindness every time.

If you read Proverbs you will notice there are wayyyy more things about wives than husband’s. I’m going to get more into that next week. I used to have some pretty negative thoughts about the Proverbs 31 woman. Not so much anymore, but we’ll talk about it.

The key thing about being a good partner is remembering you can’t change anyone but yourself. That’s why my pastor tells us to pray instead of nag. You will change how you react to whatever your partner is doing, which is the bigger issue anyway. Right? Right.


Prayer

Lord help me give instructions with kindness. Help me have grace and patience instead of anger and resentment when my husband doesn’t do what I ask him to do in way or speed that I would do it. Help me be thankful that I have a partner that is willing to help me and be an active parent. Remind me of the love that I have for him and how awesome he is. In Jesus name, I pray amen.

Here is a sermon my pastor preached on about the secrets of lasting love.

Brave Vessel

This weekend was the annual women’s retreat at my church. Even though I have been a member for over 10 years, this is the first one I have attended. I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous about going. I went for a lot of reason but I didn’t really have any expectations. The theme for the weekend is Brave Vessel based on Proverbs 28:1.

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As I sit here and try to explain all the things going through my head, I can’t. I may still be too close to it since we just ended this afternoon and we still have the sermon to go tomorrow. I know I am tired from the lock-in the night before. I am just in awe of how God spoke to me that I need some time to unpack everything that I experienced.