Your partner is going to be more open to a shift in his or her believe systems at your instance if he’s sure you have a deep understanding of his persuasions and the reasons behind such. This is a good way to summarise last week’s talk. So I encouraged you to reach out into your partner’s environment in order to have access to what’s “under” his “standings” on issues as a first step towards reaching possible agreement with him. Please read up Part 1 of this talk if you haven’t.
Now you have gotten all those books and messages that have mostly influenced or at least capture his believes for instance. He has done the same for you. You’ve walked through the materials but you still have your reservations. Same as him. You want to now come together to review the materials and see if you both can come to an agreement. What’s the principle of making this work out? How won’t this end in a shouting match? Let me share the principle with you below.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem the other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:3-5)
*Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory*
Strife here is rendered as struggling, selfish competition; factional motives; contentiousness; self insistence that borders on a cheap desire to boast, self conceit and empty arrogance. It is a desire to prove a champion or an unconquerable asserter, an unbendable bender of others.
You cannot achieve agreement with your partner if you proceed through strife, struggling and competition. If you are only contentious and self-insistent, if you are just interested in self-assertion, self-conceit and empty arrogance. If this kind of attitude colours the pushing of your own positions in your discussions, you’ll only provoke your partner to become self-defensive herself and to want to prove a point of her own intelligence and reluctance to be conquered. It will result in endless argument, criticism and strife.
*But in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves*
This is the divine wisdom. The natural man is usually self-conceited. He believes in himself and his wisdom. He will like only to convince and convert all others to his own opinion. He primarily believes everybody else is wrong except those from his church or little group.
But the way of the Spirit is to maintain a lowliness of mind- a mind that is lowly, humble and self-effacing. It is meek and always seeking to learn from other’s point of view. Lowliness of mind will make you to listen, without interrupting each other’s thoughts, until you gain understanding into each other’s point of view. Lowliness of mind will make you willing to be conquered. Willing to be wrong. Sometimes just deliberately accepting the view of your partner as the correct view for the sake of agreeability while waiting for a future opportunity to reset things if need be.
If you will always defer to the other and accept the other’s position as probably better and wiser until it is proved otherwise, you will find agreement possible between you two. I want to charge you to always have a mind that esteems your partner’s opinion as probably better than yours.
*Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.*
This is the principle of considerateness in relationship. Do not consider your own convenience first. Do not focus on your own idea as the most crucial. Rather, look on the things of your spouse. Give her the right place. Consider her comfort as priority before yourself. Do this for each other and you will see the gap between you both gradually closing up.
*Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…*
What mind? A lowly mind. I have told you to be ready to drop anything that you’ve held on to doctrinally in the light of a superior revelation from God’s word even if that revelation came through your wife or fiancee or through a material she shared with you. As long as you both accept the Bible as your final authority and you follow the principles in Philippians 2:3-5 elucidated above, you can come to agreement. And coming to agreement, you’ll be able to have a fantastic marriage.
As you come to agreement, you can gradually narrow down your sources of influence going forward. You’ve just finished dealing with the past, you want to be sure you have less to contend with in the future. It’s advisable for you to now feed from a singular source. Listen to the same set of messages. Agree together on those who will be your mentors and instructors. Whatever book your woman reads must interest you enough to take a look at it too. You can no longer be careless with what she’s taking in. Your unity of spirit is at stake and must be jealously guarded at all times. As you do this, your convictions will gradually become similar and then your priorities and outlook on life.
Maybe you should go over the three other previous talks on this issue once again and then go and make it work. I refer to the talk titled, “He’s Catholic, I am Protestant (1&2)” and then Part 1 of this current article.
But if after you’ve put to work all that we’ve shared so far, it still doesn’t work out, then you have tried. You will walk away knowing you gave it your best shot. I am however convinced it can work if you apply yourself to these principles.
Next week, I will say a final word on this matter by addressing the parents factor.
So share with me how this has blessed you. What will you be doing differently in your relationship based on this article?
#resettingtheodds #makingyourmarriageacenterofrevival #lovestraighttalks