Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beneath the Surface

Proverbs 20.5-7 A motive in the human heart is like deep water, and a person who has understanding draws it out. Many people declare themselves loyal, but who can find someone who is really trustworthy? A righteous person lives on the basis of his integrity. Blessed are his children after he is gone.

A man or woman of understanding will see the heart and motives and innermost thoughts of their spouses and "draw it out" in understanding them and trying to meet their needs. We need to be that someone who is "really trustworthy" -- not just who "declares themselves loyal" but is REALLY trustworthy to our spouses. They can TRUST us with their innermost feelings. We make time for them to discuss things with us, maybe even things we don't agree with, but we truly listen to hear their heart. A wise woman or man makes notes of things going on in their spouse's life and tries to help their spouse through difficult situations or times. This may mean hiding it in your heart and doing something about it later, or addressing the issues their spouse is trying to communicate.

See beneath the surface. Is your spouse truly irritated at every little thing in life all of a sudden, or is something "bigger" bothering them that they need to talk through and deal with? Do you notice that your spouse is isolating him/her-self all of a sudden and not interested in talking things through? Be that person who has understanding and draws their feelings out. Be creative in doing this, and show yourself to be trustworthy of them committing their thoughts to you. Give their thoughts consideration and credence, acknowledge how they feel, and then have wisdom on how to proceed.

When you see a tip of an iceberg in the water, you need to know that 90% of the iceberg is UNDER WATER. This is an important precept to remember in your marriage and in any relationship: if you see a "tip" of something surface, remember that there is a LOT going on underneath the surface!

Have and live integrity too. Keep your partner's secrets to yourself only. Never share negative things about your spouse to others who may not have the benefit of seeing all the good things they do, and may not have the grace to deal with the things they need to work on. Your spouse will know if you share negative things about them to your friends and family, and it will tend to isolate them, which is a serious problem for many couples. Have integrity behind closed doors. Be honest with others; be honest with yourselves. Be honest with your spouse. Be truthful, trustworthy, loyal, conscientious. Live an open and honest life... And your children will be blessed (fortunate, happy, to be envied). The opposite is true as well. When you do NOT live righteously (the RIGHT way) with integrity, your children will follow suit, and their lives will be cursed.

Challenge: Live BIG. Work hard at being a person of understanding who draws the heart of their spouse out and helps them be the best they can be ALWAYS. Take time for this most important part of your relationship! And live righteously with integrity, making a difference for generations to come...

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