Without the power of grace, truth and love cant be combined.
— Tim Keller, The meaning of Marriage
The question today is are you building bridges or barriers with your faith? Have you ever thought about that?
My wife and I facilitate a group of people at Marriage Re-builders at Hosanna Church. Last week we discussed Conflict Management. One of the things said last week was that in arguments, both solvable and perpetual, no one is ever completely right? The couple doing the presentation went on to give a real-life example of a couple that struggled with their connection and intimacy for years before, finally, one of them had an affair. Yes, you would never excuse the affair, but the one that did not have an affair clearly played a part in the dynamics of what had occurred as well. I realize a few of you may disagree with that statement but I can’t tell you how may times we have seen how well couples do in their marriages after both sides take responsibility for their part after recovering from one, two, or multiple affairs in Marriage Re-builders.
So… back to the question…. are you building bridges or barriers with your faith?
One of the dynamics that I fear the most in my Marriage Re-builder groups is couples or people that are very black and white thinkers in their faith. They use “truth” in a truthless way as they use their faith to brow-beat the other side in what is clearly not a part of Jesus mode of operation (MO). They have a kind of self-righteous indignation and maybe even have a victim mentality and they use their faith to prove their point and win arguments. This “stoutness” to their faith often looks good on paper but, sometimes, plays out poorly in close relationships! Sue and I run into this on occasion in Marriage Re-builders and we have personally seen how this type of behavior has negatively impacted a marriage relationship of some close friends of ours!
So …. are you building bridges or barriers with your faith? Have you taken responsibility for your part?
“It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you’, when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. Matthew 7:3 – 5 (The Message)