These days, using social media in the age of smartphones makes it hard to escape politics. We see the news stories on our feeds. We hear the commentary. And the tensions that come along with political divides seem to be everywhere. And these days, they’re even in my home.
Some nights, my husband and I hold kids and conversations at the same time, because we’re so passionate about our positions that they feel hard to hold off. Other times, we sit physically drained by the day’s craziness, but too disheartened not to talk about the day’s current events.
And that leads to the types of conversations that cause us to dig deep. Tough conversations.
When it comes to building a foundation for your family and raising children, there will always be tough conversations. Or discussions that turn into debates. I’ve been there more times than I can count. Although I don’t have it all together, I’m learning to not to do these three things:
Whenever I’m engaged in a discussion, I have every intention to listen and try to gain understanding. However, when one thing gets me fired up, I can often check out and spend the rest of the time thinking of a rebuttal and making sure I don’t forget it. When we don’t listen, we can miss the point of our spouse’s argument when it could contain something we can actually agree on.
I’m notorious for interrupting when I’m passionate about something. However, more and more I realize that when I don’t wait my turn to speak, it comes across as disrespectful—which is the last thing I imagine anyone would want to do towards someone they love. Having patience in a discussion is hard when we feel passionate about our beliefs and correcting the lies we believe are associated with it, but as 1 Corinthians 13:4 states, love is patient.
Make assumptions instead of asking questions
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard something, assumed it meant one thing and found out it meant something else entirely. It’s no different in discussions with your spouse. Just as we have different views, we may have different ways of communicating them or a hard time communicating them effectively. Sometimes, making assumptions causes anger when asking questions would have clarified something and created peace.
No matter what issue is at the heart of a couple’s political differences, it is important that each person feels like they’re being heard and respected—even if, after it’s all said and done, you still disagree. After all, we’re all different and our experiences shape how we see the world.
“…We all perceive differently. We’ve lived different lives, have different views. Understand that before getting angry at someone for not believing what you believe.”
– Egypt (thegoodvibe.co)
I must confess, I’m guilty of all three. This article and the quote at the end are profound and convicting. Thank you.