Giving Up On Being Right – by Holly
Editor’s Note: I’m sorry for the delay in posting! We are back up and at it. This post is by Holly Young – and I love it. Our ability to forgive one another will make or break a marriage. And her insight on this is fantastic. You can follow her blog here: http://yourstrulyh.blogspot.com – Lauren
When Lauren so graciously offered me a space on The Good Women Project site, I felt like I was going to have a lot to say. Ha. Ha. Famous last words, right?
The truth is, I find that the trying times are when I’m the most inspired- when I’m learning a lot, and when the words just seem to flow. My husband is rounding the corner on a three month lay off, and it looks like we could be in for another three more, perhaps.
However, right now, we are surprisingly good. We haven’t had to touch our savings account. I just made blueberry muffins, and Tim did all of our laundry. All of it. Not that those tiny (and delicious) details are what make a marriage work, but when it’s good, it’s good, you know?
On the other hand, we are not “all together.” Tim is going back to school (he started today) and my desk at work needs an afternoon with a bulldozer and an industrial sized dumpster. Bah.
But it’s times like these that I realize that any wisdom I may think I have to impart is absolutely God-breathed. It has to be, cause on my own, I’ve got nothing much to say.
During our correspondence, Lauren suggested I write a post about forgiveness. It seemed like a great idea at the time. But then I was, admittedly, stumped.
Don’t get me wrong, God has taught me a lot about forgiveness within my marriage.
But, perhaps more importantly, I have also learned a lot about not-forgiveness for lack of a better term.
I think we are often conditioned in our relationships to talk things out while we are under the assumption that, “One of us is wrong, so one of us should be sorry and by golly, it sure isn’t me.”
Just the other day, we were having a silly argument over the best methods for staying in shape (walking, weight lifting, etc.) The truth is, neither one of us is incredibly qualified to be tossing around statistics and opinions on that matter, but still we both wanted, so badly, to be RIGHT.
And my first instinct was to get grumpy and mad.
And I was- grumpy and mad- for a while.
Flashback to when I first heard about Tim’s layoff. I decided that the best defense is a good offense, or something like that. I decided that when it is all said and done, I wanted to be able to look back at this season in our lives and say, “I don’t know how I could have been more loving, more forgiving, more supportive…”
Such a tall order, right?
With that being said, I will give you the advice that is absolutely saving my marriage right now. Are you ready? Ok. Next time you are in a disagreement with someone, simply raise your right hand with your palm facing outward. Then, gently move your palm towards your face until it covers your mouth. Now stay there, exactly like that, until you are ready to behave.
In other words, for the love of Pete, stop. talking.
Tim and I are two completely different people. I was raised in an extremely positive, encouraging family. Not that Tim wasn’t, but he is just so much better suited for the tough love approach. After having made a mistake, I think I was raised to acknowledge my flaws, but also focus on what I did RIGHT in a situation and grow from that experience.
And then I met Tim.
And Tim calls a spade a spade. I about died the first time he said I was being selfish. I, so foolishly, responded with arguments like, “….but I’m so adorable…and don’t you think I’m pretty? And nice!?!?! Aren’t I nice…?”
To which he replied, “Yes. But that doesn’t mean you are never selfish. Lots of people are ‘nice’ and selfish.”
And then comes the anger, the grumpiness, and along with it, the feeling that there is something to forgive.
So there’s that. And there’s the realization that sometimes, no one is wrong.
Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes, no one is wrong.
Sometimes, I don’t think God is teaching us how to forgive as much as he is teaching us how to recognize when there is something to forgive.
Sometimes, no one is wrong. Tim’s right. Sometimes, I AM selfish.
See? There is nothing to forgive.
The Bible says, “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” Romans 3:4
I really love that. Really I do.
Remember what I said about us not having it all together? Well, I actually had to Google, “The Bible- no one is wrong” to find out exactly what that guy Jesus had to say about all this. And then I had to muster a quick prayer. I only say all that to let you know that I meant what I said, this post really has come completely from God. Cause without God (and Google), I pretty much had a blinking cursor and a blank screen.
At the end of the day, we’ve all been wrong. We’ve all been thieves and sinners and liars.
So just give up on being right and let God be true.
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