Complex, Simple, Difficult, Easy.
How can something be so complex and yet so simple?
So difficult and yet so easy?
As a human, I want certain things and I don't want others.
I want to understand and yet, I don't understand at all.
Recently, I stumbled upon something that is changing my life and my marriage.
It isn't a pill or a miracle drug.
It isn't even money!
In a message, at church, I heard that everyone, regardless of who they are, how they treat you, or what they may have or may not have done, deserves three things: Warmth, Empathy and Respect!
I think that bares repeating.
Everyone! Regardless of who they are, how they treat you, or what they may have or may not have done, deserves Warmth, Empathy, and Respect!
Now, if you are anything like me, the second portion of that statement-regardless of how they treat you- immediately crawled under my skin and all of the "what abouts" started ringing in my head.
What about the abusive spouse? What about the hateful clerk at the grocery store? What about? What about? What about?
I have to say this, if it's at all possible...everyone deserves warmth, empathy, and respect, those three things, always.
I am guilty of not always using these three things in my marriage.
While I work really hard to put them into practice in other areas of my life, I often fail to implement them in my marriage.
Putting these three little words into practice can make a HUGE impact on life...on a marriage.
I believe they will make such an impact in my marriage because they follow the path God has chosen.
They are, in my opinion, the epitome of treating others how I want to be treated (Matt 7:12). This especially includes how I want to treat and be treated by my husband!
Any time I walk in His word, I believe, I am going to make huge changes in myself and perhaps in those around me!
This is what each of the three look like for me. Sometimes it isn't pretty, but I am, alas, a work in progress. Thankfully!
Warmth, by definition is: enthusiasm, affection, or kindness.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
I have to make a conscience effort to be warm. When I feel I am being treated poorly, I tend to be anything but warm! This is especially true when I feel my husband is treating me poorly.
Empathy, by definition is: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness. (Proverbs 14:29)
Again, not one of my strong suits! Most times, I get so wrapped up in what I am experiencing, I forget to pay attention to what my husband may be experiencing. This almost always leads me down a path I didn't necessarily want to go down, anger and hurt feelings for both me and my husband!
Respect, by definition is: to admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements
Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king. (1 Peter 2:17)
Ah! Now we have finally found one of my deep rooted values. Oops, without the other two, this one pretty much falls flat! I discovered this by accident. My pastor showed me if I wasn't warm and empathetic to my husband, I probably wasn't being respectful to him either!
UGH! This is hard!!
One of my pastor's favorite sayings reigns supreme with this three word concept. He would always say,
"I said it was simple. I didn't say it was easy!"
Putting warmth, empathy, and respect into practice in my marriage means, I am always aiming to treat my husband with kindness, and out of deep admiration for him, trying to understand and share what he is experiencing and feeling.
It's as simple as that!
I said simple, I didn't say easy.
Walking by faith,
Warmth, Empathy, Respect