Thursday, 26 May 2011

Hands Down

Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

Dennis Rainey sends out a blog entitled Moments for You. He recently sent one out entitled “Hands Down”. He went on to say:

In a classic Sunday comic strip from Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts, Linus is eating a sandwich and Lucy is nearby as he begins to ponder. "Hands are fascinating things," he says. "I like my hands. I think I have nice hands. My hands seem to have a lot of character. These are hands which may someday accomplish great things. These are hands which may someday do marvelous works. They may build mighty bridges, or heal the sick, or hit home runs, or write soul-stirring novels. These are hands which may someday change the course of destiny!"

A moment of silence. Then Lucy's one-line reply: "They've got jelly on them."
John Gottman

Even as we laugh, we know that Lucy's comment is typical of the way she treats other people. And, unfortunately, it is also a picture of how you can treat your spouse. Rather than encouraging your spouse and building him or her up, you choose instead of be the voice of criticism and harsh reality.
Dr. John Gottman, a leading expert in sociological research, conducted a 10-year study to determine the types of communication -- both verbal and nonverbal -- that make it least likely for a marriage to survive and go the distance. The four critical elements he determined as being the most detrimental?
• Criticism -- nagging, deflating, picking at each other
• Contempt -- rolling your eyes, discounting the other's value
• Defensiveness -- refusing to hear the truth or to deal with self
• Stonewalling -- retreating, withdrawing, not saying anything
Do any of these behaviors characterize the way you treat your spouse? In order to minimize conflict in your home, you need to be supportive of each other by what you say and how you say it.
I can’t add much but “Amen!”

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