Monday, 14 January 2013

R.C. Sproul
In his post “13 Things I Need to Get Better at in 2013” R.C. Sproul wrote the following about needing to practice a judgment of charity:

We are going to end up disagreeing with one another. What is far worse, however, is that we will often determine that the person on the other side of our debate takes his position because he is wobbly, worldly, wanton or wicked, when maybe he’s just wrong. Or maybe I am.

When it comes to marriage I don’t think most couples think their spouse is wobbly, worldly, wanton or wicked – just wrong.  A paraphrase of James 4: 1-2 from the Message states “Where do you think all these appalling quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves.”

Our spouse is wrong because their opinion differs from our own.  And if James is correct, and let’s assume he is, it is not a matter of who is right and who is wrong.  It is a matter of our spouse’s incorrect perception of the question at hand as compared to our firmly held conviction.

Here is where a judgment of charity comes in.  The next time you find yourself on different sides of an issue assume that your spouse’s rationale is every bit as valid as your own – work with me.  Inquire, in a non-judgmental way why your spouse believes as they do and listen intently enough so that you could explain their position to an objective third party.  Then subject your rationale to the same scrutiny.  Is your position truly more valid than his/hers?

Maybe yes and maybe no but at least you will not marginalize your partner.  You may discover your reason for wanting your way is just to prove your right, to win, or to control.  You may come to the realization that your belief is based on something left over from your childhood.

It has been said that if we both are on the same page 100% of the time then one of us is redundant.  Furthermore God’s concept of a “helpmate” wasn’t to be a rubber stamp for her husband’s whims but she was to make up for her husband’s inadequacies.  She was designed to supplement and augment her husband in his role.

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