By this time, you have taken your concerns to the Lord in prayer. He has helped you to identify and await the ideal time to speak with your spouse. You awaited the time patiently and have already communicated kindly and clearly to him. Presently, you are patiently awaiting your husband’s response. The time to implement part 4 of Communicating With Your Spouse: Being Willing to Compromise is now. This matter of the heart must be addressed before you receive a response from your husband in order to insure a healthy and mutually beneficial resolution through compromise.
Compromise. I will venture to offer the opinion that most of us fully understand what it means to compromise on a solution to a problem. We all know that in a compromise involving two people, neither person will get exactly what they wish for, as both participants must be willing to give up part of what they idealize in order to satisfy the needs of the other party.
Using a very simplistic example: When a wife (let’s call her Sarah) wants her husband (we’ll call him Joe) to hug her and say he loves her 10 times a day (her ideal) and Joe thinks once a day is fine (his ideal), the logical and precise conclusion is for the two to agree on exchanging hugs and words of love 5 times a day. Yet, realistically, any number between 3-7 (the real) would work as an acceptable compromise, depending on the parties and independent variables involved.
Thus, comprehending how to compromise is not the difficult part of being willing to compromise. It’s the WILLINGNESS to compromise that is most difficult. Sarah may truly believe she needs 10 hugs and endearing terms of love a day from Joe. While Joe strongly believes he is doing more than enough when he hugs Sarah and proclaims his love once a day. Both Sarah and Joe understand a compromise requires they meet somewhere in the middle. Thus, embracing a willingness to compromise is the next key to successful problem resolution.
Unfortunately, being willing to compromise is not an act made possible by your inherited genetics, achieving a higher education or even by achieving huge success in business. Willingness to compromise is an act only made possible through the compassionate heart. As matters of our heart and soul are matters of God (Matt 22:21, Mark 12:17), we therefore seek God’s word for guidance. What does God say about having a willing heart for compromise? What are God’s words for Joe and Sarah?
God declares our need to consider one another’s well being ahead of our own in 1 Corinthians 10:24, “ Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.” (KJV). It might help to reference the NKJV for this verse, “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.”
Additionally, God guides us to set aside selfishness and consider others better than ourselves in Philippians 2:3 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (KJV). Otherwise interpreted, “ Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (NKJV).
In Ephesians 5:25, God commands Joe, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…” Again in Colossians 3:19, God reminds Joe, “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
Likewise, in Ephesians 5:22, God asserts to Sarah, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Repeating Himself in Ephesians 5:24, God states, “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
Unfortunately, only too often men and women both manipulatively use these verses to try to command they receive their ideal as a solution to problems. Realistically, when husbands and wives are both committed to obeying God’s wisdom for their marriage, the usual outcome from dispute resolution is not either person receiving their ideal solution, but both being truly content with a real solution.
There are times when one spouse or the other may actually receive their ideal solution to a problem. However, if that same spouse is truly committed to and embracing of God’s opinion on seeking another’s well being before their own, avoiding selfishness, and loving/obeying their spouse, most problem resolutions will successfully and amicably conclude within the “real” category.
If you make it this far, CONGRATULATIONS! It is a wonderful feeling to resolve a legitimate problem successfully. Still, there is one step left to Effectively Communicating With Your Spouse!
Effectively Communicating With Your Spouse (Part V of V): Leave The Matter In The Past