It was a blessed time yesterday at the Before and After I Do 2018 seminar. Despite hearing these topics for numerous times (at least 8 times). God broke me yesterday and showed me all my sins: #1 Pride (from the transparency and authenticity of the speakers, sharing their struggles and life testimonies), #2 He showed me how distant Maggie and I were and how far we have drifted apart. I was reminded of how she was my best friend and how she became an enemy (Topic on Communication). I was humbled by God and that night, I repented to my children, my wife, and especially to Him, with whom I have sinned the most. I had a wonderful intimate conversation with my wife that night. I have hidden my thoughts from her because I was afraid of being judged and conflict might arise. I admitted to her of how she was right all along and I just didn’t want to listen to her because of my pride and insecurities. I ended the conversation with a renewal of my marriage vow to her – “I promise to cherish, nurture, and love you as Christ love the church. You are the love of my life. ”
Today is a new beginning for us as a family. I accepted the fact that I have drifted away from intimacy with God and my wife because of gadget (games and social media), my insecurities, view differences, hurts, and so on. I chose to forgive and let go of the hurts (Topic 3), asked her for forgiveness: for being a lousy husband. I have not loved her as Christ loved the church, which is unconditionally and sacrificially (Topic #1). I was selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed.
But in all this, I go back and thank God for the hope, His mercy, His faithfulness, and His steadfast love through Jesus Christ my Lord. Praise Him and glory to Him alone for the Nth chance that He has given me.
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” – Luke 6:45 (NIV)
As i was untangling the rope that i had so i could use it to tie my box, it is easy to become impatient and just keep on pulling any part of the string that causes the rope’s tangle to get tighter and more difficult to remove. An easy way to solve it is to cut it but it wouldn’t be useful anymore. So it is with the relationships in our lives. The choices we make causes our lives to get entangled. The more wrong choices we make, the messier it becomes and our status becomes “complicated”.
Conflicts in relationships are inevitable. We will surely encounter them in our lives – with our families, officemates, friends, even strangers. Sometimes we want to follow our own ways, in our own time, we just say what we feel and do things that are hurtful to others. It is like cutting the rope.
Dealing with relationships and conflicts really needs a lot of patience, strategy, and time. It requires analysing the problem, thinking of ways to solve it. We need to talk about it, gather insights and advice from godly people with wisdom, getting a fresh perspective of the situation, and even taking a break or a vacation. It is easy for us to talk to anyone and aggravate the situation all the more. When we want people to take our side and hear what we want to hear. This cause the rope to tangle all the more. So seeking advice from godly people with wisdom are very crucial in solving our problems. They can give new perspective and solutions that we cannot think of ourselves.
We cannot control other people but we can control our own actions and reactions. One of the essentials that we often neglect is prayer. We need to pray to God and lift things up to Him – ask Him for wisdom and guidance on what actions to take. He alone can change people’s heart. It doesn’t happen overnight, it really takes time – weeks and even years. That is why we need to be patient. Often times, we want to give up on ourselves and others saying “Walang pagasa yan.” or “It is hopeless.” But we must remember that with God nothing is impossible. We must keep on praying and hope for the best.
Another key element in resolving conflict is communication and open dialogue. I’m used to being an authoritarian dad and what i say stand. But it cannot work that way especially when kids grow older and enter teenage years. Even now, i can’t force my son to do things that he doesn’t want to do. I cannot use my anger and shouting to make him comply. It may work and get the job done but it wouldn’t have a good effect on him. This thing I’m still praying and working on improving. Open dialogue and communication allow us to have different opinions and views on things as long as it is not bad and wrong. All of us have different views and principles that we follow so we have to respect one another. Some principles are better than others but we cannot force it on other people. They have to accept and embrace it in their own time. We have to be gentle in bringing our point across. Hurtful words and actions will build up walls rather than sort things out. In God’s time, with a lot of work, communication, and prayer, things will get better.
Voila! My rope is untangled. 🙂 God bless.