Falling in love happens, in large part, because we feel understood by our sweetheart more than by anyone else. And then come misunderstandings, which lead to arguments, and what hurts most is not the angry tone of voice or the slamming of the door — it’s the painful disappointment of being misunderstood by our beloved.
Only God fully understands us, and we need to learn how to accept this and even embrace it. Happiness in marriage comes from letting God be God instead of wishing our spouse would be so God-like that he or she loves us perfectly, meets our every need, and totally “gets” us. It’s a natural wish, but it’s idolatry and it always creates disappointment.
We can explain ourselves to our sweetheart thoroughly and be completely transparent, and still this will never be enough. We are viewed through our beloved’s own worldview, which has been shaped by childhood, life experiences, and encounters with others.
We do the same with our beloved, never truly seeing him/her accurately, no matter how hard we try.
We will always have different interpretations of everything that happens. Scientists say that we all see colors differently. The shade of blue that I see is not the same blue that you see. And if one of us is colorblind, well, you get my point. This is how it is with viewing the colors of feelings, activities, and problems. We will always have different interpretations of what just happened, what was said, and what our beloved really meant by it.
And, to magnify the disconnect, we each see the same things differently today than we did yesterday.
Good, daily communication is absolutely essential for a healthy relationship. The more we share our ideas, hopes, dreams, needs, frustrations, questions and struggles, the greater our connection to each other. Being vulnerable with our beloved and ensuring that our beloved feels safe enough to be vulnerably open with us is a sign of a strong marriage.
Beyond that, in our friendship with God, when our beloved doesn’t understand us, it’s okay. The One whose opinion matters most is embracing us.
- When recently have I felt misunderstood by my sweetheart?
- Might I have misunderstood how much my sweetheart misunderstood me?
Strengthen your relationship:
Pick any object in the room near you. Describe to each other what you see. What features stand out most to you? What do you like about it and why? What memories does this object bring to mind? How many differences of descriptions can you discover? After this exercise, pray together asking the Holy Spirit to help you to slow down and listen instead of jumping to conclusions.
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© 2018 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries