Posted in Couples in Challenge

Do you edify when you disagree ?

I’m left brained so I tend to undervalue “nice sayings” and secular quotes. That’s edification[1]being generous, basically I dismiss them. If /when I do read them, I’ll go mentally to reconcile with scripture for an equivalent word from The source. Yes, I think there is plenty of scripture we can use for “nice sayings”, a lifetime worth in fact.

That said, I’m looking at a quip from secular news: “Traits unhappy couples have in common”. The writer notes that with about 94% accuracy future failure of marriage is predicted based on 4 traits. You already know where I’m going based on the title of the article, but here’s the quips:

Four traits turned out to be the most reliable predictors of a breakup (especially when they’re combined in some fashion), … These traits include: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.

  1. Criticism involves attacking your partner’s personality or character by saying something like, “you never help with the dishes” or “why are you always so late?”
  2. Contempt involves putting your partner down (i.e., “you’re stupid for believing that”).
  3. Defensiveness often involves rebuffing your partner’s complaint with one of your own (“I may be late, but you’re way too uptight about it.”)
  4. Stonewalling involves clamming up and refusing to hash things out with your partner at all.

My answer is of course all the scriptures on the tongue and edify even in disagreement. It can be done, our pastor disagrees with the ways of the world (that includes all persons everywhere) and edifies every Sunday.

Lets look at more:

“We all do all of these things — that’s not the problem,” …It’s when these flaws run unchecked that they can drive a couple apart… techniques to combat them…. if your partner says, “You haven’t been helping much with the dishes,” don’t immediately volley back with, “Yes, but you haven’t been pitching in with the dog-walking much.” Instead, hear what your partner has to say, and then acknowledge it. Replace negative generalizations (“you never make an effort with my family”) with constructive (edifying) specifics (“It would mean a lot to me if we spent more time with my family over the summer”).

There’s a little bit of James Dobson flavor oft use in the next bit:

While couples tend to hone in on the prevalence of negative interactions to predict whether or not they’ll split, the prevalence of positive interactions is equally critical. According to Gottman, the ratio of positive-to-negative interactions should be 20 to 1 during normal conversations — or 5 to 1 during an argument. (again, edify) These results were echoed by Terri Orbuch, project director for the NIH-funded Early Years of Marriage Project at the University of Michigan and author of Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship. In her research, she found that 67 percent of happy couples say their spouse “often” made them feel good about themselves, whereas only 27 percent of unhappy couples could claim the same thing. The moral of the story: While you might assume your partner already knows you think he or she is smart/funny/sexy, or that you’re grateful he or she cooked dinner, it’s important that you reiterate your appreciation for each other often.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister … This is my text for today’s message to you – read it often, and remind me to practice it next time you see me.

God bless !