Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace. (Proverbs 15:18)
The relationships we have with other people can often be tricky. There are times when it seems everything is great, getting along, in agreement and just enjoying the blessing of knowing and being around each other. Then, there are times, be it with your spouse or a friend/relative, that the blessing of knowing and being around them seems more like a curse.
People say and do things that can make us pretty upset. Guess what? You also say and do things that make others pretty upset.
The biggest cause of conflict in our relationships is our response or reaction to unmet expectations.
Example…wife comes home after having coffee with some friends in the morning and was excited to get home because she’s planning on going to lunch and hanging it out with her husband that afternoon. She walks through the door, husband is eating pizza watching the game with his friends.
Her expectation: Time with my husband.
Her reality: House full of friends watching a game she cares nothing about.
Now a decision has to be made…does she react, or does she respond? There is a difference.
A reaction would entail giving him a piece of her mind…”We never get alone time, you care more about your friends then you do me!”
A response would be going to do something with her friends, being patient (as the above verse says), then letting the husband know (at the right time) she was disappointed, communicate how she was hoping it would go, but also communicate her love for him.
God blesses those people who make peace. They will be called his children! (Matthew 5:9)
It’s important to communicate and share expectations, hopes and desires…but it is also important to step back and evaluate. Do I react (which shows lack of self-control) or respond (which shows patience and peace making) to an unmet expectation?
This choice alone, will change the atmosphere in all your relationships!