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Have you ever noticed the similarities between how people relate to their spouses and to their God? Some people believe that they have a relationship with God when they know a lot of facts. They read the Scriptures or religious material in order to know the “Truth.” They can analyze, dissect, quote, and question. They can also eloquently pray for everyone in the whole world.

But do they feel loved and accepted by their God? Sometimes they even wander, and become overwhelmed with guilt, then decide to leave the whole religious system. Or when the rubber meets the road ruts in life, the information-oriented folks may get stuck in asking “why”? why me, why us, why now? None of the information seems to result in satisfaction.

Some married or in-relationship people, listen to the other person for grocery lists and facts. They miss a lot of important communication. Because for most of us, you don’t have to know our shoe size, favorite movie, or allergies in order for us to feel understood. It’s not really about the content—it’s consistent time spent, it’s looking into the eyes, it’s listening.

Similar to when God “disappoints us,” one-half of a couple may become exponentially angry at the other person. “Why did he/she do that? I want him/her to feel as hurt as I do.” Usually there are not many reasonable answers to the Why—only meanings attached to the hurt or betrayal. And the lack of forgiveness sometimes surpasses the occasion of clueless or selfish trespass. The wounded party may also require some soul-searching for unresolved life events that were never adequately addressed. This anger may actually involve a third party.

New Level of Connection

Between the sobs and rants, please listen for what an event, problem or challenge means to the other person. Become an Emotionally Reflective Detective and you may reach a new level of connection. Problem solving rarely works before people have established a solid sense of connection.

We all want to be valued. Beloved. A good lover doesn’t just try to “fix” it with flowers or a quick apology. Yet as we are consistently engaged in intentional opportunities to listen—to God and a spouse—I believe there will be heart connections. Resulting in a relationship transformation that defies most crises.  

Even God cannot always provide the “rational” response to our whys. When we don’t understand, we can still rest assured about loving intentions toward us. And our intentions will be to practice those ways that help us settle down and listen for His voice. Quiet moments, in reading, music, nature, walking, worshiping. Just being near our loved one. Resting in moments of undistracted love and gratitude.
“And the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

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By Karen Spruill. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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