Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | January 7, 2009

Consider this…

I’m continuing this post with a commentary on a recent sermon series I heard, where our Pastor talked about keys to a healthy marriage. The first key he mentioned was communication, and I wrote about that in the last post. Today’s post focuses on key #2, which is Consideration.

Marriage is not about me, it is about we. From my own experience, while dating and in the first year of marriage was the opportune time to start figuring out where the me doesn’t build up the we. It was also a time to learn about how important a strong we is to a good marriage. As your family grows, the we gets even more challenging, but more rewarding too!

Large purchases, where to spend holidays, and what to do for vacation are just three examples of decisions that are made with more than just your own needs in mind. Simple decisions, such as which type of foods to buy may change based on the we rather than the me.

When we first were married, I discovered that my husband I preferred different types of mayonnaise, macaroni and cheese, milk, clothing detergent, toothpaste, as well as other things. It can take a while to figure out these simple differences, and to make decisions based on what is best for us as a family.

Whether simple or complex, family decisions become a time for married couples to learn to listen to each other, give to each other, and work together to collaborate on decisions when possible.

Collaboration is not the same thing as compromise. Compromise is when both parties give something up, and often one person is the “winner” and one is the “loser”. There are times when compromise is appropriate, and I’ll write about that is a different post. Often, however, collaboration can have an even better outcome.

When you collaborate, you can both be “winners” in the outcome. Collaboration means that you take time to talk about the decision, listen to your spouses’ view, and rather than rushing through a decision, you take your time together to make the decision based on the “we” rather than the “me”.  The two most important parts of collaboration are 1) having time to talk, and 2) listening.

When you take the time to collaborate with your spouse on important decisions, you are being considerate. According to Proverbs 18:1, you are also using good judgment, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”

Three other ways to be considerate to your spouse are:

  1. Being helpful
  2. Sympathizing with their doubts and fears
  3. Forgiving their mistakes

In my next posts, I’ll focus on those three parts of consideration.


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