My friend, who is experiencing a major bump in her marriage, asked me of my thoughts on separation and reconciliation. While I know that every problem is unique as each of us is unique, the least I can do is to share some of the things I try to keep in mind; not only for the benefit of my friend but of all those struggling with decision-making.
· ‘Golden Rule’: “Do for others what you would like them to do for you.”
I learned this from Pastor and Author Tom Holladay. If you want your needs to be met, you have to learn to meet the needs of others. In relationships, we often say: I want this. I want that. You do not do this. You do not think of what I need. You always think of yourself. I even heard of a story when a wife cheated because of perceived shortcomings of her husband.
Caring or loving also means putting yourself in the shoes of others.
You might ask: Is this not selfishness? Doing something for others because you want them to give you something? This is different. Holladay calls this the ‘Hidden Motive Rule’. The ‘Golden Rule’ reminds us that if we know what we want, why not put ourselves in others’ shoes and do those for others without asking for anything in return? This is what Jesus has done for us. He gave up His life without asking for nothing much from us than believe in the Lord as our God.
Tom Holladay also reminds us to be wary of the ‘Reciprocal Rule’ and the ‘Ricochet Rule’. The former says: “Whatever you do for me, that’s what I’ll do for you,” highlighting a self-centered nature where we look and see before we do. The latter on the other hand, says: “Do to someone based on what some other person has done to you.” Sometimes, we tend to treat other people by we are (or were) treated. A bad day at the office may be brought to an evening at home or a bad childhood experience may affect how we become as parents.
· Talk with God.
Before you decide to share your problems with someone else, lift your problems up to the Lord. Cry your heart out to Him and ask for guidance through prayers and bible reading. Having difficulty understanding the verses? Put technology into good use. Download bible reading apps or browse pages of good interpretations and commentaries of bible verses.
· Choose the people you share your problems with.
If you are to share your problems, share with those who have God in their hearts to get unbiased and divine-inspired advice. Imagine how great can the world be if we all try to have focus on love, positivity, and peace. Try looking for a church community.
· Believe that with God, everything turns out beautifully.
When you believe in this, you gain hope. With hope, you have nothing to be worried about. While things may not be going your way, trust that in His time, things will be better– far better than what we asked for ourselves.
So when you find yourself in a difficult situation, thank the Lord. Your difficulty may lead you to the main and real reason to be happy. He is giving you the opportunity to come closer. That means, He is leading you closer to where you should be– to the life you should be leading.
By keeping these in mind, I sincerely hope you are on your way to reconciliation and forgiveness.