When I think about marriage these days, it conjures up a mental picture of a square dance. You start with a partner and as you dance around a circle, at some point the square dance caller, in his sing-song voice, will say, “change your partner.” So many marriages have mimicked this – you go along for awhile, and then at some point, you change partners.
God’s plan? I don’t think so. Forgivable? Absolutely. Doable? Yes. Difficult? Yes and Yes! Just get ready to learn a new dance!
So as this dance continues with your partner, you may run into a past ex- … or two. This is where things can get sketchy. In a typical square dance, you have four couples who all dance in response to a square dance caller calling the next dance configuration. If all the couples comply, the dance moves effortlessly and in unity — plus it’s a lot of fun! If one couple gets turned around or does their own dance steps, it sends the whole group into chaos.
You may not know a thing about square dancing, but you may know tons about going along in life, and then a text from an ex- will send everyone going in a different direction. You may need a little encouragement today to grab your partner and “do-si-do” and get back in step in your marriage dance. Here’s how you can do that …
First, we need God, His wisdom, and His Word. Romans 8:16-18 says, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud nor conceited. Do not repay evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
From these verses we first and foremost know that we are responsible for our words and our actions. We cannot control the ex.
Secondly, again, verse 18 says, “As far as it depends on you”… on me. The ex- may text how horrible we are. The ex- may text ugliness and disregard for all of our efforts to help raise and nurture their kids. And, we are going to have to let the words, the accusations, the insults, the obscenities, roll off us like water rolling off a duck’s back.
In other words, the comments will not be allowed to have an effect on us. I know that is easier said than done, but it might help to remember that “hurt people hurt people.”
It doesn’t matter if the ex- is the one who left your spouse. It doesn’t matter if the ex- has numerous hang ups. Somehow, you – and your spouse – are going to take the brunt of the anger and resentment.
So, knowledge is power. Expect those verbal digs. Find compassion for their pain and bitterness. Pray for them. Complain to God – not back at them.
Thirdly, keep all correspondence to the facts. Personal feelings can explode all over one comment. So keep damage to a minimum – as far as it depends on you! I know I want the last word in an argument so badly – but usually my last comment has a zinger within it that doesn’t help the conversation one bit. In fact, it does more damage. Keeping silent is a virtue … and I’m still trying to zip my lip at times!!
We all know that life is not like a perfect square dance. But, we can sure have a lot of fun during times when everyone is playing nice and following the caller’s directions. Sometimes we just need to quit trying to do our own dance – and join the other people who are in your same circle. As far as it depends on you …
Blessings in your Blending!