Relationships: Right vs. Love (Part 1 of 4).
Greetings and welcome to my post. Last month I invited you to think and consider what you want when it comes to building a healthy relationship. My hope was for you to value and participate in building healthy relationships. As you do this, you will find the benefits of a healthy relationship which is growth and fruit. Remember, all healthy relationships are growing and producing fruit such as intimacy, closeness, love, kindness, forgiveness, and so forth.
So now that we have looked at understanding the importance of healthy versus unhealthy and the other significant topic of intention, I now want to begin to ask of you to consider in your most important personal relationships, what are the difference between unhealthy negative intentions versus healthy positive intentions.
In these next four blogs, I want you to consider this question: Do you want to be right or do you want to be in a love relationship? When you think of your most important personal relationships, is it your intention to pursue what is right or do you want to pursue what brings you love and closeness?
For example, those people who pursue right are people who view a problem in a relationship or a conflict as always viewing it through the lens of justice. Let’s say you are in the kitchen and you are cutting up an onion for a casserole. Your spouse, friend, partner, or family member comes in and observes you cutting this onion and says to you: That is not how you should cut an onion? You stop and look over at this person and then the words and conversation starts to heat up. The other person goes into a speech or dialogue of how you are cutting the onion and proceeds to tell you all the ways you are doing in wrong. In defense, you then start to communicate that how you are cutting the onion is right and that your method is the right way to do it.
Or let’s say you go out to wash the car and again this same person comes behind you and notices how you are doing it and again starts to communicate in their words that how you are doing is wrong and you should do it this or that way. They began to point out that your method is wrong or not correct and their idea or method is right.
In both examples, one person has an intention to view how you are doing life through the lens of justice. Justice has to do with knowing and living out the truth of what is right or wrong. When you go to court, a judge, jury and attorneys are all attempting to get to the truth of the matter as a way to prove who is right or wrong. That is fine for a court setting.
But when we take our most personal and important relationships and place a topic, like how to cut an onion or how to wash a car, into the arena of a court setting, then one person is out to prove who is right and how the other person is wrong. In many ways, the person who is seeking right is acting like a judge.
Now it is easy to minimize right and wrong when it comes to washing a car or cutting an onion, but what if we take that same right and wrong and apply it to the top 5 most important topics in a relationship: loving one another, parenting our kids, managing money, the area of work, and our choice of friends. For example, if one person intention is to be right, imagine what life is like when it comes parenting. So you are attempting to be a parent to your daughter and your spouse comes in and undermines your efforts and starts to tell you that how you are parenting is wrong and their approach is right. The one parent who views parenting through the arena of justice is going to go into an argument with the intention of proving how your parent style is wrong and they believe they are right.
It saddens me as a therapist when I see this all the time when it comes to the battles and wars two people are having. When one person is out to prove they are right and the other person is defensive and also trying to prove they are right, it is like a tug of war with each person attempting to prove their point.
So sit back and answer this question: Do you notice how you approach your relationships through the intentions of trying to prove you are right and how is that going for you? Is it working? Are you winning? Is proving you are right and the other person is wrong bring about closeness and harmony between the two of you?
So thanks for reading and in my next post, I will spend some time talking about what are the traits and descriptions of a person whose goal and intention is to be right.