Last time here, I suggested some tips for the guys to improve their relationships with the opposite sex, whether they be wives, daughters, sisters, friends, mums or work colleagues. This time, this blog with tips is for everyone — guys and girls.
Tip # 1 Gratitude: It’s so important to be thankful for the blessings in your life, particularly for those people God has entrusted to you in your world. Your spouse is a special blessing to be nurtured, loved, cherished and cared for. In 1 Thessalonians 5: 18, the Lord tells us to give thanks in all circumstances. I believe, even in those areas (or with those people), that come with challenges, when they suddenly arrive on our doorstep. And then we can take these difficulties as opportunities to be refined by the Lord. (Eek really? Yep really!)
Who can you thank today? In the words of Nike — just do it!
Tip #2 Attribution: Make it positive: In psychology and more particularly, in marriage counselling, this term means to whom or what someone perceives the reason for, or cause of something. If it’s negative or positive, both will have a direct influence on how we see our relationship. Some negative attributions in a marriage would be: 'he always considers himself first;' ‘she never shuts up;''he is selfish;' 'she is lazy;' you get my drift.
So, in your thinking about a difficult person, make it positive. This will go a long way to repair things.
Who will that be for you?
Tip #3 Make Godly choices: The Lord wants us to go His way, not ours, His will, rather than ours. This is hard. We want our way. Psalm 32:8 tells us to be instructed by the Lord in the way we should go as He counsels us. It’s a good tip! So for any decisions regarding the opposite gender, seek God first.
Who do you need to pray about? When will you do this? How about scheduling a time with God to get started.
Tip #4 Growing Up: Our emotional lives as kids impact our emotional lives as adults. If you had trauma, may I suggest that you get some help. It might be hard to go this way but believe me, trauma has a way of coming back when you don’t want it to and hurting a lot more. However, if you were blessed to have a relatively normal growing up, like most home environments, it’s not always a perfect one, then some information or counsel could still help. Many of us have insecure attachment schemas (schema—the way we see and do things). In Hosea chapter 4:6, God tells us that we are destroyed through a lack of knowledge, so information about your possible blind spots could help your relationships tremendously .
How could you do this?
Tip #5 Get God Involved: Pray, seek God, get whatever help you need to grow in your spirit and soul. It’s a journey of sanctification, we’re all being perfected from glory to glory. In the meantime, life can be somewhat tough but you can still show empathy, grace and unconditional love to your spouse and those around you in your world. We are not told our Christian walk is easy but we are told countless times in the Bible that we are not alone on the journey. So do the right thing even when others don’t!
Does this speak to you? How?
Tip #6: Recognise the Rule Books Differ: When you marry, you both bring in a family rule book from your family of origin. Often these variances clash, so a new rule book needs to be decided upon. Within the rule book are many chapters such as prayer times, sleep and wake times, food choices, home chore allocations, decision making, money saving and spending. And many more. Once again, get some assistance if there is conflict. It’s a good idea to nip these little things in the bud before they turn into much bigger issues.
What is an area in which you could become somewhat more flexible? Ask God for help.
In conclusion, you are very different to the other males and females around you. There is no right or wrong, just different. I am hopeful that you can come to terms with this, so that things will be easier for you than they were for me. In my relationships with the men in my life, it took quite some time.
I hope through this series you have learned some tips to get you started on your 'other gender discovery tour!'
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