Spoiler alert, marriage is all about communication and compromise. Our society has made the word compromise seem like a bad thing, when in reality it can be incredibly healthy in all relationships. The key here is learning how to navigate compromise appropriately and fairly. Compromise is at it’s heart what is fair for all individuals involved but often we find ourselves getting the short end of the stick or hurting someone that we care about by either not setting appropriate boundaries or by having an ego and unwilling to compromise. So where to begin when learning how to make fair compromises?
Be honest and real with yourself first
One of the key’s to healthy relationships is being real with yourself first. You’re only going to continuously hurt others if you’re not capable of noticing your weaknesses and areas you need growth or knowing yourself well enough to be real. In the case of making a compromise on something, you’ll have to first come to the realization that you can’t be selfish and second know what is a non-negotiable for you. Ask yourself things like:
- What am I willing or not willing to do or let go of?
- Am I stating clearly what I’m asking for?
- Am I being selfish or being open to someone else’s needs?
- Have I put myself in their shoes and considered the issue from their perspective?
- Have I prayed about this issue?
- Am I being emotional or rational? (If you’re like me, this is a super hard one, I’m always emotional)
When having conversations and especially conversations that are important, you have to practice active listening. This means actually hearing what the other person is saying. You have to put aside your own interests for the sake of actually hearing what someone else has to say and being able to engage in a conversation with them. A good definition of active listening is: “This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, the complete message being communicated.” It’s way easier said than done, but putting aside your own agenda and your own argument to actually hear and understand another person is a MAJOR benefit to a conversation. Sometimes you may even find that you’re actually in agreement with another person.
Come to the table with ideas
I once had a church leader tell me that they never wanted me to come to them with a problem that I had not already tried to solve myself. He said to always come to him with at least one option to resolve the issue before I came to him just to complain. Not only was this excellent leadership on his part, but also an excellent way to teach me (and others on our team) how to think for ourselves and problem solve on our own.
This works perfectly for making compromises and moving forward with a problem in your relationship too. If you come to the “table” with some ideas on exactly what you want in order to resolve the issue, more often than not you’re going to find a resolve way faster and more effectively. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a conflict with a loved one or close friend and when I gave them some ideas on how to fix our issue, it was almost instantly fixed and we could move on.
Make sure to keep in mind that these are just ideas, and the person you’re sharing them with may have ideas of their own. It’s important to be collaborative here and not just stick to your guns on your OWN thoughts. A relationship is about working together, and in many cases you’ll have to ease off of some things even if you think it’s the perfect answer.
Always be prayerful
You didn’t think we were leaving God out of this did you?? This should be the first one for sure, but I wanted to end here so this would be fresh in your mind. You must PRAY PRAY PRAY. Depending on the severity of the argument, issue or problem between you and a friend or loved one you’ll find that you have to pray harder or more specifically. Sometimes when we’re upset, our mental clarity just seems to disappear. It’s important to start with asking God to clear your mind first.
You first have to trust that God already knows the resolution here and you have to be willing to put your pride aside to ask that HIS will be done, and not your own. Truth is friend, that may end up being the opposite of what you’d like to happen, but you must know that God knows best. These are some of the hardest prayers you will ever pray, but absolutely some of the most important. Always remember that God loves you and has nothing but your best interest in mind and that He will never do anything to harm you. Compromising in relationships can be an incredible blessing and from personal experience I can testify that when I let God have total control, I have never even once regretted the outcome.
That’s all I have for you today friend. I pray that whatever relationship this applies to in your life that you will walk in boldness and knowing that God has your ultimate best outcome ahead of you. Relationships are so necessary to our overall well being but Lord knows they are some of the most challenging aspects of life. I pray today you’ll find peace in any tough situation or conversation and that you’ll grown stronger from any lesson learned.