Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

Cooperation, Not Negotiation July 19, 2011

Filed under: Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 7:03 am
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Have you tried cooperation instead of competition in your homemaking this week? One way to remind yourself to use this tool is to post a note on the refrigerator in caps…..COOPERATE. Then, think about how you need to respond to your family members today.

I’ll tell you about how stress on cooperation is looking here. My husband works out of his home office next to the kitchen. Need I say more? Oh, between the laundry room and the kitchen. Then, he has at least ten projects going requiring multiple phone calls and service people stopping by. And this week is my once a year visit with a friend at Shakespeare By the Sea. My collie dog has stomach problems. I have a disorder causing me to go into sensory overload. My daughter is pregnant, feeling lousy and needs help with her three year old….Vacation Bible School at my church is coming up…

Bet you could write just such a list of challenges. The thing is… homemaking is not something about which we can say, “Done!” We need to cooperate, sure. But, I need more than one tool. And, I’ve been at this building a home for years now… We should remember that the basic principles don’t change even though the stresses do.

Did I mention it is John’s Reunion of his high school graduation class—this week? In town…for boat rides, old cars, receptions, and dinner. I’m trying to cooperate.

Cooperation implies a two-way give and take. It takes “two to tango.” Cooperation instead of competition in family life means to get along, to give up some of what you want and go along with the ideas, ways, desires, likes, activities of the other people in the home. Competition is more of a “I’ll give up this, but you have to let me do, have, be…..in return.” That is more like negotiation than cooperation. And what negotiation leads to is a lot of pulling, pushing, and demanding. Like business rather than a home. That unlying demanding attitude sure gets the deal done, but can wipe out loving, close relationships.

No one enjoys being pulled at all the time, so they just push back. Pulling leads to pushing. That’s no way to build a home. Ask any teenager who is pushed along to fit into Mom’s or Dad’s straitjacket. Or the wife who pulls away emotionally because her husband’s way is the only way. Or the husband who knows there is no use asking…

Remember the purpose of this blog? To teach the Christian woman how to think through the Bible, passage by passage. Normally, I don’t get into much else because I don’t want us to lose that focus. Today is different. This is all abou psychology. Some of it I read in “How To Love” by psychiatrist Gordon Livingston. He is against using negotiation in a love relationship.

As you are practicing using your tool of cooperation, lay down that competative one, think about our Lord Jesus Christ’s major teaching on relationships: “Love your neighbor as yourself;” …or Love your neighbor like you love yourself. As much as you love your ways, your ideas, your pleasures, your desires and activities, and even your work. Love is, after all, the major Christian virue.

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Tools For Building a Home July 7, 2011

Filed under: Family Life — womenembracingfaith @ 1:43 am
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The Royal Wedding, 2011<img

Summertime is a time of reflection for me. A time to catch up on my reading, to look at things from a different perspective, to travel a little. Family life is in more of the spotlight as people come and go. And then, there is usually a wedding to enjoy. As beautiful as Kate's dress and cake were, they pale in comparison with the responsibilities she has assumed. I'm sure she needs some tools for building her royal home. We do too–and for rebuilding. Tools kept handy. To grab at a moment's notice. (Things always come up suddenly–even for royal couples.) Think of the following Six as your set of tools for building and rebuilding. Take them out often this summer and practice using them. Keep them handy to grab at a moment's notice. “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1). I hope these tools will be useful to you in building your family’s relationships.

1. Cooperation. Save competition for sports and business. Family life is not about winning. Those winning skills and focus ability so needed in sports and work will tear a family apart. Instead, cooperate, think of the other person, get along. Keep reminding yourself: “Winning is not my goal here. Building strong relationships within a family setting is. We also saw this same concept in Galatians and Philippians where we were urged to stand together for the gospel. To stand firmly together. Family life is like that too. We need to stay together. Cooperation with each other around the goal of standing firm in your love for each other is the tool you need. How does that cooperation look to you today? What do you need to say and do? Think about it some today.
AN ENCOURAGEMENT
“The house of the wicked will be overthrown, but the tent of the upright will flourish” (Proverbs 14:11). Remember, the upright is one who has trusted in the uprightness of Christ Jesus’s character instead of their own and the sufficiency of His death for the atonement of her sins. “The righteous by faith will live” (Romans 1:18). Now she is equipped to cooperate since she has forgiveness, a cleared conscience, and a desire to please Her Savior. You might have only a tent, but it will bloom if cooperation is its hallmark.