. . . let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18 NIV)
We have a goal to visit the countries that represent the 15 or so languages our book Men Are Like
Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti has been translated into. Because of our desire to cross cultures, we have often been accompanied by translators. They take what we are saying and reword our thoughts and intentions so that a clear message is accomplished. To do this, often they do not translate word for word, but adapt to carry the main concept so the listener gains the heart or meat of the intent.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could each have a relationship translator? Someone who steps in when we are misunderstanding each other? Good news, the Holy Spirit can be that translator! No one knows your mate, your child, or your friend like God, who created him or her! The whisper of the Spirit can help you look past the mis-statement or the poorly worded sentence into the heart of intent of your spouse, child or friend.
Love gives the benefit of the doubt. The Apostle Paul puts it this way in Phil. 1:7:
“ It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart”
“In my heart”, means you carry the person “inside” in a way that is “open minded”. When the Apostle Paul wrote this he was complimenting his friends. The Bible Knoweldge Commentary explains: “It did not matter whether Paul was under arrest . . . or free; his friends at Philippi shared with him in what God was doing through him. . . .. Paul praised them for their concern . . .
That is a good place to be in a marriage, dating parenting — or any relationship. When you carry each other on your heart, you assume the best about the other person and his or her words. When you quit carrying someone “on your heart”, it becomes all about behavior. The problem with a behavior based relationship is that no one can behave well enough for long enough to keep a relationship going just on perfect behavior. It is much better to carry your mateloved one on your heart, giving him or her the benefit of the doubt, believing they too want the best for your relationship.
Next time your feelings are hurt over specific words, go a little deeper, look to the heart of your loved one or friend. Assume he or she is concerned for your best interest. What does he or he have on his or her heart concerning you? And are you carrying them on your heart?
Pam and Bill Farrel help people carry others “on their heart” through their ministry Love-Wise. They are international speakers, the authors of 45 books including A Couples” Journey with God, which inspired today’s post. The Farrels are hosts to the Living Love-Wise Community.