Hey, man. You're not perfect. You make mistakes. And everyone around you knows it. Particularly your lover. But don't be too hard on yourself. Big deal: you said something stupid, you left the toilet seat up, you spent too much money, you could put on a clean shirt more often, you don't complete projects you start, you forgot something important again, etc. You have some flaws and some minor shortcomings. We understand.
Your lover can deal with your imperfections in a few ways.
She can overlook the occasional slip-up. Why bring something up and make something big out of something small, like forgetting to use the coaster on the coffee table?
She can mention them in a loving manner, such as, "Last night, I almost had to call 911, because I sat on the toilet and almost got stuck because the seat was up. Ha! Oh, man. I love it so much that you put the seat down for me. I'd hate for the fire department to come and rescue me."
She can spin the negative into a positive. Turn lemons into lemonade. If you can't quite finish the yard work, she'll find a neighborhood teenager to help for a few bucks. You forget to do the dishes, she'll play music and dance with ya while you both empty the dishwasher. Your dirty shirt doesn't fit as well as it used to, so she'll surprise you with a quick coffee-and-shirt-shopping date.
She can like them as being part of who you are. As I grow more mature in my marriage, I tend to enjoy and cherish those little things my wife does that may or may not have not been so enjoyable in the far past. I like how loud she sneezes, how emotionally charged she can get over something important or not so important, I like how she keeps expanding her clothes closet, and I like how she needs not one but two napkins. It's funny how little things that once may have been a little annoying are now endearing and can be cherished.
When someone makes a mistake, when they fall short, when they do something a bit irritating, you have a choice. You can choose to argue over it and make it a big deal, or you can choose to handle it in another way that is founded on peace, understand, and love. When we realize that none of us is perfect, we can both forgive others and ourselves.
And then remember that you're the luckiest (most blessed) man on Earth because your lover is a part of you. You may be interested in how two become one in "Fulfilling a Masculine Role."
The words we speak are powerful. The words we speak can bring life and peace. The words we speak can affect others either positively or negatively.
In Proverbs 18:21, it says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue….” That’s a lot of power!
With our words, we have the power to bring life and peace to others. Here are two practical ways to help us accomplish this: (1) We can pause before we speak, and (2) we can aim for and pursue peace as we speak. Pause means a temporary stop or rest, maybe you stop because of uncertainty.
Here are two verses that help us to pause before we speak:
By pausing before we speak, we can consciously decide to speak words that bring life and peace and refrain from speaking words that don’t do that.
Some situations we encounter are more complicated than others. Especially in these situations, it is important to be slow to speak, not hasty in our words.
We see Jesus Christ operating this principle (swift to hear, slow to speak) in a very challenging situation (a situation between life and death). In the record of John 8, the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus a question with the goal of tempting him in order to condemn him. Jesus’ response would directly affect the life of a woman brought before him, who had been accused by men of committing adultery.
In Colossians 3:16, it says, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom." The word refers to the lesson learned from certain situations, such as the one in John 8 with Jesus and the woman. Let that word (that life lesson) dwell in your heart and mind. Let it permeate every aspect of your being, as you learn, teach, and share spiritual lessons from life. And admonish (counsel or advise) and train one another with all spiritual wisdom. That's what Colossians says.
Keeping God’s Word as our standard, we have a great resource to help communicate words that can lift a burden, lighten a heart, and bring life and peace. When the Word dwells richly in our hearts—when we are reading and thinking it consistently—it is easier to pause, bring those edifying words of life and peace to mind, and speak them to others.
Follow After Peace
Another practical way we can help assure that our words will bring life and peace to others is to follow after peace. Pursue peace.
In Romans 14:19, it says, "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." The Greek word translated “follow after” means to pursue. That is an active word! It reminds me of our Constitution’s preamble, which says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men AND WOMEN are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As we make up our minds to actively pursue what makes for peace and rest and harmony, our words will reflect this. We frame our communications with the aim of bringing life and peace.
How We Say Things
One way we can actively pursue peace in our speech is by watching how we say things, not just what we say. When our body language and tone reflect peace, others are more likely to be peaceful also. Pursuing peace gives us a head start in speaking words that bring life and peace to others.
In summary, we have learned that the words we speak are powerful. Our words can bring life and peace as we choose to base our communications on a standard—God’s Word. As we allow the Word of God to dwell in us richly, we can pause and bring His words of life and peace to our minds and mouths—especially in challenging situations. As we aim for and pursue peace, our communications will reflect the truth of God’s Word in our hearts. We will see that our words do have power to bring life and peace to others.
Read other articles for men related to life and peace.
Here's some of the things that I really enjoy: Seeing my wife smile and laugh, Bourbon on ice after a hard day at work, hearing my kids laughing, working on a house project that is physically demanding and makes my hands rough and dirty, smelly bubbly show soap, words spoken in love, a compliment on my looks or what I'm wearing, a good verse that applies to a life situation, mashed potatoes, vanilla ice cream, Pittsburgh Steelers, 70's Rock music, my wife's body inside a beautiful dress, touch, and a good meaty sandwich with crispy-cold lettuce and real mayo. I'll stop there. There's a lot more. But that's a pretty good list right there. Yup.
It's a good exercise to make a list of things that you enjoy. But the list not for you. It's for the person who loves you. My list is for my wife. It's not to bribe her. It's not for getting the right Christmas present. It's not to remind her of stuff I like. It's for helping my lover to fulfill her role as a giver. When my wife gives to me, she feels joy. Your lover is the one person in the whole wide world that knows you and knows what you need and knows how to fulfill your needs, wants, and desires.
The idea behind making a list is to have a method by which two people can work to fully integrated, aligned with each other, and balanced as one. Spiritually, it's not good to go through life alone. There are a lot of good spiritual truths in Ephesians 5:22-32. It's a great mystery how two people can become one.
Try making a list for your lover. Work together on it. Talk about it. It'll be fun, and it'll strike up a conversation that will be meaningful and enlightening, which is a lot more you'll ever get from a TV show. Show smash your TV, grab a pen and paper, and get to work!
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I'm a manager. I manage my time, my finances, and my work and play. I manage to screw things up, and I manage to get things done. I'm a husband and a father, so I manage my family. I'm a boss, so I manage my employees. One thing I've learned, managing other people is difficult.
Don't avoid the difficult task of informing people when their work isn't good enough.
In Luke 6:31, it says to do to others as you would have them do to you. As a boss who tries to create a positive, enjoyable work environment where people enjoy their work and one another, this is a handy spiritual truth to remember.
One key to managing successfully that I've learned is to not sidestep the difficult task of informing people when their work is not good enough. This will unlock the door to successful management. You don't want to hurt people's feeling, but you owe it to them to tell them what is actually going on. Just as a manager relies on indicators of success, those who work for you also deserve honest feedback on their work.
If you care about the people that you manage, you tell them. Tell them what's up, how things are going (personally and work-related), and what can be done better to get things right. Praise when it's due. Provide honest discussion when their work is not providing what is needed. A lack of praise and criticism can be disastrous. As a manager, you need to be a guide. And guides communicate.
White Water Rafting Guide
I took a white-water rafting trip with my daughters 7th grade class. The guide in our raft was providing very clear and direct communication, signaling us to paddle in certain directions and with particular effort or speed. "Paddle." "Left turn." "Right turn." "Hold." "Paddle strong." Without communication from our guide, our time on the water would have been haphazard, frustrating and unenjoyable. Guides provide direct communication and feedback.
It's impossible to guide and manage others well without communicating. Managers communicate. They provide very direct, productive feedback. The encourage open and honest discussion. They help create an enjoyable work environment. And they also listen. I enjoy achieving results by listening and seeking to understand rather than telling people what do to.
Communicating involves listening to others. Feedback. Conversation rather than dictating. Debating before directing. Encouraging people to make decisions rather than deciding everything for them. Advising people instead of order them what to do. Managers are into learning as much as they're into knowing. There's a proverb (Proverb 18:15) that says an intelligent heart (your mind) is always acquiring knowledge, and the ear of the wise always seeks it out. You should listen with as much effort as put into learning.
In conclusion, enjoy managing. Manage yourself well. If you're a boss, treat others well by communicating with them. Managing others can be difficult, but not impossible. Be a guide. Be sure to listen as you learn. Others deserve to know how they're doing by you providing them with direct, productive discussion.
If you enjoyed reading that article, you may be interested in how communication relates to "Consciousness."
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