Years ago, I remember watching the movie; “Vantage Point.”
The plot of the movie is about an assassination attempt on the U.S. President, seen from seven different perspectives. The movie will run to a certain point, then start over from the next person’s vantage point. All seven eyewitnesses see what they BELIEVE is reality. In truth, it is THEIR reality.
Valuing another person’s perspective can be helpful in our growing and learning process.
For a couple years, I (Bryan) was the sole writer of this article for SGMRadio. However, I approached Rob Patz about Yvonne BOTH contributing to the article. We wanted to address issues that couples were facing from “2 different perspectives.”
Here’s a REAL LIFE example. I have a bigger, deeper voice than anyone in the family. There have been times that I have voiced my opinion on a particular situation. Yvonne and the kids BELIEVE I am yelling. I don’t believe that I am. I even said “No, it wasn’t yelling.” Then I would start trying to convince Yvonne that she was wrong. In my mind, I wasn’t yelling.
However, instead of allowing it to frustrate me, I should examine the situation. I know Yvonne’s heart and where her motives are. She wants what’s best for me. She would NOT lie TO me or ABOUT me. She has voiced her concern out of love. She’s not the ONLY one who wants me to “get better.” I want to get better and God wants me to be better.
So, I have to realize that her perspective is often times her reality. My perspective is often times MY reality. I honestly don’t want my family feeling alarmed or living in ANY type of fear.
“There are THREE sides to every story. His side, her side and the Truth.”
So, not only seeing “life” from Y’s vantage point but realizing where her motives are, should cause me to respect her perspective and correct that behavior. And it does.
I have talked with several men who say “My wife says I do this or that and it’s JUST NOT true.” My response? “To her, it IS true.” My advice is to NEVER accuse them of lying, but to listen with your heart and see yourself from their perspective.
I’m not saying that “I’m always right or wrong” or “Yvonne is always right”, but I am saying that each other’s perspective is valuable. God can use our differences as individuals to help help us grow as a couple.
I have come to realize there are basically two types of folks I encounter. There are those who cannot take feedback without quickly putting on their sensitive badge or there are those who crave it. I will also admit that a lot of it depends on the manner in which it is delivered. Let’s be honest for a minute; it can be difficult to hear things about our own behavior that needs a little work.
One thing that is foundational in our marriage is we try to “speak the truth in love”. Sometimes in the heat of the moment it may not look so much like the love part. That’s been part of our journey or as we say ; “learning to dance”. When you truly trust someone’s heart and motives, you can accept that their point of view is their reality … even if it makes no sense to you. It is a very mature decision in a relationship to accept the other persons feelings on a particular issue when you can’t wrap your head around how they could feel that way. Here’s the brilliant part… You don’t have to understand. All you have to do is know that is their truth. Then you can begin to shift your behavior to change their reality.
The same can be said for other relationships in your life as well. Do you surround yourself with people who tell you the truth in love? Do you have friends who are going to always agree with you and never give you tough love? Do you argue with your friends because they call you out? If not, why not? Surrounding yourself with people who want the best for you, your marriage, your family is vital. Friends who cheer for your marriage will always try to be impartial and look at everyone’s perspective before giving you counsel. They will not jump on your bandwagon when you are arguing with your spouse. They will be burdened with how they can help reconcile the two of you.
I believe the underlying issue is do you want to grow? Do you want to become more mature in your relationships? Becoming better is the point, right? Not dragging the same baggage with you all your life from one relationship to the next. Then put your pride away and drag out your listening ears. Be strong enough to allow people who love you; help you. Be courageous enough to care more about the things you could improve on than the things you’re doing right. Focus on yourself; not your spouse. Focus on what you can do to improve your relationship. Don’t continue to be closed minded to how your behavior may make someone else feel.
How do we approach an issue that is viewed from two or more perspectives?
Ask God to show you His truth in this situation. Ask Him to give you a perspective of love.
John 8:32 “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
James 1:19 “This you know, my beloved brethren But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”
Listen from their vantage point.
Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
Respond in love.
Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Listen with your heart.
Proverbs 10:17 “Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life,
but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.”
Gently voice your perceived reality.
The desired outcome should NOT to belittle or discouraged, but to understand each other better and grow closer together as a couple.
Celebrate your differences and learn how to love better.
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