A mother was preparing a pancake breakfast for her little boys, Kevin and Ryan. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake, and their mom saw the perfect opportunity for a moral lesson. “Now, boys, hold on a minute here. Let me tell you: If Jesus were sitting here, he would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.'” The two children sat silent for a moment. Then the five year-old, Kevin, turned to his younger brother and said, “Okay, Ryan, you be Jesus!”
Nothing I can do in the present can take away the mistreatment of the past, the way I carry myself in the present determines how I carry forward the memories of those mistreatments. When I see others as objects, I dwell on the injustices I have suffered in order to justify myself, keeping my mistreatments and suffering alive within me. When I see others as people, on the other hand, then I free myself from the need for justification. I therefore free myself from the need to focus unduly on the worst that has been done to me. I am free to leave the worst behind me, and to see not only the bad but the mixed and good in others as well.
“But none of that is possible,” he continued, “if my heart is at war. A heart at war needs enemies to justify its warring. It needs enemies and mistreatment more than it wants peace.”
“Yuck,” Ria said under her breath.
“Yuck, indeed,” Yusuf (Palestinian) agreed. “A high-ranking Israeli political leader once said to me, ‘we and our enemies are perfect for each other. Each of us gives the other reason never to have to change.’ Unfortunately, the same is true in our homes and workplaces. The outward wars around us start because of an inward war that goes unnoticed: someone starts seeing others as objects, and others use that as justification for doing the same. This is the germ, and germination, of war. When we’re carrying this germ, we’re just wars waiting to happen.”
The Arbinger Institute, The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict, second edition
… and you don’t even know it
Having an affair is not even on your radar. Never gonna happen. You love your spouse and you’d never be unfaithful to her or him. However, you may be unaware of other ways you are being unfaithful. If these actions continue, you may find yourself on the slippery slope that leads to that never-intended affair and a sorrow you never wanted in your life.
Unfaithfulness usually creeps in through the back door, disguising itself as harmless fun or innocent behavior. If you want your marriage to endure and be filled with happiness you may need to check this list to see if you have fallen prey to any of these unfaithful behaviors.
2. Confiding in the opposite gender
3. Spending time alone with someone else
4. Talking negatively about your mate
5. Chatting on the Internet with someone of the opposite sex
6. Dressing to attract the attention of someone other than your spouse
7. Writing personal intimate notes or letters to someone else
8. Not being a willing sexual partner with your spouse
9. Putting your parents before your spouse
10. Putting your children before your spouse
Check yourself on these points and make sure you are being 100 percent faithful to your spouse. By doing this you will create a genuinely happy and fulfilling marriage.
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