Our small group has been listening to podcasts by Andy Stanley for a few weeks, and last night’s was really good. The series is called Staying In Love, and Andy addresses why people seem to fall out of love after years of being in love and what couples can do to fight back against the decay of love in marriages.
We watched part 3 last night. It was about feelings and how important it is to be able to recognize what we feel because a lot of conflict arises as a result of what is going on inside of our own hearts rather than what our spouses are doing, and it’s easier to simply blame someone else for making us feel a certain way than it is to take responsibility for ourselves. Andy gave an illustration in which Mr & Mrs Mug had a conflict. When there was conflict or a “bump” blue beads fell out of Mr. Mug, and pink beads fell out of Mrs. Mug. They blamed each other saying, “If you didn’t do this or say that these beads wouldn’t have spilled out of me,” but the truth was the blue beads fell out of Mr. Mug because that’s what was inside of him. In the same way, if we have anger inside, anger will spill out when there is conflict.
One discussion question that really stuck out to me was this: Andy says that your ability to feel certain things is determined by the condition of your heart. Why is this more important than your partner’s behavior?
I sat and thought about it for a minute. Other people shared their thoughts, and then I saw a picture.
It was hard and dry soil. Good seeds were being tossed onto it, but the ground couldn’t receive them because it was too hard. Our hearts are the same way. My husband can do all the right things. He can do his best to show me love, but if my heart is hard, I won’t feel it. My heart won’t recognize it. So the condition of my heart is more important than his behavior because the condition of my heart determines whether or not love can be received in the first place.
I think I’ve always known that somewhere in me, but like so many other things, I needed to hear it in a new way for it to really come to life and make sense.
If you want to check out the series, you can find it HERE, or just look it up on YouTube. There are 4 parts.