Collaborate without boundaries

Day 172: Love lets the other win

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Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.—Philippians 2:4


Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. Tell them you are putting their preference first.

--This is an area that I am struggling with and I wish I could be better at. I know that there is standing for what I believe & being a "doormat" in the process.  When to yield and when not to yield?  Differentiating the two is easier said than done, at least for me. Our latest “disagreement” is the software program which she is refusing to give me; do I just drop it or do I keep pursuing it?   I know that I have been mistaken many times that when I acquiesced towards her, she will reciprocate similarly.  In her eyes, when she makes demands and I cave, she see me as weak and unattractive...and is likely taking advantage of me.  I know that I can't "nice" my way back into her heart.  But, I also know that I can’t “mean” my way into her heart.   I need to work on being self-assured, strong, and confident and on strengthening my boundaries & my PIES....mainly for myself.    James 3:17 “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield.”

I am asking Father God to guide me in this area:

Dear Father God, I come to you in Jesus’ name.  I thank You for Your willingness to listen to my struggles. Father God, stubbornness only leads to heartache and frustration, I pray for stubbornness to be eliminated in our marriage.  Father God, release a spirit of willingness on our marriage so that we can resolve issues.  Father God, help us have a loving marriage, help me and Mary Beth be agreeable and look for reasons to compromise and accommodate each other. Father God, help us exemplify our ultimate example of selfless love found in Jesus Christ. Jesus was willing to obey His Father in laying down His life to pay for our sins.  As Philippians 2:5 says “have this attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus”, help us to have an attitude of humbly submitting.  Father God, allow us to NOT be afraid of losing an argument if we give-in, no one wins in a fight.  Give us the willingness to fearlessly give-in.  Father God, help us clearly see the opportunity to be a blessing to our spouse by giving up what we want for what the other desires. Father God, help us see that the little, day-to-day issues are not worth the stress and heartache arguing causes.  Father God, help us to use Your Word and Your moral convictions guide us in our decision making. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

I am thankful to our God for: having a job; setting-up a follow-up appointment for Bella for her arm; and completing one of my small groups where I made a lot of new friends.


  • Remember v.18 though "a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace" and that sowing in love and commitment to God will have the greater victory in the end.

  • Is the software program for personal use or more important than that? If it's just something you "want" I would forget about it. I was a doormat and I do not regret it. Jesus Christ was a doormat as far as I can tell. Giving selflessly to others is an honor. Forgive seven times seventy, right?!

    I'm glad you used the word "stubbornness" because I needed to see that. That's me in a nutshell. I need to let go of that myself. You've helped me tremendously today. Thank you.

  • Thank you for asking.  I don’t think it is really about the software program…maybe a power struggle??  A few weeks ago, I asked MB if I can get “Final Cut Pro” (an Apple video editing software) off of her laptop computer so that I can transfer it to my laptop computer. The software was something we purchased just before she left the house.  When I first asked her about it a few weeks ago she said she was okay with it (she never uses the software) …I recommended we can go to an Apple Store to do it (for her to feel safe about it).  I have talked to Apple Support and they say it is a very easy process.  

    However, since then, she has been refusing, giving me illogical reasons like “she changed her mind,” “I don’t know my Apple ID,” “I don’t have time to go to the Apple Store,” or “I am uncomfortable sharing her Apple ID with you,” or she just does not respond to my voice message or text message asking if I can get the software.  

    I don’t think it is unreasonable request?  Should I just drop it (it is a relatively minor issue or “fight”)?  If the software did not cost so much ($300) I would just purchase it again and forgot about asking her. I have given in to a lot of her requests since the start of this.  I do worry that if I drop it, it makes me appear weak and unattractive if I continue to give-in again.  Technically the software is “martial property,” so I could just include it in the division of the asset’s agreement through the lawyers.  I have been asking about once a week for the past few weeks.  Is it a control issue?  Just a frustrating situation…

  • Are you showing unity in the marriage or highlighting the division when you continue to ask and she continues to say no?

    Did Jesus become a doormat when he was crucified?  Because he surely could have stopped the crucifixion.  Did He go part way and allow the mocking and spitting and plucking His beard but then say no to the whipping and being nailed?  Or did He completely lay down His life and give up everything?

    It is pathetic she wont give in and give you what she will never use.  But our spouses just aren't rational right now.  Maybe in the days or months ahead she will let her wall down enough to give you the software.

  • Be very careful when you think of boundaries.  When we think of boundaries we think of taking control from God and  putting that  control in our hands.  Looking after the self interest of ourselves.

    Jesus could have put up boundaries and  not allowed Judas to betray Him, or to be forced to carry His cross.

    When you are meek and humble that is when you show strength.  Just as Jesus looked so strong when He forgave us in the last moments of His life hanging on a  cross, dying in a most meek and humble way.  

  • She may say she sees weakness in you when you "give in".  But she will know it takes a strong man to do what you did and are doing, which is being in the dares.

    Mine said, and it surprised me, it takes a strong man to (continue to love her when I knew she was minimally talking to a lot of different guys.)  I did not think she would see or say that.  Yours will see your strength too in all this.

    And it isn't our strength, it is God's  strength in us.  And one  day they will realize that if we continue to  be consistent in our testimony.

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