This might surprise you, but a couple of years ago Em and I got in a fight. I don’t even remember what it was about, but I’m sure I was in the right.
If you’re like us, there’s one of you in the relationship that apologizes a little more quickly than the other. In our relationship, that person is me. Emily on the other hand, likes to sit on things a little while before she apologizes about something. Which I guess is probably ok, because she’s rarely wrong. :)
Back to the story, this time I was in the right and I knew it. I was so excited to hear em say those words, “I’m sorry”. I waited and waited and waited -nothing. She never said it.
I was so mad. I did what all good pastors would do, I decided to give her the silent treatment until she apologized. Mission silent treatment experiment launched on Friday. Friday came and went -no apology. Saturday came and went- no apology.
I couldn’t believe it. Homegirl was acting like everything was OK. My anger grew and grew.
Sunday morning came. We went to church. I dunno, something about church and God moving in my heart got me rethinking the mission silent treatment experiment. I decided I would give in and break the ice -I would make a move. The conversation went like this.
SHELBY: Have you noticed that I have been doing giving you the silent treatment all weekend? Have you noticed I haven’t said anything to you?
EMILY: No, not really. I’ve thought we’ve had a great weekend.
hahaha I really showed her.
I was waiting for her to make a move, and because I was waiting for her to do something our relationship was stuck. My mind was stuck way back on Friday’s fight and I was getting angry with each passing moment. I started to write a story that she was purposely avoiding the apology.
Take a look at this verse, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” (NLT) Eph. 4:2–3
Notice this verse isn’t an “If then…” type of verse. It doesn’t say, “If the other person is humble and gentle to you then you should be humble and gentle to them. If the other person is patient then you…..” No, it says always. It’s completely detached from the other person.
This verse points us to a really important lesson in life. Look inwards. You don’t need to wait on the other person in the relationship to be loving, to be gentle, to be humble, to be patient….just do it.
I needed that. I needed to move first.
Do you have a relationship you feel stuck in? What if you moved first in that relationship?
What if you moved first towards humility?
What if you moved first towards gentleness?
What if you moved first towards patience?
What if you moved first towards love?
What if you moved first towards the relationship? Do you have a relationship that feels stuck? What would it look like to move first towards them today?