Leaving Father and Mother

A Man must leave his Father and His Mother

This scriptural verse is truer today than ever. Indeed, the lack of utilizing its wisdom causes much grief in families in this 21st century.

Husbands and wives argue over decisions and it leads to much pain and suffering. They often cannot agree on the right answer. Inevitably, one or the other will reach outside of the marriage for support of their own personal view of the situation. If both resort to this option then they can end up being the in person advocate for other people who have no real interest in the outcome.

That is a recipe for disaster, because talk is cheap but living out the result of the cheap talk is very pricey for those who own the argument in the first place. Long story short – keep it between the two of you. Remember to talk to one another and not other people, especially parents. Parents have a strong tendency to support their offspring and enjoy being part of that process.

To begin with we must learn to argue civilly. We must learn to express ourselves in a low intensity and calm way that lacks hostile expression or accusations or even threats. We must also learn to recognize when ego is involved and do our best to eliminate its influence. In this day and age that is often asking a lot, but if we cannot be successful in this facet then we are not likely to be successful in a thoughtful resolution that is acceptable to all concerned.

Next, we must understand that it is normal to not always agree. The longer we live together the more we begin to think alike and therefore we will agree more often. We must also understand that it ok to disagree, the disagreement can actually lead to working our way through the decision and make each person feel more comfortable with the final decision.

Finally, we should agree on which one will be responsible for living out the decision, that is, which one will face the most impact from the decision. That person should be given more latitude in the overall process.

Once that final decision is made, both should work hard to make it come to fruition, and no reverting to the original arguing process to prove themselves ‘correct’ if difficulties arise.

God understands human beings completely. He knows they will not always agree and hopes the process of resolving the issue will flesh it out in a way that both can live with.

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The Experience Bias

Deep within the heart of man is a desire to be normal, at least most of the time. While there are exceptions for those who celebrate being different, most prefer seeing themselves as normal compared to the larger grouping.

In counseling sessions, it is not uncommon to literally hear that question, “Am I normal?”.  Which usually means please tell me I am not too far off the grid that others inhabit; or, tell me I don’t have to change too much; or, tell me there is not something really wrong with me.

These questions presuppose that the person being asked these questions is a trusted person that is someone “normal” themselves and therefore, likely knows what normal is. There is a comfort in being told by such a person, that we are, indeed, normal because a respected normal person says so.

Hmmm, but what if they aren’t. What if they have biases themselves and their advice for us is based on those biases.

It would not be uncommon to choose someone who, we know, has experienced the same things that bring us to them for help. Surely that would-be a plus, wouldn’t it? Logically, yes it would. But, what if you are a person who celebrates your different-ness and they are not. Wouldn’t their solution be different from a solution that would work for us?

Isn’t it normal to hear someone explain a problem they want help with and the counselor filter that experience through their own experience?  Yes, it would. So, the real question for us is, “How do we know we have chosen a counselor who is right for us and hopefully, free of biases and capable of giving us good, solid direction”?

Ultimately, we must have faith that the good Lord has led us to the right person. Scripture reminds us that ‘we live by faith and not by sight’. But, if after a few sessions we find ourselves unpeaceful or unsettled in the presence of the counselor then it may be time to look elsewhere.

God is good, and wants us to feel good about ourselves. Our faith in Him will sooner or later come to fruition and we will end up with the correct person for us. Just remember He paints our path to Him with jagged lines that lead us straight. We must be willing to walk those jagged lines in faith and with the courage to stand up for ourselves to move on to another counselor if need be.