I want to continue my new perspective with the 2nd part of my blog today. I hope this will further illustrate yesterday's points.
Difficult Conversations Part 2: Constructive Criticism
I want to continue on our topic of difficult conversations. Last time I focused on anger and how to best communicate when your mate-to-be is angry as well as how to resolve the issue so it won’t taint the rest of your day or week. Remember to always look at how you respond to a statement or to a situation on the front end, that can and does make all the difference. Never let the sun set before you have both resolved your differences.
Today’s topic is constructive criticism. Constructive criticism can be hard to take sometimes but I can tell you this, your fiancé has good will toward you and he is telling you something for a reason because he wants to help you be the best woman you can be. In other words, many times constructive criticism is wise council. King Solomon had much to say about constructive criticism also called wise council:
Prov. 2:2- “turn your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding…”
Prov. 3:13- “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding…”
Prov. 4:5-6 “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.”
Prov. 13:10b- “…wisdom is found in those who take advice.”
Prov. 11:2- “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Wise council may not always be what you want to hear but if you listen and apply it, you will also be wise and humble. Remember constructive criticism can also be hard to give, your fiancé has no idea at that moment how you will perceive what he is telling you. When you take wise council or constructive criticism in the spirit with which it was given, you also show that you care about your fiancé’s thoughts and feelings.
Open your ears and your mind; close your mouth. You might be surprised what you will learn about yourself, about him, and the world God has called you to influence. 🙂
Until next time,
My insight in 2016:
First of all, the fact that I called "that" (constantly telling me what I was doing wrong) "constructive criticism" just amazes me now. Hindsight is always 20/20. I read that blog now and notice all the Christianese and attempts to find a purpose for what was happening in that relationship.
A month passed between the first part of the blog and the second part, partly because I was busy prepping for a wedding but mostly because I was trying to keep up with ridiculous expectations.
I had been told at least twice that month of things I was doing wrong or I needed to change, usually not very nicely either. This had also happened before a couple of times in 2010. The reality is I wasn't doing anything wrong, I was just not doing them like he liked them done. He also got to where he repeatedly told me I talked too much. I believe now he didn't want me talking unless he thought it was a "good idea" or his idea. I had no idea what I was headed for. For Jeff's part, I think he did and did not know what he was doing. He was a very confused, hurting man but so good at hiding it.
Now please don't misunderstand me, good constructive criticism is valuable and if someone loves you, they will point out your blind spots lovingly to help you. They won't do it to tell you how wrong or bad you are or to change who you are, there is a big difference. The verses I gave in my old blog account for a loving, mutually respectful relationship while what I was experiencing at the time was less than that I assure you.
I can tell you for my part, I will never allow myself to be spoken to that way again. I will not be devalued nor falsely accused. I will not allow anyone to try to change who I am. God made me, no one else did, and He didn't make a mistake. I would encourage you to never let anyone do any of this to you. If you are the one falsely accusing someone, putting someone down or trying to change them, why? What it going on within you that makes you think you have a right to do that to another person? You need to answer those questions for own good. You are only hurting yourself and others.
Guard your identity. Guard your heart. Guard your life. Much evil comes from the undoing of these three things if you do not. I implore you!
Until next time,