Bringing in the New Year in the dark isn’t fun. January 2018, our neighborhood power shut off and we’d invited guests to celebrate the New Year with us. There isn’t much you can do without electricity, because everything we use depends on it. We ended up calling the power company, who confirmed there was an outage in the area, and they promised to be there as soon as possible. I don’t know many people who rejoice when the power goes out. It signals that something is going on and needs attention. The same is true about our relationships. When the power goes out, we should try to find out what is going on. Did we forget to invest in it? Did we dishonor our commitment? Are we the type of people who others feel secure being around in our relationships? The answer to our questions can be the difference between being pitiful or powerful in our relationships. We cannot be both.
Over the holiday weekend, I had the opportunity to begin reading Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk. I’ve heard for quite some time that I needed to read this book, but I never got around to it. I’m so glad that I did. If you haven’t read it, it talks about how to navigate relationships the right way. If we are honest, many of us don’t know what true relationship resembles. Since we don’t know, we allow the power to go out and sometimes blow our fuses.
One of the sections that stood out to me was the difference between a powerful person and a powerless person. We all like to feel that we are powerful, but power doesn’t look like control. It looks like respecting your values and boundaries and understanding that people also have their values as well.
We think power is:
Getting people to agree with what we have to say and how we feel. Even if our way isn’t the only way.
Getting “our way.”
Being able to “win the argument” and to prove our point at any cost.
Using a firm tone of voice to be heard without considering how our words impact those who are listening.
If need be, rude behavior is acceptable. It is about us, isn’t it?
Blaming people for what does or doesn’t turn out the way we want. We have rights!
Honoring someone’s need to be heard. Instead of proving your point, allowing the other person to share theirs without judgment.
The “way” is built on healthy communication, not abusive language.
The most significant win is to value the person you are communicating with and work towards honoring them, even in heated fellowships.
Using a respectful tone and being aware of how your words are impacting the person you are speaking with.
Taking ownership of our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. When we are wrong, we can own that too!
The only way we can love and remain connected in our relationships is to keep God at the foundation. He is love, and he demonstrates perfect love to us. Our love could use some work because we think of it as a feeling, instead of a commitment. Keep our love on is about honoring others: whether in marriage, family or friendships. It is making a fresh commitment to choose to respond in love at all costs. When we see disconnection happening in our relationships or power outages, we don’t have to throw in the towel and sit in the dark. We need to address the hard conversations and allow the lights to be turned on once again. Being a problem solver is taking a powerful stance.
Will you be a powerful or powerless person in your relationships?