Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meeting in the Middle

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Do you know the Diamond Rio song?

"I'd start walking your way 
You'd start walking mine 
We'd meet in the middle 
'Neath that old Georgia pine 
We'd gain a lot of ground 
'Cause we'd both give a little 
And there ain't no road to long 
When you meet in the middle "

I've always loved this song.
The story of finding the middle ground in the song is so sweet.
In real life?  I have spent a fair amount of time not liking that idea.
But, I am understanding that compromise can be a great gift.

Scott and I are a classic case of "opposites attract".
One tends toward clinginess, the other toward self-sufficiency. 
One of us, first response in a conflict is to fight.  The other's first response is flight.
One of an optimist, the other a pessimist.
One of us gets over involved in other people's lives, 
the other would rather not be involved at all.
Point being, we have conflict.

Conflict is okay.  It's not the bad guy.
Conflict can actually push us toward each other.

Conflict doesn't help join us together if we just run away from it.
It won't help if we always just concede and say, "fine have it your way!"
It won't help if we push and push for the other to completely agree with us.

The meeting in the middle?  That involves both parties reaching for the other.
Both speak with honest humility, and listen with the same.
We have to seek to understand the other, 
but know that even if we don't understand them, 
that doesn't mean their point of view is all wrong.
In the conflict, we can come to the middle ground of a healthy compromise.

"We'd gain a lot of ground 
'Cause we'd both give a little 
And there ain't no road to long 
When you meet in the middle "

Recently when we had conflict over an aspect of our opposite natures,
I had a simple realization, that hadn't really occurred to me in the past.
The place in between us, where we come to meet - 
I think that is the place where God wants us to be.
He made us two for oneness.


Stef said...

I love that song :)

This concept is a hard one for me. Mostly because I feel like I know some people who purposely invite conflicts into their lives because for whatever reason, they like it :(

However, conflicts are going to arise, this we know. We live in a fallen world and we're all sinners.
I love when they can be resolved peacefully and with both parties understanding everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

I had one parent growing up who did not allow your opinion to be heard or shared. That was frustrating. It made me want to always avoid conflict with that parent. Just give them their way and make them happy. Say what they want to hear.

Anyway. I agree with you. I think especially in marriage conflict, though rough, can have a wonderful outcome. It means we're communicating, we're trying to figure life out together and it means we both care. Usually afterward we understand each other better and any hidden issues were brought to the surface for us to work and pray through.

Ethan is memorizing James 1:19 right now and every time I hear him quote it, I pray God will continue to work that into my heart. I need to listen quicker and talk slower. My side of something isn't always the most important.

Erin said...

Thanks for the distinction, Stef! It is not healthy to stir up strife and create drama. That is not the sort of conflict I want! When conflict is created on purpose, that is definitely different than accepting and working through conflicts as they come.
YES on James 1:19! And Psalm 103:8 ?The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness." I could use having that plastered to my forehead. :)

Mamma Stone said...

Loved this...I so need to remember this all the time :)

Stef said...

Psalm 103:8 I love! Good one.
I just loved this post - these are good things to think on.

Bill said...

Thanks for sharing your insights on this important topic. Kathy & I are opposites in many ways and God made us this way so we can see differences of opinion--life is not boring! I've gradually learned to listen more rather than just withdrawing or getting mad. I'm reminded of a verse from Dear Abby: Fear less;hope more. Eat less;chew more. Talk less;say more. Hate less;love more.

Nicola said...

I love the post and song. Your so right, coming to the middle of a conflict draws you much closer to each other.