Freedom from the Fear of Harm
Rule #3: I love you too much to harm you. We are all vulnerable to severe harm on certain issues. They include past mistakes, sensitivities, insecurities, fears or guilt. I won’t subject you to harm by raising these things.
It seems almost too simple; “Don’t hurt each other”. But when the tempers flare and the anger gets rolling, we need to remember the Rule Number 3. “I love you too much to harm you in any way!” For those in abusive relationships, please read our message on abuse. For the rest of us, please take a moment and consider just how seriously we take that rule.
Harm comes in all Shapes and Sizes
Have you ever had a guilty conscience? Remember that when we feel most vulnerable either by guilt, remorse, grief or regret, we are much more open to harm. Even a sharp word can inflict terrible pain. Remember the lessons on the Greatest Fears of Men. If this man, who has these in-born fears of being unworthy of respect or approval, has just been told that he has lost his job, this would not be a good time to remind him that your mother always thought he would never amount to anything! While what you say might be true enough, this would not be a great time to remember it!
Learning is the KEY to everything we do!
Our main purpose in every exchange within our marriage is to learn! We need to learn about ourselves and we need to learn about that other person! We will often find things that our marriage partner feels vulnerable about that we had no idea were sensitive topics. We each bring a “history” with us into marriage; both good and bad. We each have goals and dreams that may or may not be attainable. We have things that we feel very good about on one day…and just as bad about on the next. Time changes our opinions about how we feel about things that happened long ago and vulnerabilities appear and disappear over time.
If you think that you have been married to the same person long enough that you don’t have anything more to learn, wait a few minutes and that same person will surprise you. Those surprises almost always come in the form of hurt or harm that we had no idea was coming from things we have said or done. I have jokingly said several different times, that even having been married to the same person all of these years I sometimes feel I’ve been married to six different women!
There is always more to Learn
Before we point our fingers in judgment, we need to keep in mind that there might just be something we might need to learn from this event. How many times have two people looked at the same scene but viewed it very differently. If you ask yourself “Why” instead of, “How dare you?”, you will learn more and harm less! It takes a heart that is humble enough to realize we don’t know everything before we can learn something new.