Those of us who are in relationships with others—which includes the majority of us—must consider the feelings and the needs of those in our lives, especially those dependent on us for physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual support. Bottom line: we need each other. How sad it is when those around us are being hurt by our actions and/or our choices. No man is an island, and the things we choose to do affects others. Often the effects of our behaviors and choices are extreme and needless.
I’m reminded of a person who often gets in a “bad mood” and others have to walk around careful not to “set him off” so that he won’t behavior with anger toward them. Why should other people have to take measures to keep you happy just because you are in a ‘mood’? For heaven’s sake, get in a good mood! You have the ability to choose your attitudes and ‘moods’.
One day I got up feeling cranky. I walked around the house in a bad mood for a while, then I thought, “This is crazy. I don’t have to feel this way.” So I straightened my posture, lifted my chin, and put a smile on my face. It may have been a fake smile for a little while, but before long it was a real smile and my mood changed from bad to good. I chose my mood.
We are responsible for one another, and we need to treat each other with respect and honor. If everyone would strive to make others in the home whole and happy, what a difference it would make in our society. Children would grow up feeling valued, husbands and wives would get along, and we’d all walk taller, feel better and be happier.
A few years ago I read a book by Gary Smalley called Love is a Decision. One of the best books I’ve ever read. I have made a list of things we often do in our homes to dishonor one another, and many of these came from that book. Some I added. It’s been a long time, and I don’t remember which are mine and which are Smalley’s, but this list has helped me and others to improve our relationships in our homes. I want to share the list with you.
Dishonoring Acts in the Home
- Ignoring or degrading another person’s opinions, advice, or beliefs
- Burying oneself in the television or newspaper when another person is trying to communicate with us
- Creating jokes about another person’s weak areas or shortcomings
- Making regular verbal attacks on loved ones—criticizing harshly, being judgmental, and delivering uncaring lectures
- Refusing to respond or habitually being silent when another person is speaking to us
- Making major decisions without the input of a partner and/or against the will of a partner
- Undeserved accusations, suspicions, or distrust
- Treating in-laws or other relatives as unimportant in one’s planning and communication
- Calling a parent or spouse degrading names such as “the old man” or “the old lady”
- Degrading marriage with such terms as “ball and chain” or “prison” or with jokes about marriage
- Degrading terms/remarks concerning the children: “Brats” or “My children are driving me crazy”
- Ignoring or simply not expressing appreciation for kind deeds done for us
- Distasteful habits that are practiced in front of the family—even after we are asked to stop
- Over committing ourselves to other projects or people so that everything outside the home seems more important than those inside the home
- Power struggles that leave one person feeling that he or she is a child or is being harshly dominated
- An unwillingness to admit that we are wrong or to ask forgiveness
- Breaking commitments/not keeping your word
- Breaking a trust