Family Focus
 
 
LOVE SEEKS TO UNDERSTAND Dr. Richard Carlson
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. Proverbs 3:13
 
We enjoy discovering as much as we can about the things we truly care about. If it’s our favorite football team, we’ll read anything that helps us keep up with how they’re doing. If it’s cooking, we’ll tune to those channels that share the best grilling techniques or dessert recipes. If there’s a subject that appeals to us, we’ll take notice any time it comes up. In fact, it’s often like an area of personal study.
It’s fine, of course, to have outside interests and to be knowledgeable about certain things. But this is where love would ask the question, “How much do you know about your mate?” Think back to the days when you were courting. Didn’t you study the one your heart was yearning for? When a man is trying to win the heart of a woman, he studies her. He learns her likes, dislikes, habits, and hobbies. But after he wins her heart and marries her, he often stops learning about her. The mystery and challenge of knowing her seems less intriguing, and he finds his interests drifting to other areas.
 
This is also true in many cases for women, who start off admiring and building respect for the man they desire to be with. But after marriage, those feelings begin to fade as reality reveals that her “prince” is a flawed and imperfect man. Yet there are still hidden things to discover about your spouse. And this understanding will help draw you closer together. It can even give you favor in the eyes of your mate.
Do you know his or her greatest hopes and dreams? Do you fully understand how they prefer to give and receive love? Do you know what your spouse’s greatest fears are and why they struggle with them?
 
Some of the problems you have in relating to your spouse are simply because you don’t understand them. They probably react very differently to certain situations than you do, and you can’t figure out why. These differences – even the ones that are relatively insignificant – can be the cause of many fights and conflicts in your marriage. That’s because, as the Bible says, we tend to “revile” those things we don’t understand (Jude10).
 
There are reasons for his or her tastes and preferences. Each nuance in your spouse’s character has a back story. Each element of who he is, how he thinks, and what he’s like is couched in a set of guiding principles, which often makes sense only to the person who holds them. But it’s worth the time it will take to study why they are the way they are