02 February 2011

You can win the argument, or you can win the relationship.

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This post started out as a comment on a Facebook page.  It got too long, so I erased it and made it into a post on my wall.  But then that got too long, so I moved it here.

Perry Noble was my pastor back in South Carolina, and he often would talk about things that other pastors would shy away from.  He would talk a lot about how to handle tough situations.  In one sermon, people could text in questions, and someone asked how to handle a relationship with a friend who is homosexual.  The woman didn't feel it was right, and wanted to know the best way to be her friend, while still standing up for what she believes in.

I know I have about 3 different types of readers.  Some of you are shocked that a pastor would address that in a large group.  Others of you are casually reading this and thinking I wonder what he says.  The rest of you are shocked that this is even an issue.

But what Perry said (and I'm paraphrasing) was that you can win the argument or you can win the relationship.

My interpretation of that?  You can fight over it and tell them you think they're wrong until you're blue in the face, but you will lose the relationship.  Or, you can let them know where you stand, and then continue to have a friendship.

This also goes for your children who are adults.  When you disagree with what they're doing, remember that you can win the argument or you can win the relationship.

When you lose the relationship, everyone loses.

**By the way, I am also a human, and therefore, not perfect.  While I do strive to build a relationship rather than win an argument, I know that I'm not always good at that.**


Rob said...

This is one of the things that I talk about in permarital counseling. Often we act like we are playing one on one in an argument. When we win we've really lost because we've defeated someone we love. Instead we should be on the same team and figure out a solution to the problem.

AnniePressley said...

I'm in group number 3 and my answer would have been something along the lines of "you handle the relationship the same way you did before they came out to you (which is incredibly hard if they know where you stand and you should respect that and maybe not think about yourself in this situation, you selfish ass)/as if it were any other relationship or friendship."

I guess I just don't get it...

AnniePressley said...

I know I don't know the full story and this is my acknowledgment to that. I've just seen so many people turn someone else's coming out process into THEIR "problem."

fowler said...

It can go both ways- whenever two people disagree about anything (which is pretty much in every relationship), these types of feelings can come up. Just as one person feels strongly in one direction, the other can experience the same feelings, but in the opposite direction. That's why I feel it's important for both sides to understand the challenge that the other one faces, and put the relationship first.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that each 'side' can choose to win the argument or win the relationship. It's not just a one-sided choice.

AnniePressley said...

I totally agree when it comes to most things, but for some reason or another it's a big deal when it comes to being gay. I mean, when you say "it's important for both sides to understand the challenge that the other one faces" I can't possibly understand the challenge a STRAIGHT PERSON would face when a friend of theirs comes out to them. It's straight privilege. I've never felt a challenge in my life (or that my life changed at all, actually) when a friend has come out to me. Maybe it's because I think there's nothing wrong with being gay and don't think my friends are going to hell because they are attracted to... people. I guess the only challenge I could think of is whether or not you want to be their friend anymore (which is what you seem to be getting at with the winning at the relationship), but why would people even think about not being someone's friend over that? I just don't understand turning someone out of your life over something that DOESN'T REALLY MATTER.

I am not trying to be rude or offend anyone, but I just don't understand the straight challenge of having someone come out to you. Maybe I just see the big picture and the importance of putting yourself aside for your friend?

But I definitely agree with winning at the relationship. That is important and probably easier when it comes to disagreeing on politics and religion. I'm just trying to say that straight people have straight privilege and we need to shut up about ourselves when we have privilege in a situation and help someone who doesn't.

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