“Tear down this wall!” was the challenge issued by United States President Ronald Reagan to Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to destroy the Berlin Wall, in a speech at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987, commemorating the 750th anniversary of Berlin. It is also the challenge that Dr. Chapman gives us in his book “God Speaks Your Love Language.”
But what if the person you are in a relationship with does not want to work to tear down the wall that exists between you and them? You want your relationship to improve but they are showing no interest.
Yesterday we wrote about not finding fault in others but admitting personal faults. We wrote about asking forgiveness for our shortcomings.
Say you do that, but your loved one does not want to reciprocate?
What do you do?
First of all you need to feel better about yourself. You have made a move in the right direction and as Dr. Chapman says, “you are free to be a part of the solution instead of a part of the problem. You can be a positive stimulus for good in the relationship.”
There is a long list of reasons the other person will not make a move to change the relationship dynamic. Maybe they are too prideful to change; that would mean they would have to acknowledge some of their faults. Many people are mired in habits that have been there a long time and sometimes they are not even aware of what they are doing [actions become automatic]. There are people who fear change of any kind. My Mom is fearful to change doctors even though she is not too pleased with the local doctor she has seen for many years. She says “at least he is familiar ground.” They may not be sure about your motivation to change; they have suspicions that you are “up to something” and possibly you are trying to manipulate them. Lastly, some people are so angry that they won’t change. Your change challenges them to change and they don’t want to. The may even work hard to get you to go back to your old ways, even though your old ways were driving them crazy.
These are just a few reasons why people may resist the removal of barriers between themselves and you.
How is a wall destroyed? The easy answer is one block at a time.
This is going to sound flip but it was built that way. It probably started as something small and slowly but surely resentment set in. Believe it or not, it could be as minor as taking out the garbage or it could be as major as failing to meet another’s sexual needs.
What do we do to mortar that block? We ignore it. It settles in and then another block is added until the wall is high on both sides and it is a serious matter.
I have to admit that tearing down a wall from both sides is ideal but believe it or not, if you begin to dismantle a wall from your side, your spouse will have an easier time beginning demolition.
James 4:17 “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
You know you need to make the first move. You know you have faults you need to confess. You know you need to seek forgiveness.
Begin to tear down that wall.