This week we had the absolute honor of chatting with a special guest and one of our most influential relationship mentors, Joe Woodruff. Joe helped us transform our relationship and showed us what it is and what it could be.

Let’s start out with a short story…..

One afternoon, there was a woman who’s having an extremely bad day. You know, the type of day where it seems like nothing would ever go right. She left her house after a disagreement with her husband and then proceeded through delay after delay. She had to be in 2 places at once for her kids and get them where they needed to be next, plus she needed to do a quick grocery run as well.

While in the store, she grabbed a cart, furiously went down each aisle to put things into her cart but suddenly had to stop when she saw an old man in the middle of the aisle, unseemingly able to finish what he was doing. He would grab a bar of soap, put it to his nose and then put it back. Grab another, put it to his nose, put it back. Over and over again. She couldn’t get around him, which meant to get to where she needed to go, she would have to go all the way down and around him, so she was waiting for him impatiently to finish.

Finally, she noticed a tear falling down his weathered face. She took a deep breath, walked around and cart and asked, “Sir, is there anything I can do for you?” He looked at her and replied, “Oh, I’m sorry dear. I didn’t mean to be on your way. I’m just trying to find my wife’s soap.” She said, “well, do you know what brand it is? Maybe I can help you find it.” To which he replied, “well, I don’t know what it’s called at all.” “That’s ok,” she said, “I have a phone. Would you like to give her a call and find out?” The old man looked at her, his eyes now even more red than before and said, Dear, my wife died months ago. I just want to smell her, again.”

In that moment, the argument with her husband, the delay in her day, the frantic schedule with her children, all came into perspective when she realized what was most important.

So how do we create that kind of deep, beautiful, and connected relationship that the old man and his wife clearly had?

In years of working with different kinds of relationship, may it be romantic, parental, friendship, or through work, we have discovered that there are 3 dynamics that solidify relationships and cause it to be AMAZING. It’s all outlined in Joe’s book called, “I’m on Your Side, Scoot Over.” Allow us to give you a brief explanation of them.

  1. Affirmation.
    This is how you communicate to your partner and express that you love them for who they are, what they already bring to the table, what you love about them, what makes them beautiful and distinctive.

  2. Acceptance.
    This is how you love the person as they are. The good, the bad and all their quirks. You know how our partners have these quirks that are unique to them? Yes, they can sometimes be annoying, but quirks are also a sign that a person is comfortable of their environment. And once a person feels comfortable enough to show their quirks to the person they love, they then feel safe to reveal more about themselves, knowing that they are going to be loved no matter what. This is also one of the things we learn from Genesis Chapter 3, “Fear rooted in shame causes separation.” PS Want to know our quirks? Make sure you check out the live video Part 1 here.

  3. Advocacy.
    This is all about focusing on how you can truly express to your partner that you are FOR them. That you know they are becoming the person that God has designed them to be.

We’ve integrated these principles into our online course, How to Fight Fair. Because who are we kidding? Relationships are hard and conflict is bound to happen…just like the woman in the parable who had a disagreement with her husband. But to have that kind of relationship we’re striving for (the one where right until the very end, the love is deep and incredible), means not only dealing with every situation and but also improving each time…until eventually, it becomes easier.

Check out the course here.

And if you would like to watch both parts 1 and 2 of this interview, head over to our Facebook page and follow the links here.  

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