By Kermit Rowe
I like to call it “The Flip.” It is as unnatural as it is powerful. But if a couple can make “The Flip,” then the future growth of their relationship and happiness takes an upward trajectory.
What I am speaking of is a change of focus in our relationship. If we are honest, when we enter a relationship with a significant other, we do so with the expectation that this person will make us happier in our life. We love them, but a big component of that love often is how that person makes us feel. But what if we changed our approach, turning to a divine truth to transform our relationship and home?
As the relationship progresses, we realize the full reality of something that we knew but never gave much credence: our partner isn’t perfect, and neither are we. There are differences in every relationship, and those differences can easily become challenges, even points of contention … because, “Hey, he/she was supposed to keep me happy till death do us part. And now they aren’t. And I don’t know if I love them anymore.”
How do you avoid this seemingly natural relationship regression? You both focus on “The Flip.” Instead of being concerned about what you can get out of your love relationship, you interact for what you can give to it. Now you are focused on making your partner happy, not you. And they focus on making you happy, confident that you have their needs as your highest priority. Suddenly, both partners are spending their energy on giving, not taking. Loving, not manipulating. Progressing, not stalling.
From a spiritual perspective, this giving-focused couple is prioritizing serving, not being served. We are never more like our Savior than when we give sacrificially. That kind of servanthood strengthens trust, fosters honesty and creates a stronger bond – not just for the couple, but for their entire household. It also enacts God’s infinite, transforming power into our love for each other. You have achieved “The Flip,” flipping your upside-down relationship right side up and opening the door for His blessings in your home.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.