Disagreeing Honorably

A blog from Danny Silk’s Loving on Purpose

“How can two people disagree honorably? Is there such a thing? Danny brings this question t to the surface and explains that, in a culture of honor, both people in the conversation matter; therefore,we don’t have to agree. It’s our job to listen and our goal to understand. This can be seen between spouses, between parent and child, and even between our spiritual leaders and us. When you don’t do what I want you to do, and my response is to be punishing or to withhold my love from you, this is dishonoring. In essence, when we respond like this, we are saying, ‘I want control – you should only do what I want you to do,’ because we don’t trust them to make their own choices.

Dishonor says, ‘I have the power – you have no power.’ Somehow, people can often bring a lie into their marriages, which is one of us gets to have the most power. You can control yourself and yourself alone. You don’t have all the power, but you are also not powerless. So when we disagree, becoming a T-Rex (pretending you have all the power) or a victim (pretending you have no power) is not the answer. To honor each other in disagreement, we must both realize that there are two powerful people in this conversation. Our goal is to UNDERSTAND, not to agree! Making ‘agreement’ the goal, is when it gets ugly. Negotiate, keep communication open, and make connection your goal above this issue!

When you’re disconnected is NOT the time to solve a problem. I wouldn’t talk to a drunk person on the street about the fact that they need life skills, would I? In the same way, we don’t want to be trying to solve our problems when we’re EMOTIONALLY intoxicated. Don’t try to work on an issue when someone’s emotions are running rampant.

In a disagreement or conflict, the way we talk and the motives we assign to the other person will be according to either our connection or our issue. This is why making connection the goal, even in the midst of conflict, is so important. If distance is my goal, I can’t see you doing anything right! But if my goal is love and connection, it doesn’t matter what you do.

The number one tool for changing a lousy marriage is to change your goal back to a good connection. Honoring each other in disagreement is a practiced skill, so it will take time and patience. It comes with having the right goal, listening well, and respecting each other’s differences. By remembering that there is more than one way to see everything, you’ll keep honor alive even in the most adverse situations.”

For more information on honor, resolving conflict, and healthy relationships,check out Danny & Sheri’s vast number of resources at lovingonpurpose.com