Arrogant know-it-alls stir up discord, but wise men and women listen to each other’s counsel.
Proverbs 13:10 (The Message)
I just caught a snippet of this on the news the other day, and the idea intrigued me. That is, the idea of looking at the current rift in our political parties as an issue for a couples counseling. I had written several weeks ago about the sad state of “non-communication” across the aisle between Democrats and Republicans, so this idea piqued my interest. What if I had the two major political parties in my office for counseling?
I have had the occasion, over the years, to counsel couples in the most incredible points of stress imaginable. On more than one occasion, I have had the experience of having one member of a marriage stating that they planned to divorce the other- for the very first time ever spoken between them. Also, I have had the experience of having one member tell the other that they were having an affair- again, for the very first time. So, I am used to the raw pain and emotion that accompanies such disclosures.
In that light, I thought about what it might be like to have the Republican party and the Democratic party in my office for the purpose of reconciling a bad relationship. I mean, can you imagine that?
Safe, effective communication is the basis of reconciliation, so we need to start there. Indeed, the political parties rarely speak “to” one another- they speak “at” one another. The first task would be to have the parties actually communicate with one another in a civil and empathic manner. I do not think that is asking too much. I will be instructing them what that looks like so that they understand that what they are currently doing is not working.
In any relationship, I ask the partners to “assume best motives” of the other. What that means is that, even as they disagree, and they do, that they both have a mutual best interest in common. In this case, it is the best interest of the United States of America. If the parties can agree to that, we have a huge first step accomplished.
My readers may be on different ends of the political spectrum. Actually, I hope you are. I do not want to be part of an echo chamber where people simply hear what they want to hear reinforced by other like-minded people. What is the value of that?
So, I am going to leave this blog at that point. Let us all assume that each party believes, in its own heart, that it is doing its best for the country. We are assuming best motives. We may not agree with the particular viewpoint of the other party, but we assume that they each love our country as much as the other does, even if they are of different political persuasions.
Good with that? I pray that you are. If not, the next couple of counseling blogs are going to be difficult. In the next blogs, I will be going over some counseling techniques which may be of help to our suffering parties.
I often tell clients that healing of large wounds is more supernatural than natural, and that without a spiritual approach, healing cannot happen. I will expand on that in coming blogs.
Prayer: Lord, we know that you are the healer. Help us to submit to your plans for reconciliation, Amen.