Focus on the Family

Faith Conversations: Offering Understanding


Appreciating our husband's or wife's emotions can be difficult. But we can give our spouse a special gift by seeking to thoroughly understand him or her before reacting.

Offering Understanding

Discuss these verses as a couple. Focus your conversation on the following questions.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.’ ”
Matthew 1:18-20

  • What do you think was going through Joseph’s mind when Mary told him she was pregnant?
  • Do you think of yourself as trusting, discerning or skeptical? Why?
  • How can we seek to better understand each other in our relationship before making judgments?

We often interpret our spouse’s actions through our own experiences and limited knowledge. That can lead to speculating about his or her motives — or even hastily judging his or her actions. Understanding our husband’s or wife’s thoughts and emotions can be difficult because we haven’t lived the same experiences or we see things from a different perspective. This Christmas, we can give our spouse a special gift by seeking to thoroughly understand his or her thoughts or emotions before reacting.

Based on research and experience from Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley, Focus on the Family has created valid and reliable questions that evaluate the strength of your marriage. Take our free assessment now.

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