Goodwill Hunting

top: sample sale . jeans: sample sale . shoes: Issac Mizrahi . purse: She&Josh . sunnies: random sunglass guy in S.F.

Hi Sweethearts, I’m going to do something a little different today and I hope that you’ll humor me and read on.  Like many of you, I am a product of divorced parents.  Much of my childhood memories are those of arguing, a father absent for days at a time, a frustrated mother and a complete and total lack of communication on both sides.  What sticks with me the most was watching the futile efforts to communicate when neither seemed to be on the same page, nor cared to be.  Hindsight is of course 20/20, so while I attribute much of their eventual split to their lack of a faith-based foundation, I also know that in order for any relationship to work there must be communication and in a marriage there must also be a deeper trust that your spouse has only the best intentions for you and vice versa.

Fast forward to circa 2004.  Shortly after I began working at my current job, I met a young lady whom I’ll never forget.  She is one of those people you never forget.  She has an incredible zest for life and totally lives it to the fullest.  She wasn’t at my job long before she moved on to her calling, but before her departure she gave me a book titled, Love and Respect, written by her father, Emerson Eggerichs.  Little did I know, that book would forever change my life in a subtle but powerful way.  For this reason, I want to share three nuggets of truth that have made a significant impact in my life and in my marriage in hopes that someone either entering a new relationship or struggling in an existing relationship might be encouraged to make a paradigm shift.

1. The mouth matters (what comes out of the mouth depends on what is in the heart).  The words and tone we use to say them communicate so much more than we know.

2. Husbands and wives are not wrong, just very different (as different as pink and blue, is as different as her need for love and his need for respect).

3.  The third vital truth focuses on another simple but crucial concept: both of you must see each other as goodwilled persons. When one or both of you see the other as goodwilled, good things are in store for your marriage.

But what is goodwill?  And how do you know you are showing goodwill toward your spouse?  How can you be sure your spouse has goodwill toward you?  A simple definition of goodwill is “the intention to do good toward the other person.” But there is much more to it than that. A spouse may intend to do good, but fail to deliver. Good intentions do not necessarily guarantee good results.  The apostle Paul captured the reality of good intentions but poor follow-through when he wrote about his own struggles with the flesh in Romans 7:19: “I don’t do the good things I want to do. I keep it on doing the evil things I don’t want to do” (NIRV).

We all know what Paul is talking about. You or your spouse may want to do the right thing, but you don’t; or you or your spouse may want to stop doing the wrong things, but you don’t. When your spouse fails to follow through on good intentions, your definition of goodwill must also include the idea that goodwilled people do not mean any harm; they do not intend real evil toward one another. Your spouse may be neglectful, forgetful, or make a careless, even thoughtless remark. As a result, you may be hurt or angry and may lash out in some way to retaliate. But despite all these failings, deep down you both care for each other. Beneath the turmoil on the surface of what is going on, your goodwill remains intact. (Excerpts taken from The Language of Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.)

I’ll be forever grateful that I was introduced to this book before getting married because I honestly feel like it gave me a perspective that I wouldn’t have otherwise considered.   By reminding myself of these three simple truths when the Hubs and I don’t see eye to eye, I remember that even when we have our differences he would never in his heart want any harm upon me or our family which helps me to be more receptive to what he’s trying to communicate.  As commonsensical as  it may sound, this was something that never occurred to me especially in the midst of a disagreement.

Thank you for indulging me.  I was compelled to share this and I pray that this will help someone.


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16 thoughts on “Goodwill Hunting

  1. Ooooh God has brought me to the right place at the right time. Me and my bf have been having a horrible year together to the point where I just want to end it but then I sit down and think and pray on it and I really just want to work it out thank you sooo much for writing this post because I am going to get him to read it.

    1. Thank God! I’m so glad this post was meaningful to you. It’s funny how many people have already told me that this post was right on time. It seems like no matter what, communication is always a skill to brush up on. I hope your Boy reads it and it has an impact. I wish you both well! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Thank you my dear! You’re such a wonderful lady and I’m so glad to have had your pressence in my life. As they say, people come in and out of your life for various reasons and I’m grateful that you came into mine! God Bless You!

  2. ive been wanting to comment on this post for the longest time but always get caught up doing 100 things all at once! Today is my sit at home and catch up on my fave blogs day 🙂 (yah im a nerd) anyways let me start by saying thanks for the kind words, your awsome! I love the flower leopard combo=brilliant! gotta try this….. And i want your hair! i am over short hair right now or maybe its a phase but i love your curly hair! you’re so cute. xoxo on another note i got shivers when i read this post! There’s so much meaning and truth to what is being said! With me personally i know there were many times when i felt like giving up, i guess love made me stay but i think i will have to get my hands on this book because i would love to gain that type of knowledge. Its important also the love, communication and bond that our kids see through their parents, showing them that they come from nothing but love! Thanks for passing on the torch lisa. xoxoxoxoxoxo

  3. I’m compelled to say your message today really touched me. I thought I was simply going to see what outfit you were going to share for the day, but instead you inspired me another way. Thanks

  4. Great post. I’m not a Christian and don’t intend to become one (I’m an agnostic), but #1 (re: communication) is essential to a good relationship. So cliche, but so true. My husband and I have agreed HOW to disagree (no eye rolling, sighing, shaking heads, etc.) when we argue. But I still sometimes forget that my facial expressions and tone can convey a lot… still working on that b/c I tend to be very animated when I talk or argue. Great advice!

    1. Hey Ms. T Dot. First, thank you for your openness to hearing what was in my heart. You are so right. Communication, regardless of your faith or beliefs, is vital in relationships. When my husband and I decided to get married, it became so evident that he and I had a completely different views of life at the time. Neither one of us was more right than the other, our life experiences just formed who we had become and so we were different. And that was okay. This book helped me to look outside of my selfish paradigm and realize just how important it is to keep the lines of communication, LOVE AND RESPECT open.

      This is starting to sound like a book report. LOL!

      Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll continue to follow!

  5. Oh how I love this! I’m googling now where I can find this book!

    I found your blog the other day and have been hooked every since! You have a fabulous style and I absolutely adore your blog! Great work!

    1. Hey Sweet Cheeks! LOVE THAT NAME! It really is a great book and I hope you do purchase it, borrow it, rent it, whatever. It’s so worthy of the read. Thanks for tuning into my blog. I appreciate you.

  6. This really hit home! I had a huge fight w my bf because of this issue…lack of thought and intentions.This message was perfect timing!!!!! Great mix of patterns by the way:) you look fab!

    1. I’m so glad that this was helpful. As a blogger I’m sure you know how it is to feel the urge to share something but to feel weary about how it will be received. This, I NEEDED to say. It may not change the world but if it made a difference for one person, that’s a start!

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