I was intrigued recently as I heard a speaker use this word “nevertheless.”  It is not a word that we hear much now days.  Probably more popular alternatives are words like – “yet,” “therefore,” or “even so.”  But “nevertheless” was such an appropriate word in the context in which he used it.

As I listened, I couldn’t help but think how accurately this word can apply to our relationships.  We live in a very reactive culture in which people will only respond in a certain manner if they are treated a certain way in the first place.  For example, I hear individuals say with frequency things like, “I will show him respect when he shows me some.”  Or “I will help her with the household responsibilities when she begins to appreciate how hard I work all week long.”

While I certainly can understand these common feelings, rarely do these situations work out as desired.  When I stubbornly sit in the corner waiting on my partner to act a certain way before I behave appropriately, I may find myself accumulating cobwebs, as it may be a long wait. While we should have an idea by now that this approach usually does not produce the desired results, we sometimes foolishly continue to wait.

What would happen if we began to apply “nevertheless” to these irritating situations?  What if instead of remaining entrenched in my displeasure, I said, “I know that my spouse is not showing me the respect that I desire, nevertheless, I will love her with my words and actions.”  “He seems to ignore me on a daily basis and hardly gives my needs a second thought, nevertheless, I will do my best to see him as God does and make him a priority today.”

Yes, this may seem emotionally counterintuitive, but I am confident that over time this approach is much more likely to create the changes and positive energy that you desire.  You already know what withholding your attention and affections produce.  Why not give this a shot?  You may be skeptical, nevertheless . . . . .