Disagree – agreeably and healthily? 

A disagreement is about learning more about yourself and your partner. It is not about winning.

And I am slowly learning that conflict is a necessary evil for it serves as the refiner’s fire in which we are confronted with our fears, blind spots, and selfishness.

Relationships (good or bad) are magnifying glasses that highlight our differences and they are tools that can help us to learn how to love and cherish our partners better and learn of the areas that we have to surrender to God through prayer.

Today, my relationship served as a magnifying glass.

I found myself in a petty, heated discussion with my partner about minor issues. I was riled up on the other end of the conversation before I realized that I was displacing my frustration with my current crucible on my partner.

Sorry B.

I had to pause and tap into my emotional tank to appreciate that the disagreement was about learning more of myself, the power I had given my current crucible and where my partner was emotionally and spiritually.

This disagreement was not about winning.

And as petty and minor as these heated discussions or disagreements may appear, they are powerful enough to create incredible damage to the trust, safety, romance and longevity of any relationship, if they continue for a consistent amount of time.

So how can we prevent relational causalities from taking place when our thoughts differ from those of our partners?


When something is said to us, our emotions become highly aroused and we transition into fight or flight modes. This probably explains why most persons aggressively stonewall their partner or ignore the problem or shut down (flight) or defensively throw stones at their partners through hurtful, critical, snide words or actions (fight).

It is always best to relax and calm ourselves, collect our thoughts and decide on a loving approach to handling the issue at hand.
And, relaxing ourselves takes different forms for many of us. A few months ago, my partner shared that he sometimes asks for time to respond to heated discussions so that he can relax and pray. That is his way of centering himself. I practice deep breathing and scriptural affirmations. The approach you use to pause and relax yourself in a God-approved way, prevents you from saying and committing unnecessary words and actions in the moment of conflict.

Listen warmly to what is said and what is not said.

One thing I have learnt during my current relationship is that what is being fought about is just as important as how you are fighting and those two are just as important as the place your partner is arguing from. It is important to remain sensitive to where your partner is coming from.

Try to listen to your partner’s feelings. Appreciate that all conflict stems from a root and sometimes you have to be the bigger person and dig deep within the emotional lagoon of your partner and ask them how they are feeling in the moment.

It may be something that they are not sharing with you that is frustrating and bothering them and through the common act of displacement they are directing their unwanted and unresolved emotions on you.

Knowing where your partner is coming from emotionally can shift your perspective on the entire disagreement.

Check your motivation.

As much as you are to check the place that your partner may be speaking and responding from, it is critical that you assess the place that you are coming from? How are you feeling in this moment? Will the words you choose help or hurt the situation? Is healing or wholeness the motive for confronting your partner or being right and winning to gain an emotional upper hand, your motivation?

Check your motivation and attitude.

Choose your emotion.

Just as conflict is inevitable; it also always presents choices: Will I be defensive or receptive? Humble or self-righteous? Merciful or stubborn?

How we choose to respond determines if we will strengthen the relationship or further chip at its core.

Choose to respond from a place of love and not a place of fear, anger, control or criticism.

Advice from a wise-head

My dad recently shared with me that sometimes we wait until we are in marriage to actually appreciate the role healthy relationships play in our lives. But even before marriage, relationships, especially committed, public ones, are sermons.

Everything that a couple does is a message to the world about God’s love.

I have considered this thought and have been asking myself every now and again, “What message is my relationship preaching to those watching?” What is my relationship saying about God’s ability to work in two different people to operate in love and as one, even when it is not convenient or beneficial? How is my relationship blessing others as it is blessing my life?”

Recognizing that my relationship is more about God than myself, propels me to fight and argue, well and warmly with my partner because THIS is for the glory of God.

Advice from the Word

God’s word also shines light on how we can engage with our partners better while we experience emotional disruptions.

The following scriptural affirmations have guided me and kept me accountable to God’s standard of love when differences surface in my relationship:

Affirmation: I will speak to my partner respectfully and lovingly.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Affirmation: I will not allow my anger or frustration to control me.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27

Affirmation: I will not seek revenge or engage in any form of pettiness or savagery against the one I love.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19 ESV

Affirmation: My experience and education may serve as good guides in healthily handling conflict but God is the greatest guide.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:6 ESV

Affirmation: I will not run away from facing issues with my partner. When the time is right and my emotions are settled, we will address the issues together.

Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. Matthew 5:25-26



(C) 2017, Dentrecia Blanchette


Honey Dips – Accept my reality

Many individuals never meet our expectations because we never accepted their reality. One has to ask himself/herself, “Am I dating this young lady’s potential or reality?” “Am I friends with who I think this guy is or who I want him to be or am I friends with who he really is?” “Is the way I expect this individual to act or respond realistic considering their present mental, emotional, spiritual realities?”

When we set expectations against an untrue or fictitious reality, we end up disappointed.

In relationships, we often have to let go of who we expected our partner to be in order to release them to be the person who they are or who they can be without our imposed limitations.

Sometimes letting go screams, “God, we cannot do it on our own, I cannot fix this, we cannot fix this, have thine own way!”; sometimes letting go means “I care about you so much and not that I do not care,”; other times it means, “I can’t protect you but I can release you to face reality with the one who can protect you – God”; and most times letting go in a relationship means to fear less and love more, to forgive more and embrace new beginnings, to trust the restorer of relationships – Jesus and faithfully face each day as a new day with each other.

Letting go of expectations also involves allowing the person to be who they are and to grow into who they can be. When we accept the reality of our loved ones, our love comes to the fore and our love gives our partners permission to be their best selves; our love gives them courage to see the same beauty, passion, strength and character that we see in them with their own eyes.

Are you letting go of who you expect your love interest and partner to be and accepting their reality for what it is?

– Dee

(c) 2013, Dentrecia Blanchette

Honey Dips – Cut from a different Cloth

“She is made from a different cloth.”

That’s what they said at the funeral of my uncle about his wife who faithfully remained by his side until death. My aunt who possessed the quiet strength of an empowered, educated and experienced woman, was married to my uncle for 45 years —– their long lasting love inspired numerous couples in their local community. They loved each other with all their hearts but most importantly, they loved Christ above all else on earth. (A deep love for Christ makes it possible to love others unconditionally.)

When my uncle was diagnosed with cancer, my aunt made the sacrificial decision to quit her job as an Educator to take care of him.  At the time, I did not fully appreciate the sacrifice. I understood loving your partner with your entire being but I did not understand the love that propelled her to quit her job to personally take care of him with a nurse and learning medicine to be better positioned to cater to the needs of your husband. I didn’t understand that. I didn’t see many women in my society making such sacrifices for their husbands and deep in my soul I questioned her logic. (We doubt, fear and question that which we have not been exposed too.) The naysayers had their season and the discouragers and doubt planters had their field day, still as the strong-willed woman whom I admire so much, she remained resolute in her decision – to take care of her husband.

She later explained that making that decision was relatively easy for her because of the deep reverence and respect she had of the vow made during her wedding ceremony when she declared that she would love and take care of her husband, “for better or for worst, in sickness or in health”. According to her it was a sacred commitment made to her husband, family and friends, herself and most importantly, God. (Respect for and dependence on God makes it easy for us to keep our promises made to Him).

The men in the church genuinely jested and commented on the increased difficulty in finding a woman who would sacrifice so much for her husband even in sickness.

I considered the emotional, spiritual and financial burdens that my aunt bore for over six years while caring for my uncle and her divine strength and faith that increased year after year and I couldn’t help but agree with the men in the church that said, “she was made from a different cloth.”

We need more women who are “made from a different cloth” – women who own a sense of confidence and grace, who are strong yet meek, who have overcome varying trials and soared to new heights with a new sense of purpose. Women who do not crumble with every attack on their lives but are built in trying times.

Women who are submitted to God and are passionate about Christ. Women who truly serve Christ in every aspect of their lives and depend on His strength and wisdom daily, after fully realizing that they are nothing without a connection with Christ. A Godly woman fears the Lord. A woman who seeks God’s will over the approval of anyone else on earth. Her fear of God makes her aware of the future consequence of her choices. A Godly woman who avoids any present situation that would be destructive for her future usefulness to God. Women who pray more than they complain or worry.

Women who are more interested in the state of their hearts than their materialistic possessions. Women who adorn themselves modestly and give God the glory even in their choice of apparel.

We need more women who are “made from a different cloth” – women who are selfless and understand the importance of compassion. Women who understand that to be selfless is not equivalent to self-hate or denying self the healthy love that is required for it to blossom. Women who have accepted who she is in Christ and know the danger of living a life without Christ. Women who are dedicated to becoming a better woman than merely appearing to be a Godly woman.

We need more women who are “made from a different cloth” – women who trust love because love is God. They trust love no matter what happens because they are aware that love will see them through. Women who can see the mistakes and beauty of their significant others and not love their partners any less because they understand that love is a ministry and love should lead their partners closer to the heart of Christ.  Women who are willing to pray for their relationship daily and seek God’s counsels in maintaining relationships. These women understand that love is patient and it is never in a hurry, love is peace through all seasons, not worry cloaked in colorful apparel, love is faithfulness not physical or emotional infidelity. These women understand the beauty of love and the power it has to heal.

When I questioned my aunt about “being cut from a different cloth” she said “In order to be cut from a different cloth, you must give the Master Tailor (Jesus) your heart and He will cut you (sounds painful) and sew you (sounds healing) where it matters most and ultimately transform you into a masterpiece.”

I am taking her word for what it is!


(c) 2013, Dentrecia Blanchette