The heart wins

If you’ve ever disappointed your parents or spouse or kids so much that you were grieved and so were they, then you understand a bit about the influence of the heart.

The influence of the hand cares mostly about results. Just git er done.

The influence of the head cares mostly about persuasion and convincing. Results matter but the head wants you to want to.

The influence of the heart cares mostly about your relationship

Results might not be worth it if getting there comes between you and the other person.

The other person can be your whole family or part of your family. Or maybe it is just one person.

What would it take to have the kind of relationship with someone that made them not want to do anything that hindered that relationship? Where lack of results is not as painful as something coming between you?

If you have anything close to that kind of relationship with even one person, you know the kinds of things it takes.

Things like:






Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.


And when you make the relationship the most important thing, guess what? As a by-product you get the results you wanted to get by pushing.

Or maybe it seems that way. Maybe the relationship changes the results you want; now you want results that are from – and that enhance – your relationship.

It’s like a romance – slowly over time the heart connection grows until there’s something special between you that becomes more important than anything else. 

In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled, only plenteousness that desires to give – C.S. Lewis

That’s how it’s worked for Brenda and me

I may have a preference for which house we buy, but that preference weighs far less than my desire for her to be happy. And my desire for her happiness doesn’t come from some painful sacrifice. We’ve been together so long, and I love her so much, that my happiness has merged with hers.

Sometimes helping her be happy feels so good it feels selfish! Not always of course, but our relationship is characterized by this kind of thing.

And she’s the same way. You might think this is a result of forty years of work, but for the first twenty years we were clueless and went in the hole of selfish negativity and trying to influence each other with the hand.

Ten years later we were out of the hole and on our way to a decent level of unselfishness with the head and more of the heart.

It takes time but not forever. If you’re in the hole you can get out. Ten years from now your family could be fighting over insisting the other person gets their way. If you start now.

Who in your family do you have such a heart for, that if being right came between you, you’d rather be wrong?

*     *     *     *     *

A Family Like Yours is 31 Days of encouragement to help you appreciate, influence, and love the family you have (no matter what).

This is day 25.

You can subscribe below or at the top on the right.

About the Author


Gary Morland helps you feel better about your most challenging family relationships, and helps you actually improve those relationships - all by adopting simple attitudes, perspectives, expectations, and actions (the same ones that changed him and his family).


  1. m

    For many years, I did not like my heart but our Father revealed to me; that it is my greatest strength! Now, I l<3ve the heart HE gave me…it is where I operate most from…Glory 2 God!!! Thanks, G…blessings & <3 M
    Ps.head is a close 2nd:)

  2. Debbie Fields

    This has been such a helpful series! Today bring the very best. I look forward to seeing the “heart” working more and more in my life which will in turn make a difference for the better in my family. I must praise the Lord for giving me a very dear friend 30 yrs. ago, which when I read over the list of qualities today, I see why our friendship has thrived. How precious is our Lord for showing us his love and grace in so many ways!

  3. Learning that I don’t have to be right has been such a blessing in my marriage. I’ve found that, when I listen to her with my heart’s ear and not my brain’s ear, right or wrong don’t even enter the conversation. I get to spend the time listening to what she’s all about instead of listening for her “position” in a matter.

    Not sure if I explained that right.

    Thanks for these posts.


  4. weary warrior

    Thank you for this encouragement. The hand was way hard for me….

  5. Laura Jean

    This is so hard because it requires selfless love. It requires us to put the other person’s happiness above our own, and that isn’t natural. My husband and I have been married nearly 12 years, and some days I wonder if we will ever arrive to the point of loving each other in this way. Even after 12 years, we still find ourselves in the “hand” phase more often than any other phase. And it’s so ugly. I suppose it is a daily battle. A daily choice that I need to make even when it’s hard.

    This series has been life changing for me. It’s the only one of the 30 day series’ that I have stuck with and looked forward to every single day. Thank you for the time you have put into it.

    • You’re already ahead of where I was 12 years in.

      It begins with beginning to trust the complete sufficiency of Jesus for every need, fear, hope, situation of your life. Just you and him.

      Then really good things can start with just one person, with no strings or expectations.

      Thx for being an encouragement.

  6. Life Takes Over

    Beautiful. A very hard thing to do. But if we focus on those who are most important to us (and test that by asking ourselves each morning: “If I lost [insert name here] today, how would that make me feel?”), we find the love and patience and grace to do this.

  7. Tondra Denise

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I will continue to use this with family, friends, as a child care professional, and when I am consulting others. I even went back to thank my third grade teacher for being a “lead with the heart” kind of guy. His “heart lessons” are still teaching me to this day, and I feel it’s important to let people know when they’ve had a positive influence in your life…

    So to you sir, thanks again!


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