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Part 1: Will you please explain what compromise is?


Part 1: Will you please explain what compromise is? When should we compromise? Plumeria Girl, 15, HI

Shayna Answers:

Dear Plumeria Girl,

The word “compromise” is a term that explains what happens when you change your views or stance on something so you can come to an agreement with someone else. says that compromise is “a settlement of differences by mutual concessions.”

When you compromise, you choose a solution that both people can live with and isn’t either of the original choices. An example of compromise could be that you want to stay out until midnight with your friends, but your parents might say your curfew is 9:00 p.m. You may be able to compromise and get permission to stay out until 10:30 p.m., but you have to call and check in at home at 9:00 p.m.

Of course when it comes to relationships, compromise can be a lot more difficult. For example, your significant other may ask you to compromise on issues such as your religion, premarital sex, or even your personal goals. You need to know that consequences for these compromises usually quickly follow whether they’re good or bad.

Is there ever a good time to compromise? Yes. Romans 14 talks about interactions with people whose faith is weaker than ours, situations when we’re tempted to judge someone because we think we’re right. Times when these conflicts are most likely to arise are during events with church family. As we’ve all seen happen, disagreements can arise about simple things, such as what decorations should be used for a banquet, to more serious issues, such as the terms for disfellowship. In Romans 14 God is trying to tell us to work things out with church members instead of disagreeing about things!

Romans 12:18 says we should as much as possible “live peaceably with all men.” And Proverbs 25:8-10 says that when you’re having a disagreement, you should “debate your case with your neighbor” himself instead of running hastily to court to settle your issues. These verses are speaking to situations with family, neighbors, and roommates. Sometimes just being in such close proximity with certain people can drive us crazy—regardless of whether or not there are actual problems! In fact, we usually lose our tolerance for family or roommates faster than with others, because we feel like we have to compromise with them more than with anyone else. In fact, we probably do! Ultimately, though, if we don’t want to get thrown out of our homes, we have to find a way to compromise. And, if you want to get married someday, learning to compromise in a living environment is crucial!

Ephesians 4:2, 3 tells us to bear “with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” And 2 Thessalonians 3:13 says: “Do not grow weary in doing good.” Usually we think of these verses as applying to our interactions with significant others, since kind, loving feelings come easier during romantic relationships. Or, when they don’t, it can be hard to keep doing good instead of just walking away.

In every good relationship, there will be some degree of compromise. For two different people to agree on a single life together, they both have to be willing to be flexible. But that’s what can sometimes get us into trouble. Next week we’ll talk about times when you shouldn’t compromise.

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