Navigating the Storms of Marriage with Grace and UnderstandingOct 12, 2023
We're so excited to share some insights with you that have been game-changers for us. Today, we're diving deep into the topic of conflict resolution and communication in marriage. Trust us, these are two areas where a little effort can go a long way.
The Poison of Unforgiveness
First off, let's talk about forgiveness. It's easy to say, "I forgive you," but it's another thing to truly let go of the hurt and move forward. We've heard it said that holding onto bitterness and unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to get sick. That's a vivid image, right? What we're really doing when we forgive is extending grace. Grace is something we all need daily, and it's only fair to offer the same to our spouse.
Remember, Don't Forget
Now, forgiving doesn't mean forgetting. For instance, we had a credit card debt issue early in our marriage. We didn't forget it happened; we put safeguards in place to ensure it wouldn't happen again. The same goes for more serious issues like infidelity. You don't forget, but you do put measures in place to prevent a recurrence. It's all about learning and growing together.
Safeguarding Your Marriage
Speaking of safeguards, did you know that the great evangelist Billy Graham and his team had a rule? They were never allowed to have a hotel room by themselves. They knew the temptations out there and took steps to avoid them. In our digital age, this could mean giving your spouse permission to look at your phone or having check-in routines when apart. It's all about building trust and keeping those temptations at bay.
The Power of Understanding
When conflicts do arise, and they will, it's crucial to de-escalate the situation. One powerful tool is the phrase, "Help me understand why you did this." This invites open dialogue and helps both parties see the issue from the other's perspective. Another impactful phrase is, "Do you know how that made me feel?" More often than not, the answer is no, and this opens the door for a deeper understanding.
One of the best ways to avoid conflict is to have preemptive conversations about the big stuff—money, sex, and family. These are the pillars that can make or break a marriage. Discuss your expectations, boundaries, and plans for handling these areas. It's like buying hurricane insurance before the storm hits, not after your roof is torn off.
The Feeling Side of Things
Let's not forget the emotional aspect. We all have feelings, and it's essential to acknowledge them. Sometimes, the tone of voice or choice of words can make your spouse feel small, even if that wasn't the intention. Being aware of how your actions and words make your spouse feel is a step towards a healthier relationship.
So, here's your assignment for the week: Have a 15-minute, uninterrupted conversation with your spouse about any of these topics. Trust us, it will open doors you never knew were closed.
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