Monthly Archives: June 2012

Role Modeling Commitment Through Your Marriage | Part 5

2012-06-21T17:05:08+00:00

Reasons To Commit To Your Marriage

As an engaged couple, rarely do you hear how hard marriage truly is. The movies we watch generally don’t help us to have realistic expectations for marriage. We all arrive at our wedding day with hopes of the “happily ever after”. And it is for a while, or what we call the honeymoon stage. But what happens next?

The next stage of marriage can be referred to as the disillusionment phase. This is where a couple realizes that this could be more difficult then they thought. You may begin to wonder where that awesome guy or girl went that you had dated.

The next phase is called the misery phase. This is where we get stuck in our rut of disagreements over the same things day after day, or worse. Sadly many couples stay in this season of marriage because they are trying, ironically, to “keep peace” or because neither spouse is willing to make the first move to better the relationship.

The final stage is the stage where we have to make the choice to commit to the relationship. The reason we can have the strength to do this can only be found in a relationship with God. This is a spiritual decision. Choosing to love your spouse even if you don’t currently like them is some thing that is done through God’s strength. Keep in mind that God is the author of marriage and it is His will that marriage not only work but that they are awesome relationships. Why else would He compare His relationship to the Church as a marriage? So something that should give us encouragement, on the hard days, is that when we are praying for our spouse and our marriage we are praying in accordance with His will and He hears our prayers!

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Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Role Modeling Commitment Through Your Marriage | Part 5 2012-06-21T17:05:08+00:00

Role Modeling Commitment Through Your Marriage | Part 4

2012-06-21T17:07:25+00:00

How To Commit To Your Marriage

One of the things that we need to assess as we are choosing to commit to our marriage is what we are indeed committing to? Are we committing to work through conflict, to fixing the other person or are we committed to the relationship and to God? This is a key question to ask oneself because the answer will affect the outcome of your commitment level.

We need to be committed to the relationship and ultimately to God. If we have committed to working through every issue then we will have a hard time dropping petty arguments that may not need to be addressed for the sake of peace. If we are committed to fixing our spouse then we do not give them grace as we work through things. Something to keep in mind on this issue is that it isn’t our job to fix our spouse it is the job of the Holy Spirit. We need to be focused on what is best for the relationship.

An area that will also help commitment is focusing on building each other up. This is helpful when there are times of disagreement. It will go so much more smoothly if you have spent more time building each other up then tearing each other down with disagreements. So, an easy thing you can do daily to live out your commitment is making the choice to say things to encourage and build up your spouse. It will be well worth the effort!

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Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Role Modeling Commitment Through Your Marriage | Part 4 2012-06-21T17:07:25+00:00

Role Modeling Commitment Through Your Marriage | Part 3

2012-06-21T17:03:22+00:00

Building The Foundation Of Commitment

As we have said this already this week the bottom line of commitment is choice. We make the choice to be committed to our marriage when times get hard. Emotions are fickle things and cannot be trusted, especially through those challenging seasons in marriage. That is why even if we do not feel like it we make the choice to love our spouse.

This level of commitment is such a valuable thing for our children to see, especially in a culture where it is rare. I have actually heard children ask their parents if the are getting a divorce after witnessing a disagreement. How scary for them to live with the thought that a simple disagreement is all it takes to dissolve a marriage. We need to live out our commitment daily in order to show our children what marriage means. Most of us took vows that said ‘in sickness and in health, until death part us”. Nothing in these vows says until I have “fallen out of love with you”. Like we said Monday love is an action not an emotion. Choose to live out the example of love for your children to see. Make the choice to serve your Heavenly Father by serving your spouse.

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Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Role Modeling Commitment Through Your Marriage | Part 3 2012-06-21T17:03:22+00:00

Role Modeling Commitment Through Your Marriage | Part 2

2012-06-21T17:00:17+00:00

Why Commitment Is So Difficult Today

It is vitally important that our children are able to view our commitment to our marriage. This not only affects their current emotional state but their future marriage as well. But why is commitment so hard, especially on difficult days?

Culturally, we are not raised to have the focus of making someone else’s happiness our priority. Our focus usually is to make myself happy. We even usually take it a step further; if the other person is not meeting my needs then I look to get my needs met elsewhere. This is where we can leave ourselves vulnerable to affairs. Affairs can be more then just with a member of the opposite sex, who is not your spouse. An affair can be something you place in higher priority then your relationship with God or your spouse. For parents this can even be relationship with your children. It can also be getting your needs met by serving in your church or placing your job as a higher priority. None of these things, in and of themselves, are bad things to have as a priority but if you are placing them as higher importance then your spouse then it can effect your commitment to your marriage.

Make the choice to serve your spouse even if your needs are not getting met the way you would want them to be. Someone always has to be the one to make the first move, choose to emulate our Savior and serve the neighbor closest to you, your spouse.

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Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Role Modeling Commitment Through Your Marriage | Part 2 2012-06-21T17:00:17+00:00

Role Modeling Commitment Through Your Marriage | Part 1

2012-06-21T16:58:20+00:00

The Impact Your Marriage Has On Your Kids

We have said many times that one of the biggest responsibilities of parenting is the constant reminder that we have little eyes watching everything we do. The choices that we make will shape our children’s lives and their future. Our topic this week is another area that will have a drastic effect on our children, that is how we live out our commitment to our marriage.

We live in a very consumer mentality society, which has seemingly snuck into every corner of our lives, including the family. Divorce has become commonplace instead of a rarity. The pain which divorce causes not only the couple but also the children is devastating. One of the reasons why this may be the case more today than ever is the fact that we look at marriage more as a contract between people rather then a vow or a covenant before God. We have also been deceived into thinking that love is a feeling. Love is not an emotional response to someone else, neither is it to be confused with the concept of romance. The word love is actually a verb. It is something that we live out daily. In other words, choosing to stay true to the covenant you made with your spouse before God is ultimately love. Serving your spouse even when you don’t feel like it, that’s love! So with this line of thinking you can’t really “fall in love” or out of it for that matter. Love is a choice. Choose to stay committed to your spouse today, this choice will have a major impact on your children and their future!

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Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Role Modeling Commitment Through Your Marriage | Part 1 2012-06-21T16:58:20+00:00

Dealing with Conflict In Your Marriage | Part 5

2012-06-21T16:56:50+00:00

Tips For Dealing With Conflict- Part 2

Today is day two on tips for dealing with conflict. The first tip is to make sure that we are taking the time to listen to our spouse when they are sharing. This means more then just hearing but that we are choosing to truly listen to where they are coming from.

Secondly we need to make sure that we are attacking the problem not the person. We cannot take things personally nor can we make them personal. Don’t use statements such as “you always” or “you never”. Not only are they an exaggeration but they are attack statements.

Thirdly we cannot be concerned with winning the argument. Think, it’s not about me winning but about us winning. Working through a situation or compromising can be a huge win for the process of becoming one flesh.

Choose to accept each other’s weaknesses and not just strengths. All of life we should be in process with God working in our hearts. This obviously means that we will all have areas to work on. The irony is we seem to be able to cover them up when we are dating but living every day with someone else, weaknesses can become very apparent. Instead of allowing your spouses weaknesses to annoy you, choose to focus on your own. Remember the verse in Matthew that reminds us not to point out the speck in our neighbor’s eye when we have a board in our own.

Lastly, when appropriate use humor. This is not always appropriate but when it fits humor can be used to defuse a situation. It can even help you to see how insignificant the thing that is being argued over really is.

Dealing with conflict helps our marriage be all it can be. This in turn helps our parenting be all it can be. Choose to make working through conflicts a priority for your marriage and family.

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Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on the topic of conflict.

Dealing with Conflict In Your Marriage | Part 5 2012-06-21T16:56:50+00:00

Dealing with Conflict In Your Marriage | Part 4

2012-06-21T16:54:59+00:00

Tips For Dealing With Conflict- Part 1

We have already talked this week about some of the dysfunctional habits we have when we deal with conflict. So how do we deal with conflict appropriately? We are going to spend the last two days this week on tips for dealing with conflict.

The first thing we need to do is to go into conflict with the right attitude. This means if you know you need to talk about something difficult go into the discussion not with the attitude of wanting your opinion to be heard or convincing your spouse you are right on that issue, but with the attitude that you are going to work through the issue for the betterment of the marriage.

Secondly, we need to go in making the choice to understand each other. The goal of marriage is to consistently become more of “one flesh” with our spouse. Handling conflicts is one of the ways we do this if we choose to make the decision to use them (conflicts) to grow closer with each other. Disagreements help us see where the other person is coming from. We should never be ok with the status quo in marriage, we should always choose to grow closer regardless of what stage we are in or how long we have been married.

Finally we can learn from the verse Ephesians 4:26 which says, “In your anger do not sin: don’t let the sun go down on your anger”. There are two things to take away from that verse. The first is that in order to not sin in our anger we may need to time out our discussion in order to calm down and talk rationally. The other thing is we must deal with things promptly. That way we do not let our mind wander and either make a big deal of nothing or allow bitterness to creep in.

Check back tomorrow for more tips on dealing with conflict.

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Listen to today’s podcast for insight on this topic as well.

Dealing with Conflict In Your Marriage | Part 4 2012-06-21T16:54:59+00:00

Dealing with Conflict In Your Marriage | Part 3

2012-06-08T12:58:28+00:00

The Different Dysfunctional Habits for Dealing With Conflict

We all come into marriage with different habits for dealing with conflict.  We can also develop dysfunctional conflict habits with in the marriage relationship.  We need to identify our habit and choose to work through it in order to develop healthy conflict in the marriage.  Identifying these habits with different animals make them easier to remember.

The first is the Turtle.  The Turtle is very good at retreating into their shell and giving the silent treatment.  Another unhealthy conflict habit we’ve mentioned before and that is the Prairie Dog.   That habit dodges the real topic by either using humor or changing the subject.  The Chimpanzee gets overly emotional when topics are brought up.  They either dissolve into instant tears or over react to the situation.  Another animal we have discussed previously is the Porcupine. The Porcupine is quick to get angry and throw verbal barbs at the other person.  The Ant uses its business as a defense mechanism to conflict.  It is either always to busy to talk through things or uses the amount on its plate as an excuse for behavior.  The Skunk heaps guilt on the other person by using statements like “you always” or digging up things from the past.  Finally the Squirrel will bury or store up  all the issues until they explode and everything comes pouring out.

Identify yourself in one of these conflict habits and choose to make a change!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Dealing with Conflict In Your Marriage | Part 3 2012-06-08T12:58:28+00:00

Dealing with Conflict In Your Marriage | Part 2

2012-06-15T21:12:45+00:00

What Is Unhealthy Conflict?

Yesterday we talked about the fact that conflicts in the marriage are not unhealthy and should be expected. It is how we deal with conflict that can be unhealthy. So then what is unhealthy conflict?

The first way we can deal with conflict in an unhealthy way is actually to not deal with it. So choose to ignore conflict or “sweep it under the rug.” Dealing with conflict in this way can lead to bitterness and anger toward each other. Which would be tragic if it was over a misunderstanding. Think about conflict like this, it is a small cut that if cleaned, or discussed, it is no big deal. If it is left alone it can get dirty and infected and ultimately cause a major problem.

The second way we deal with conflict unhealthily is but making assumptions. If our spouse does something to hurt our feelings we jump to the conclusion that we are just not important to them or they don’t love us anymore. When it may have been as simple as we just did not express to our spouse our expectations or desires. Remember neither spouse is a mind reader so we must express our feelings and expectations and we cannot attempt to read our spouses mind by making assumptions.

Lastly we can deal with conflict in unhealthy ways by loosing it. Either we can become irrational or overly emotional or by screaming. Choose to use the guide that God gave us in James 1:19, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

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Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on conflict.

Dealing with Conflict In Your Marriage | Part 2 2012-06-15T21:12:45+00:00

Dealing with Conflict In Your Marriage | Part 1

2012-06-08T12:57:52+00:00

How Marital Conflict Affects Your Kids

We are going to spend this week discussing another marriage topic that has a major impact on your parenting, as well as on your children, and that is conflict.  For many of us the word conflict is a dirty word.  We avoid conflict at all costs and that can be detrimental.  Remember we are trying to build a team/partnership and in that there is going to be conflict.  We did not marry our clone and probably in fact married our opposite so we are going to have very different thoughts on many areas.  That’s OK!  Conflict in marriage is not a problem, if we choose not to make it a problem.  It is all in how we handle conflict.  Disagreements are actually healthy and help us to get to know our spouse more deeply and strengthen the marriage if we handle it appropriately.

So how does conflict affect parenting? On many levels actually, first and foremost our children will learn how to handle conflict by observing us.  So handling  marital conflict appropriately will actually help our children’s future.  Handling conflict inappropriately can cause damage.  Many times it affects children deeply when their parents are constantly fighting.  Their safe place, the home, becomes a war zone and no longer their sanctuary.  Another reason conflict effects parenting is because if we cannot handle conflicts appropriately then we cannot make team decisions as parents.  That is why we will spend the rest of this week on the important topic of conflict in the marriage.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on conflict.

 

Dealing with Conflict In Your Marriage | Part 1 2012-06-08T12:57:52+00:00