Starting the Conversation
Having the conversation about how to place boundaries can be very intimidating. Because it is so important to do we need to prepare ourselves to make sure that we are approaching it correctly. This could be an area that spouses may not agree 100 percent. We need to make sure that how we approach the topic is correct. If we go in accusatory, “the way you are handling this…”, it will probably make our spouse defensive and end up creating an argument. Remember, we want to place boundaries around our marriage not tear down our own walls in the process. We want to go into the discussion open and vulnerable. There may even be a reason why one spouse is feeling insecure about an area. It may be good to approach the topic from that perspective. For example, maybe the wife has a friend whose spouse just left her for another woman. A good way to bring up the topic of boundaries would be, “because of what happened with so and so, I’m feeling insecure. It is nothing that you have done and I trust you, it’s just me right now. Can we talk about some things that would help me to move past this insecurity?”
Make sure to have this conversation so that both spouses can be on the same page on how to place boundaries.
Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic
Your Marriage Is Under Attack
As Christians we need to fervently protect our marriages. We mentioned the verse yesterday that talks about the Devil being like a lion prowling and waiting to attack. What a better way to devastate many people then to take down a marriage. Not only are the spouses affected but the children, extended family and even people around them. Many of us have observed or even felt the impact first hand of a pastor whose marriage has fallen apart. This is an area that can have devastating and widely reaching consequences. In Ephesians 6, it talks about the armor of God and how we protect ourselves from attacks. The original language implies that our areas of weakness or Achilles’ heel are known. We must make sure that we don’t get lazy in placing boundaries or think that this can never happen to us. No one is immune. We also need to analyze ourselves to see what maybe an area of weakness. Are there perceived or real needs not being met by our spouse that may make us vulnerable? Make this a priority to see what boundaries you need to strengthen around your marriage.
Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.
Setting Boundaries for Your Marriage
Because marriage is the foundation for development of the children that live within a family, it is important to discuss how to protect it. No parent will get up in the morning and think, “hmm, I think I will try to have an affair today and hurt the other members of my family.” So how does it happen? Most of the time it is a slow and gradual process that happens because we did not place boundaries up to protect our marriage from it. Why is this a difficult process to place boundaries? It is not cultural. Our culture is extremely sensual and doesn’t like rules imposed on it, this is not a good combination. Because it is not cultural we are mostly untrained on how to set up these boundaries or what they should look like. Remember that if you don’t take the time to do this God reminds us in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.”
We will spend the rest of this week discussing how to place these important boundaries around your marriage.
For more on this topic listen to today’s podcast.
When There Is No Return On Your Investment
First we need to clarify what this means. What we are discussing today is when it feels like one spouse is investing more then the other. This is not when there are major sin issues, affairs, or abuse these are areas which need professional guidance. This is simply a period of time in a marriage where one spouse may be working harder on the marriage then the other.
There are some actions that we can take during this time. The first thing we need to be doing, and often times it is sadly our last resort, is prayer. We need to be praying for our spouse, marriage and areas we can do better to serve our spouse. Next we can decide who we are truly doing this for. If we are doing marriage to meet our needs then we will be disappointed. Our focus should be to serve our spouse, because by doing this we are ultimately serving Christ. Something that will help as well is to “take captive every thought”. If there are negative thoughts about your spouse choose to focus on positives. What do they do well? Are they a great parent, hard worker, anything that is a positive trait that you can focus on and be grateful for. These are just a few ideas, for more things to do listen to today’s podcast.
The Five “A’s”- The Need For Affection & The Need For Activity
Even though some people may be more “touchy feely” we all need affection to feel loved. We also need to have a sense of fun in the relationship. This is accomplished through activity together. These two are examples of areas that couples are so good about while they are dating. You tell “honeymoon” phase of a relationship because first, they can’t keep their hands off each other and second they do everything together. These areas can get lost in the shuffle of busy married life if we are not careful. We must be intentional to make sure that both the areas of affection and fun activity happen in our marriage. Make sure to listen to today’s podcast to hear more about these two important topics.