With Christmas and New Years coming up, many of us could use a few relationship tips. This is a time of the year where relationship issues often come to the forefront. Sometimes we need reminders. Other times we need “food for thought” tips. Whatever you need, here goes:
“Ask your husband [or wife] what 3 things are most important to him [or her] this Christmas season. If at all possible make room for those things.” (Lori Byerly)
You could make it just one thing, instead of three. But why stress over doing too much, when just a few things make the most impact with your spouse? Do that, which is most meaningful, and matters the most to you and your spouse. Do that, which Jesus would have you.
When You Can’t Have Your Family With You
“Make plans for yourself if you’re going to be without your children [or supportive family] for the holidays. For most people it helps to be with other people. Think about what you need and then make it happen. Don’t be a victim.” (Jean McBride, from the article, “Soothing Holiday Stresses”)
Sometimes your Christmas plans don’t look like they will happen the way you want. If so, do what you can to turn “negatives” into “positives.” We’ve had to do that quite often in recent years. Time and again we couldn’t be with our family—especially our “kids” and grandkids. The geographical miles have brought many challenges (especially to Korea). Yes, at first we ARE disappointed. But then we pray, rethink things, and make adjustments. We do what we can so we don’t dwell on the negative. It’s a matter of learning “to be content in all circumstances” (as we’re told, in the Bible).
“Blend the old ways with new traditions. This may be the year to take a holiday ski trip or go to the beach.” (Jean McBride)
Missing Loved Ones
There have been several years when we have been grieving over the loss of a loved one. Those have been times when we’ve found it healing to do things differently. We haven’t taken any trips beach trips or gone skiing. But we have made other shorter outings. They have been great distractions for us. And they’ve been enjoyable, when we put our hearts into them with intentionality. Sometimes we’ve tried new foods and menus. We’ve even had fondue or such. It’s a way of mixing things up a bit.
We’ve also secretly delivered gifts to those we knew would be blessed by them. We would quietly deliver them on their doorstep. Then we’d ring their doorbell, and sneak away before they could see us. This has brightened their Christmas and ours. God is so good about giving us creative ideas to spread joy, when we ask. You might do the same if you are going through a sadder time together. It DOES help.
Keep it Peaceful
“Keep your children out of the middle [of tension between you]. No matter what!” (Jean McBride)
Your children don’t need to be a part of your arguments. To the best of your ability, work out your disagreements in private. Here’s something to consider on this issue, written by Heather Long:
“It’s hard to be married, and it’s hard to be a parent. But the best thing you can do for your marriage and for your kids is to recognize that quarrels are a private matter. They need to be resolved between you and your spouse without an audience.
And don’t fall back on the silent treatment either. Kids aren’t stupid. They recognize tension and hostility as easily as an animal does. Do your family a favor —figure out your problems on your own. Provide your children with a positive example of conflict resolution. Make it one that doesn’t involve screaming matches.”
- Also, don’t subject others to your arguments. Look beyond your angry situation. S.T.O.P. and See The Other People who are around you when you and your spouse are arguing.
We’re told in Philippians 2, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
How are you looking for the “interests of others” when you stick them in the middle of your fights? Be kind —take your arguments elsewhere. And apply that same scripture to other relationship times too.
- Keep in mind that if you’re too busy to be kind, you’re too busy.
May you experience the peace of Christ within your marriage and within your home!
Cindy and Steve Wright
To read a few additional relationship tips to de-stress your Christmas holiday, please read:
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