This is going to be a different type of Marriage Insight. We’re going to give you short marital insights in the form of quotes and links to several marriage issues (posted on the Marriage Missions web site). You can then look to see what else we offer that can potentially help you in your marriage. (And if you need more, we offer it. Just look around the web site. It’s all free for the taking.)
Through the years we’ve learned that there is no such thing as “one size fits all” as it pertains to marriage tips, unless it comes directly from the Bible. That’s why we give you a large selection of marriage tips and resources to look through. (On the web site we offer 36 topics and more.) We encourage you to pray, read then glean, and use what God shows you will work for you in your marriage situation.
Our marriage issues are different than yours, and so is the next couple’s. So, just look for what God impresses upon you to apply to your marriage. Below are a few subjects we believe will help many of you. We give you linked topics you can look through and a related quote as a starting point to learn more. Again, see what you can use:
Marital Insights on a Variety of Topics
First and second:
• COMMUNICATION AND CONFLICT – plus – COMMUNICATION TOOLS:
“Marriage is a call to listen. Even when our spouses misbehave or create difficult situations for us, we’re to tune in to God’s still, small voice and ask, ‘What is it you want me to learn from this? How are you stretching me at this time? What are you trying to do in my soul?’
“Instead of listening, our impatient souls immediately want to provide commentary. Our natural, arrogant selves are eager to speak, to be heard, and to be understood. We can’t wait to express our opinion, state our outrage, or make clear our intentions, yet the Bible warns, ‘When words are many, sin is not absent‘ (Proverbs 10:19). You know what this tells me in a practical sense? The pause button on my tongue’s remote control should get much more use than the play button.” (Gary Thomas, from “Devotions for a Sacred Marriage”)
• DEALING WITH IN LAWS & PARENTS:
“Most people don’t realize the extent to which the marriage they create is a product of the marriage they observed growing up. For better or worse, every husband and wife bring behaviors, beliefs, quirks, and roles into their marriage that they’re not even aware of. Like an actor in a dramatic performance following a script (the one we observed growing up), each of us plays a part in our marriage to which we normally haven’t given much thought. As a result, we become entangled in a story about us that we never intended to write.
“…Without knowing it, we absorbed ways of being a wife or a husband from our family of origin. Plus, we formed standards for our spouse to live up to in his or her role too. That’s why some good couples have a difficult marriage. Would it make any difference if you could go back in time and observe firsthand the kind of home and the experiences your spouse had as a child? Would the role he or she plays today as your mate make more sense? Almost certainly. …You can explore the past with your partner as you try to imagine what it would have been like to grow up in his or her shoes. (Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, from their book, “I Love You More”)
More Marital Insights on Specific Issues
• CHILDREN’S EFFECT ON MARRIAGE:
“Couples marry because they think their romantic relationship will continue throughout their lives. And it would, if they were to continue meeting each other’s intimate emotional needs. But as soon as their children arrive, there is a very high likelihood that their romantic relationship will end. That is because they cannot find time to give each other undivided attention. And with the end of their romantic relationship, their marriage is at risk.
“Children do not require parent’s attention 24 hours a day. Nor do they suffer when parents are giving each other their undivided attention. It’s not the child’s fault that parents neglect each other when children arrive; it’s the parent’s fault when they decide that their children need so much of their time. Sadly, they have not time left for each other. But the truth is that couples have time for both their children and each other, if they schedule their time wisely.” (Willard F. Harley, from his article, “Caring for Children Means Caring for Each Other”)
“When marriage has reached a crisis point, and one spouse has either moved out or is living in a separate room but the other wants desperately to save the marriage, Michele Weiner Davis’ advice is to ‘stop the chase. The most typical thing is to chase the other spouse, beg and plead and cry, try to convince him or her that things are good,’ she said. ‘They’ll send flowers, make 150 calls to say, ‘hello.’ The irony is that when someone is ambivalent about the marriage, it pushes him or her in the opposite direction. No one likes to be forced or coerced, and if they had any doubts about leaving, that doubt is eliminated.
“What I ask them to do is stop pursuing, pull back, do a 180 and begin to focus on themselves and rebuild their lives. It’s not to give up on the marriage, but sometimes when you stop the chase, it gives the person who’s been walking out the door enough time to reflect on what it might be like to not have the marriage, not have this spouse. It doesn’t save every marriage, but it has saved enough marriages so that anybody in this eleventh-hour situation is really doing themselves a disservice if they don’t try it.” (Mark Wolf, from the article, “Divorce is No Democracy”)
“All marriages are sacred, but not all are safe. (Rob Jackson)
“Realize that the abuse is not your fault, no matter what your abuser says. Understand that abuse can happen to anyone, of any faith, age, economic status, race, or neighborhood. Know that you are not alone. Know that you are not stupid or worthless; to the contrary, God loves you deeply and values you highly. Realize that God does not condone abuse of any kind. Believe that His will for you is to break free of the abuse you’re suffering. Recognize your need for help and decide to pursue it.” (From the article “Heal from Abuse”)
“The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates everyone who loves violence.” (Psalms 11:5)
• EMOTIONAL & PHYSICAL AFFAIR and also, SURVIVING INFIDELITY:
“Many times, people want to know the definition of betrayal. To some, it is about having intercourse and other sexual contact with another person. To others, betrayal is more about one’s spouse feeling emotionally connected to someone else. There are late conversations of a personal nature with a co-worker, or an on-going, intimate friendship with another person. To others, it is secrecy. This may involve secret email accounts, cell phones, Internet behavior, or an unwillingness to share information about whereabouts, spending habits, or life plans.
“The fact is, there is no universal definition of betrayal. When two people are married, they must care about each other’s feelings. They don’t always have to agree, but they must behave in ways that make the relationship feel safe. Therefore, if one person feels threatened or betrayed, his or her spouse must do some soul searching and change in ways to accommodate those feelings. In other words, betrayal is in the eye of the beholder. If you or your partner feels betrayed, you need to change what you’re doing to make the marriage work.” (Michele Weiner-Davis, from article “Ten things You Need to Know About Affairs”)
Marital Insights that Address:
• SPIRITUAL MATTERS – plus – PASTORS & MISSIONARY MARRIAGES – also – UNBELIEVING SPOUSE – and – BITTERNESS and FORGIVENESS:
“The most urgent mission field on Earth isn’t across the sea or even across the street —it’s right where you live —in your home and family. Jesus’ last instruction was to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). At the thought of this command, our eyes look across the world for our work field. That’s not bad; it’s just not all. God intended the home to be the first place of Christian discipleship and growth (see Deuteronomy 6:4-8). Our family members must be the first ones we reach out to in word and example with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the fundamental way in which this occurs is through the marriage relationship.” (Gary Smalley)
“We often hear it asked, ‘What am I getting out of this marriage? But the more appropriate question is: What is GOD getting out of your marriage? He’s seeking a colleague—a dedicated partner and coworker—in the ministry of loving your spouse, and YOU are the colleague he wants.” (David & Teresa Ferguson, from their book, “Never Alone”)
“A good marriage is a canvas on which God can paint a picture of how He’s able to bring harmony. It is so God can unite two hearts so that somebody somewhere can look at that marriage and say, ‘Whoa, look at the work God did there.’ And that includes a whole lot of forgiveness and grace.” (Max Lucado)
We hope this has been helpful. Again, please visit the Marriage Missions web site to learn more. Above all:
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (Romans 15:5-6)
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
If you are not a subscriber to the Marriage Insights (emailed out weekly)
and you would like to receive them directly, click onto the following:
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Marriage Insights