Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Marriage Threat #3

{Reflections from "A Weekend to Remember" Marriage Retreat by Family Life}

Threat #3: Inevitable Difficulties

Understanding that each marriage will have difficulties can bring so much health when problems arise. I think many of us fantasize that marriage will be without conflict, and so when problems arise, we assume something has gone wrong. When we understand that difficulty/conflict are normal, and in fact healthy, we can begin to seek ways to pursue unity even through difficulty.

There are two failures in our response to difficulties
1. There is a failure to anticipate the certainty of difficulties and problems.
2. There is a failure to respond properly to difficulties and problems.

Difficulties do not mean something is wrong with your marriage.

Your response to difficulties will either drive you apart or bind you together.
-Some respond to problems by trying to suppress or escape the pressure.
-Others respond to problems by blaming or attacking others.

You must have a plan to move through these times without rejecting or withdrawing from your spouse.

We often think that if our spouse doesn't handles problems/difficulties the same way we would, they are in the wrong. The speaker at the retreat continually told us different doesn't mean wrong. It means different.

He held up a mug. He asked the audience "Which side of the mug is the handle on?" We responded "the right side". He said "Well from my perspective it's on the left side". Both were correct, they were just different . . . not wrong.

I think this brings so much freedom when encountering difficulty in marriage. We will see things differently, and that's okay. We have to be willing to work through these problems without feeling like the goal is "same" but unity.

They had us then circle which ways we most often respond to problems:
-blame others

This reflection piece was huge for me! Understanding the unhealthy way I deal with problems can help me to pursue a healthy way of dealing with difficulties. Knowing that we will most certainly have difficulty/disagreeements/problems in marriage also helps us see it as a growing point, rather than thinking something is wrong or broken.

What ways do you respond to problems in your marriage?
Are there steps you can take to pursue healthy problem solving instead?
What can you do to respond in a way that will bring you together, rather than drive you apart?

"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:1-3)

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