There are many husbands and wives who think their marriage was a mistake. They’re looking back with regret at their decision to marry. And they’re wondering now if there is some reasonable way they can correct their mistake. They don’t want to hurt their spouse, their children, or their family. But they just can’t imagine having to live with their mistake for the rest of their lives.
Maybe, this is the way you feel. Or, maybe you have a strong sense this is the way your spouse feels.
In either case, I understand this line of thinking. I’ve been there, on both sides. So I’m not here to pass judgment on anyone for feeling this way.
However, I do want to challenge this way of thinking and the reasonings that go along with it. Read more
I am grieved by the troubles in our world today. Everywhere we turn people are against one another. There are divisions over race, religious views, political views, social and economic status. And for many of us there is division in our own families. So I think everyone would agree, we need peacemakers.
I know this is a marriage blog and so I’m not trying to turn this into a current events article. But I believe some of the lessons we try to communicate to marriages, we can also apply to the world around us. After all, marriage is all about the journey of becoming united as one flesh. So why wouldn’t the same principles of unity work for our world around us? Read more
Every now and then Janet and I discover that one or both of us still struggle with some lingering effect from the bad years of our marriage. about the things we have done to each other and to our marriage. So I want to share with you how our old arguments and constant fighting did more damage than I would’ve ever thought possible.
Now I don’t want to give the wrong message here and cause discouragement to those still hoping to restore their marriage. Janet and I have overcome a lot and we are much better off having stayed together than we would have been if we had parted ways. It’s not that our marriage is in trouble or that it is threatened by our past. It’s just sometimes damage can take more work to overcome than anyone would have imagined.
“If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Mark 3:25
Marriage is a wonderful gift from God. It’s the union of two unique individuals blending their lives together to become as the bible says, “one flesh.” This unity does not happen when husbands and wives become the same in every way possible. True unity in marriage is established and held together when couples celebrate what they share in common while at the same time learn to accept and embrace each other’s differences. Couples that strive to become “one flesh” know there is beauty and strength in both their sameness and in their differences.
But there is something seriously wrong in a marriage the moment a couple begins allowing their differences to become a place of division. When their differences become a place of contention and dispute their marriage is put in serious jeopardy. Because when division is accepted and tolerated in their relationship they open up the door for greater trouble in their marriage.
There is a war that goes on in marriage, but I believe way too many people misunderstand what the real war in marriage is all about.
I remember how offended I felt when someone I knew posted a statement on Facebook that said, “marriage is the only war where you sleep with the enemy.” For them it was meant to be a joke and so my response to them was a little too harsh because I wanted them to take their marriage more serious.
Confronting your spouse about an important issue that must be addressed is a very difficult thing to do. And if it is not done properly and with love the results can take your marriage in the wrong direction. But when it is done right it will add a greater dimension of intimacy in your marriage.
On our post, How Do You Handle Constructive Criticism? I talked about the importance of handling constructive criticism well and the value it can add to your marriage. On this post I want to be very specific about how to confront your spouse without causing more damage to your relationship.
It is not easy to receive criticism even when it is constructive, especially when it comes from your spouse, the one you want nothing less than absolute acceptance and approval from. And it is not easy to give constructive criticism to your spouse without hurting your spouse’s feelings and coming across as disapproving and rejecting. But knowing how to give and receive constructive criticism is desperately needed for a marriage to grow in oneness as God has intended.
The struggle with feeling critical toward one another is very real in marriage, I don’t think anyone is immune from it. So the challenge we all face is knowing how to guard against allowing criticism to be used in a negative way that is hurtful and harmful to our marriage. While at the same time allowing constructive criticism to be used in a way that promotes growth and encouragement.
In the past, if you ask me, “what do you do for a living?” as most men will ask one another, you would have heard me say “I work as an auto mechanic.” But you would have never heard me say, “I am an auto mechanic.” Because what I do to make a living is not the sum total of who I am.
I am many things, I am complex.
First and most important, I am a child of God. Second, I am Janet’s husband. After that, I am Dad, father to my three children.
But I also see myself as Read more
Every marriage should have a good balance of partnership and friendship. It is difficult and there are many couples who fail at it everyday, but it is possible.
Marriage is the only relationship where we should have both partnership and friendship. Ordinarily in any other relationship it is considered unwise to mix the two. A business partnership that starts from friendship will usually hurt the friendship and a partnership that develops into friendship can hurt the partnership. Unless everyone understands the difference and they are able to balance the two properly.