It’s humbling to recognize your selfishness when you thought you were doing something good. I knew I had some selfish tendencies that I needed to guard against. But this one act of selfishness caught me by surprise. In fact, up until two years ago, Janet and I both thought of this story in a completely different way.
Then two years ago I was reading What Did You Expect, by Paul David Tripp. One of my all time favorite marriage books. We were using his material for our Marriage Builders class and I was reviewing our next lesson. Then something he said in the book took me back to one weekend when our marriage was in crisis. Read more
Have you ever found yourself arguing with your spouse and can’t remember what you started arguing about? Have you ever thought if you apologize and admit you were wrong, it could make you look weak? I must confess, before the Lord brought healing into our lives and marriage, I used to struggle with this way of thinking quite a bit. That’s why I want to share with you why I now believe it is extremely wrong to fight over who is right.
For many years I was easily caught in this scenario of fighting to prove I was right. It didn’t matter what the argument was about, I was determined from the beginning to prove my points and to prove I was right. And if it ever appeared Read more
There is a wrong way and a right way of letting go of the things that hurt you. When someone does us wrong or has bad behavior that offends us, we will often say “I just let it go,” or “I don’t even let it bother me.” But often when we think we are letting go of something that hurts us, the truth is the offence actually still has some effect on us and could be damaging to our future.
So what is the wrong way and the right way of letting something go?
These two simple words “I’m sorry,” can be so powerful for growing your marriage and yet these two words are so seldom heard.
I’m sure you know saying “I love you” is very important for a strong healthy marriage, but confessing your faults to each other and saying “I’m sorry, I was wrong” should be just as important to you as saying “I love you.”
Confessing you are wrong is actually a major part of demonstrating your love for your spouse. It can be an act of devotion to your marriage and love for your spouse for a number of reasons.
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.
33 Years and Still Dating. This Valentine’s Day, Janet and I plan to go on a date for the evening. This will be our 33rd Valentine’s date and for us it is always a little extra special because it is also the anniversary of our first date. Although we do not plan to go to the drive-in movies like we did that night way back then, we do plan to do something that is just for the two of us.
But the truth is, we don’t just date on Valentine’s Day, our birthdays, or our wedding anniversary. No, we try to make dating a regular part of our life. We don’t get to go out to dinner once a week like some of our friends do, but we do go as often as we can.
On our last post How Are You Two Related, I started talking about how in every marriage we have different and unique ways of connecting with our spouse. And that the important thing was to find your connection points and work from your place of strength as you work to improve other ways to connect with each other.
On this post I want to start taking a look at how we relate to our spouse in three major categories; friendship, partnership, and lovers. As far as I can tell, any connection we have with our spouse will always fit into one or more of these areas. But the challenge we face is understanding how to move in and out of each area and how to find good balance of all three ways of connection.
“The past should be left in the past.” I’m sure many of us have heard this at some point in our marriage. And, I’m sure many of us have said this ourselves at some point.
But the question is: is it ever possible to talk about the past and the hurts from our past? And if it is, when is it okay to talk about it and when is it not okay and how do you know the difference?