Blame shifting is one of the biggest reasons couples have a hard time resolving their marital conflicts. We all do it at one time or another. But that doesn’t mean we should. Because the answer to the problem is never in finding who to blame. The answer, whatever the problem, is always found when someone takes responsibility.
Many times couples have come to us with marriage problems and with their own ideas of fixing the marriage by fixing their spouse. While neither husband or wife claim to have achieved perfection, they are set on believing their marriage problems are the other person’s fault. Each one will admit to the things they do wrong, but they weigh their own faults in a balance against their spouse’s faults and the balance always leans in their favor.
Husbands and wives fall into the same trap all other relationships fall into when there is conflict. We lose sight of what’s most important and we become fixated on who’s fault it is. Who did what to whom? Who started this?
“It’s her fault because she did such and such.” “It’s his fault because he should have done that.” Around and around we go. Where it stops, nobody knows. Read more
Have you ever given God an assignment? You’re probably thinking no way, I would never do that. And you would be right to reject the idea if I was talking about demanding Him an order. But that’s not what I mean. I would never give Him an order or demand. However, I do believe our Father wants us to give Him assignments. And I believe He wants us to trust Him with whatever assignment we give Him.
Let me explain by telling you where I first got this idea.
A few years ago when we were in a meeting with a ministry team. One of our pastors held the meeting after she had been out of the country for a few months. She wanted to share with us her experiences and to catch her up with what she had missed. While she was away, Janet and I handled a few extra responsibilities in the ministry. Read more
Anytime your marriage is in trouble it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to get down on yourself and let regret and fear overtake you. But for your marriage to overcome this trial you have to take a stand against discouragement. For you to take that stand I want to share with you some thoughts on why and how you should encourage yourself.
I remember when I was a young boy in school just learning to read. One of my favorite books was “The Little Engine That Could.” Though I don’t remember the full story, I still remember it was about a little engine pulling a train up a steep hill and how he kept repeating the words, “I think I can, I think I can.” Those words were what the little engine needed to encourage himself to climb that hill.
A marriage breakup is one of the worst crisis a man or woman can face. So many emotions to work through. So much confusion to deal with. Trying to navigate it all is extremely difficult. Knowing when to hold on and when to let go is a bigger challenge than anyone else can possibly imagine.
If this is where you are today, I understand what you’re dealing with. I know the pain and confusion that is trying to consume you. You don’t want to be in this situation, but you are. So you’re searching. You need some answers. And you need some guidance. Read more
The condition of your marriage depends on the connections you have with your spouse. If you have poor connections your marriage will suffer and struggle to survive. If you have good connections your marriage will grow stronger and stronger as the years go by. So if you’re wanting to save your marriage. Or, if you’re wanting to strengthen your marriage, your connection is the key.
For the longest time, I’ve been trying to answer a few questions about my own marriage. Such as, why did Janet and I struggle for so many years to keep our marriage together? Now that our marriage is strong, what has made the difference? And how is it that we clearly should have divorced on four different occasions, but somehow we survived each crisis? Read more
I wrote an article awhile back called Why Marriage Restoration Should Not Be Your First Priority. I wrote that to express how knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior is far more important than overcoming marriage trouble. Because a few times I have dealt with someone wanting help to save their marriage. While at the same time they had no interest in knowing Jesus or allowing Jesus to help them. For them, their marriage restoration was more important than a relationship with God.
Then, recently I heard from a man who has been struggling to restore his marriage. He told me about his prayers and how he has been seeking God for answers. He said God has given him peace even though his situation hasn’t improved. And then he told me how someone else has accused him of putting his marriage first, instead of his relationship with God. Read more
I want to get this straight right from the start. I agree, your marriage is important. And if your marriage is in trouble that means your marriage restoration is a high priority in your life. But I do not believe your marriage restoration should be your first priority.
I understand what you’re going through. The heartache and confusion of a marriage crisis are the toughest things I’ve ever dealt with. But, when I talk about your marriage crisis I have to talk about your relationship with Jesus. Your marriage restoration should not be your first priority.
Jesus has to be your first priority
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