I haven't touched this topic for many reasons but none of them are good ones.
I don't have the perfect marriage-not that one exists anyways!
My husband and I are both Christians, but we definitely struggle.
We have different ways of expressing our faith, we have different ways of communicating, we have different ways of planning and scheduling, we have different ideas of what is fun and what is not, we have different ways of putting the toilet paper on the roll! (ha)
Throw in the mix a three-year-old and a seven-year-old, a very high energy dog, full-time work for both of us and lots of sports practices and we have many ugly moments in our home.
As I prayed about this post I recognized that I actually have come a long way in the past year or so and how I handle marriage problems.
God is so good to point this out to me!
So God gave me the confidence to share with all of you.
Marriage is hard.
There are so many reasons why.
As a woman who works outside the home, working can impact marriage big time.
But working outside the home is not the root of our marriage problems.
The root of our marriage problems always is sin.
Many women who work outside the home feel that they don't have enough time to nurture their marriages.
Many women who stay at home feel that they don't have enough time to nurture their marriages.
Many women who work outside the home feel that their children's needs drain them so much that they don't have anything left for their spouses.
And yes you guessed it, stay at home mothers feel the same way.
At the end of a working day, we are left with only so much time to connect with our spouses and nurture our marriage.
Again- whenever there is conflict in marriage, the root of the problem is always sin. My sin, his sin, my children's sin. All of it. Yes, sometimes there are things that need to change and adjustments need to be made. But ultimately, sin is our enemy.
If you're experiencing conflict in your marriage, I can assure you – you are not alone. There is nothing new under the sun, and your issues and struggles with your spouse are not a surprise to God...
So here are the main things I have learned over the past year:
1. I need to approach my husband in humility, respect and love. If I cannot do this, then I need to remain silent and wait for the right time. If I have to remove myself from the situation in order to stick with this principle, then I need to remove myself from the situation.
2. I need to appreciate and verbally praise what I see my spouse doing for my family on a daily basis. I especially needs to do this in front of my children. Speaking words of life into my home is one of the most powerful things I can do for my marriage.
3. I need to check my perspective before banking my emotions on it. Just because I have a certain perspective on a conflict, does not mean that is the correct perspective. Many times, the way I see things are very different than the way my husband sees things. Before I attach great emotion to what may be happening within a conflict, I need to ask God to give me a healthy perspective.
4. It is not my job to change my spouse. Everyone is more content when I remember that it is not my job to change my spouse, convince him, or to control him. I can be true to myself and to my wants and desires and then leave the results to the Holy Spirit.
5. Conflict in marriage is often a powerful tool that God will use to draw me closer to Him-keeping me on my knees and increasing my dependence upon Him...
6. There are many needs that I have that my husband cannot meet. I need to identify those needs and be proactive in seeking out ways to get them met. For example – I need to feel understood as a woman and as a mother. If I expect this from my husband, I will always be disappointed. I have to arrange monthly coffee dates with friends.
7. I need to believe and have hope in God's best for my marriage, while at the same time, leaning on the promise that when I feel something lacking, that God will give me what I need in each day. He will always be enough.
8. I need to remember that there is always a bigger picture. When I look back upon difficult moments in my marriage, I can see how God worked. I can see how I have grown and I can see how my husband has grown. This gives me hope and perspective.
I hope that some of these things have encouraged and helped you!
Let me know what you think! Are you struggling in your marriage? Can you apply one of these eight lessons I have learned? What happens when you do?
I recently found an amazing resource online that I will share with you: