9 Things You Already Have to Solve Marital Conflict
When U.S. Bobsledder Johnny Quinn found himself locked in the bathroom, he resourcefully used the item to break down the door that had gained him entry to the Olympics – his bobsled!
This got me thinking. Our first apartment wasn’t in the greatest shape. Many of the doors had weird holes in them, the size of a large fist. While I’d never advocate punching doors, I do advocate using what you have to prevent and solve conflicts in marriage. Are you making use of everything you have to solve marital conflict?
1. Your Voice.
Communicate with your spouse. If you’re experiencing conflict, schedule a time to sit down to calmly and rationally discuss your issues. Shut off the television and laptops. Mute the cell phone. Give each other at least fifteen minutes of undivided, uninterrupted attention. And talk.
2. Your Body.
Sex can be incredibly soothing, but often in marriages, this hot-button issue is more stressful than stress-relieving. In addition to talking about sex with your partner, use your body to communicate. Show your partner you’re interested with some flirty body language. Initiate sex after arguing as a form of healing. Learn what truly turns your husband on (and off) and incorporate this into your daily routine (i.e. my husband loves back rubs!). Be loving. Be gentle. Be responsive. Work to build a marriage bed you can both enjoy.
See Also: 4 Ways to Better Understand Your Husband
3. Your Time.
Demonstrate your spouse is important by giving of your time. Spend at least a few minutes each day checking in with one another. Set aside time on your days off to do something fun and relaxing together. Invest in your relationship by going on date nights, or creating date nights at home.
See also: Why Quality Time is So Important
4. Your Money.
Finances are another issue that commonly adds fuel to the fire. Communicate lovingly to your spouse by including him/her in financial decisions and budgeting. Demonstrate trust by fostering wise spending habits and giving your spouse access to bank/credit accounts. Value your spouse by sharing the spending money equally. My husband and I check with each other before making big purchases, and use an equality mentality when it comes to spending (i.e. if Adam purchases something to upgrade his computer, I get to invest in new clothes or some new books). Show your spouse that you’re planning for the future by creating a savings account. Get your priorities straight by tithing to honor God and support your local church.
See also: Guarding Against Greed
5. Your Effort.
Share the burden of household chores, taking care of pets, and parenting. For the spouse that may work more than the other, this may be more difficult, but make sure your spouse doesn’t think he/she is alone. Make a clean home a priority by offering to do chores cheerfully and willingly. Set aside time to spend with your kids. Form discipline strategies together.
6. Your Thoughts.
Commit to a healthy thought life about your spouse, your marriage, and your intimacy. Be aware of the lies the Devil will try and tell you. Focus on what is true in your marriage. Think about things that uplift your spouse. Exercise fairness, mercy, and humility in your thought life. Fantasize about your spouse and your spouse only. Plan ways to show your spouse love. Be respectful even in your mind.
See also: Transform Your Thinking
7. Your Trust.
Trust your spouse to follow-through. Wait patiently – your spouse may have a different sense of timing than you do. Be specific if you do want something done within a certain amount of time. Instead of nagging when he/she forgets, try gentle reminding. Give your spouse reasonable time to offer an explanation without jumping to conclusions. Don’t overreact when things go wrong. Avoid using past mistakes as an automatic indicator of future problems.
8. Your Commitment.
Don’t give your spouse any doubt of your love and faithfulness. Pursue relationship with God and learn from His faithfulness. Open lines for healthy communication about sex. Make time to make love. Establish healthy relational boundaries. Guard your mind by fixing your thoughts on God, your eyes on your husband, and falling away from distractions. Recognize you’re not immune, and take steps to prevent infidelity. Stay accountable to one another. Navigate hurt and conflict in a timely manner. Take precautions with social media relationships. Ask your spouse to step in when you can’t handle a situation with the opposite sex. Extricate yourself from unhealthy relationships (i.e. friends who aren’t marriage-positive).
See also: The Most Important Step in Staying Faithful in Marriage, Say Yes to Sex, Zealously Protect Your Marriage, Guard Your Mind, Staying Accountable, Avoiding Temptation, and Unhealthy Relationships.
9. Your Prayers.
Pray for your marriage daily. Pray for your spouse. Pray together for your marriage daily. Ask your spouse for his/her prayer requests, and get in the habit of praying in the moment (this is something I love about Adam!). Praise the Lord together for His character and for how He has blessed you both. Keep a prayer journal to keep track of requests and answers.
See also: Praying the Armor of God on Your Husband
You don’t have to live stuck in a toilet swirl of troubles in your marriage. You don’t have to be stuck behind a battle blockade. Breakthrough the door of dilemmas and use what you have to resolve conflict.
“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10
“Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11
Monday March 3rd – new series – Clothing Your Marriage with the Armor of God