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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Making adjustments for a healthy marriage

This evening the Chicago Bears play the Dallas Cowboys.
Of course, I will be watching, pulling for the Cowboys to win - unlike they did last year at Soldier Field (remember - I was at the game and it was very, very cold).
In one way, marriage is a lot like football.
In a close game, each team has the responsibility to make adjustments according to what they other team is doing.
The ideal time for this is halftime. 
Good coaches makes the required adjustments during the intermission, especially if they are losing.
A winning marriage requires the same type adjustments - adjustments that are made proactively.
Each person in a marriage come into that relationship with a set of assumptions, traditions, values, habits and rules from their previous life as a single person.
And so:  adjustments are to be made if the marriage is to be healthy.
And what's wild is that it is normally in the smallest of things that can bring the greatest of frustrations.
Someone has said, "We are worn down less by the mountain we climb than by the grain of sand in our shoe."
Something as small as where the toothpaste holder is - can bring about a siege of horrific conflict between the husband and wife.  (Not picking up after yourself - even something as small as whether the toilet seat stays up or down).
These small things can lead a couple to ask themselves:  Why did I marry this person (with a lot of tears and anger).
Can I tell you something:  You did marry the right person - without a doubt.
So...let me give you some points to remember as you make adjustments in your marriage (from the book, "Starting your marriage out right."
Recognize that adjustments are inevitable
It is 100% normal to have times of frustration and conflict over different areas of relationship in marriage.  In these adjustments, focus in on changing your behavior and becoming more tolerant and accepting of your spouses behavior.
Understand that adjustments have a divine purpose.
God uses these adjustments to teach us how to love one another in a godly way - as imperfect, different human beings.
Ask God for wisdom on how to live with this person who is different from you.
Instead of working, "just" on your spouse (and changing them) - how about accepting the situation and work in adjusting yourself?
Be more concerned about your own rough spots than those of your spouse.
Jesus said it best:  take the log out of your own eye before trying to take the speck out of your spouse's eye.
Make a commitment to hang in there, to work through the inevitable adjustments.
What's a good verse to memorize for all couples?
Philippians 2:3, "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself."
And finally, know this dear couples:  Your spouse is your friend, not your enemy.
I encourage you to say at some point today to your spouse:  "You are not my enemy.  You are my friend."
Just some thoughts for a Thursday.

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