In my book 7 Secrets to an Awesome Marriage, the fourth secret is ENGAGE. So far we have looked at STOP, START, and CONNECT. Engage is all about fighting right. We all fight. Some more and some less. Certainly during this time of home isolation, the opportunity for conflict seems heightened. We are frustrated, tired, stressed, fearful and more. It is far too easy to dump that on your spouse and sometimes it is just because they are the only other adult around.
Here are a couple of things that I think will help. If you followed through on the things we talked about last week in CONNECT, you are way ahead on this. Most couples find that the more connected they are, the fewer the fights. In other words, why mess up a good thing?
Second, every day I have lots and lots of choices. In regards to my marriage, I can choose words and actions that will honor Nancy and enrich our marriage or words and actions that are far from accomplishing either of those. I can choose my battles wisely or erupt at every little thing. The choices I make will directly affect our relationship in a good or a bad way. The reality is that every day there will be things that we disagree on. Things that we could escalate into a real battle. Yet, does that give us the Awesome Marriage that we deeply desire? No!
Engaging is about making good choices even when we do not feel like it. It’s about fighting fair and always seeking for the marriage to win! Here are some next steps for you as you learn to engage in your marriage in a healthy way.
Make a list of the conflicts you have had with your spouse over the past 24 hours.
Now take that list and put a “G” by each one you handled in a good way and a “B” by each one you handled badly.
By the “Bs,” write what choices could you have made to turn that “B” into an “G.”
Together pray for God to help you fight right in order to keep your marriage moving forward.
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