Marriage Tip #2

This is an installment in the Marriage Tips series! You can read marriage tip #1 here.

Always argue fair!

The first marriage tip was to laugh so much you do not have time to argue. What I simply meant by that was spend as much time as possible together having fun, making memories, and building your relationships.

But sometimes arguments happen and are necessary. What tends to happen is the arguments become so intense that each side begin to disrespect the other side. Since we are humans, we are fallible; but today, I want to remind you how to argue fair because it is very possible to have constructive arguments and still work on a solution to the problem.

1. Pray.

If you begin to have a problem with your spouse, pray about the situation first. Ask God to help restore the marriage and for forgiveness for your wrongdoing. Praying before an argument can give you peace of mind, makes sure you remember how to argue fair, and puts your marriage in His perfect hands.

2. Do not ignore the problem.

Every marriage has problems, even yours! We are sinners which means we do things wrong. If your spouse has hurt you, go to them. Tell them. Sometimes, they might not even realize they hurt you. Do not harbor hurt and anger because bitterness with grow rapidly which will destroy your marriage.

3. Do not call your spouse names.

This is definitely not helpful to get your point across! Credibility, trust, and respect starts to break down as soon as the name calling begins. If you are tempted to call your spouse a foul name, just bite your tongue! Remember the saying you were taught as a child: “If you cannot say something nice, do not say anything at all!” This well-known saying is so important, especially in marriage.

4. Do not raise your voice.

This is one of those things that just happens as tempers flair, but it can also cause more problems. Soon, an argument to solve a problem just turn into a screaming match. Screaming matches do not solve problems. Work on staying calm, cool, and collected.

5. Listen to your spouse.

Listening to your spouse is always the most important thing to remember during an argument. They are trying to get their point across just like you are. Allow your spouse to speak without interruption. There are always multiple sides to every story. You are not always right! Remember, there is a huge difference between just hearing your spouse and truly listening. Along with listening to their words, listen to their heart. More times than not, there are things your spouse is not verbally saying. Dig deeper and listen to what is or is not being said.

6. Take a break.

This do not mean separating. I simply mean that if things become heated (ie: name calling, screaming, and not listening), go into another room for a few minutes for a short breather. Count to ten, calm yourself down, then go back to your spouse to resume solving the problem. Sometimes this is tremendously important so you do not say something you will regret or disrespect your spouse in any way. Sometimes arguments will last days, weeks, months until a solution is reached.

7. Do not give your spouse the silent treatment.

First of all, the silent treatment is so beyond juvenile. So seriously, grow up! It bothers me greatly when I see people giving their spouse the silent treatment.

Second, the silent treatment does not solve anything. It just drags on an argument unnecessarily. Giving the silent treatment is extremely rude to your spouse and shows them that you do not care about them, the marriage, solving the problem, and building the relationship.

8. Make up.

When a solution has been reached, it is time for the fun part–making up! Just a simple hug and kiss or something more can restore the intimacy.

The goal when arguing is to find solutions to problems! Arguing can build a relationship if you argue fair. Also, your children are watching/listening when you argue with your spouse. You are teaching them how to solve problems whether you realize it or not.

Do you think there is such a thing as arguing fair? What other tips would you add on how to argue fair?

Marriage Tips, Introduction

For the past two or three weeks, I have been wanting to start a marriage tip series but have been feeling inadequate. I mean, come on! I have only been married 2 1/2 years. Lots of marriage knowledge? Not in the least! So feeling a little inadequate? Just a little…

But here I go…

Introducing a marriage tips series!

In theory, I would like to have “Marriage Tip Monday,” but I do not think I am going to have something everysingle. Monday. So I will just let the marriage tips flow whenever they want to come.

The marriage tips I bring to you are things I have learned and hope they help your marriage too.

The Sin of Expectations

I was on Facebook and noticed a comment on a page I follow about the sin of expectations. It really got me thinking.

Is having expectations a sin?

We all have expectations whether they’re on ourselves or others. While I’m not quick to say that having expectations is a sin, I’m not discrediting it either.

So what makes expectation a sin?

One has to look at the source. Where is the expectation coming from? Does God expect certain things of us?

Most certainly not. He loves us just the way we are. We are loved because we are His, not because of what we can do for Him.

That means the source of expectations come from Satan.

How many times do we expect something of someone else and that person not live up to our expectations? More times than any one of us can count or would even want to. When someone doesn’t live up to our expectations, we become disgruntled. The seed of dissatisfaction can grow to outright resentment. These are things that can destroy relationships. Dissatisfaction and resentment are definitely from Satan.

What about the expectations we put on ourselves? There are a lot of those if you’re being honest with yourself. I would say the expectations one puts on their self is from Satan because we are already enough for God. When we are expecting things of our self, we aren’t putting our faith and trust in Him. Our hope is in the Lord. When we release the expectations we have on our self, we release those chains that hold us back from God changing us into who He wants us to be. Expecting yourself to be a certain “whatever” is putting the power of change in your own hands and not God’s.

Does this conclude that all expectations are sins?

Nah, I don’t think so. I believe if you voice your concern or need instead of harboring it inside and allowing that seed of dissatisfaction and resentment grow then your expectation should be met if at all possible. There is a difference between expecting someone to do something (like doing the dishes when asked or complimenting something when mentioned) and expecting someone to change who they are.

Look at the expectations you have on someone else or yourself and really ponder the source of those expectations. Evaluate how those expectations are hindering yourself or your relationships with others.

Do you think having expectations is a sin?