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?

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Blessings, Big and Small #8-22

This is an installment in the Blessing, Big and Small series.

Over the past couple weeks, God has blessed me beyond measure yet again! Here is how:

 

8. Mister being able to participate in half of Bethel Baptist Church’s basketball season.

9. My parents treating us to the last after-basketball Dairy Queen.

10. A new Vera Bradley hipster purse with matching wallet.

11. An off-the-hook birthday!

12. Celebrating a RISEN Saviour!

13. Dinner with family I have not seen in a while. There were lots of laughs as always.

14. Lots of giggles of Noel in her Easter dress. Mister cannot believe I bought a dress for Noel for Easter. He was mortified! Ha!

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15. 79 cent movies at Drug Mart for our first Monday movie night after basketball season.

16. Impromptu date night at a Cavs game.

17. Mister having a day off before a drill weekend.

18. Having a drill weekend that went by fast. That very rarely happens!

19. Awesome weather! I worked on a project for Noel so she can use our full yard without me being outside.

20. Noel kind of learning that it is OK to be outside without me. She freaks out less and less each time.

21. A ginormous yard. Mister and I have never had a yard this big. Living in the country is great 🙂

22. Unexpected last minute local tax refund.

 

I love counting blessings! God is good all the time!

 

How has God blessed you in the past few weeks? 

 

More Than Bunnies, Candy, and Pastel Colors

Easter is so much more. So much more than bunnies. So much more than candy. So much more than pastel colors. These are the things we see all over town around Easter time, but I want the world to know something. It is so much more.

Easter time is celebrating a man that died on the cross but more importantly a man who rose from the grave. This man is Jesus. He had no sin but died to atone for the sins of the world–for every single person.

And He is so much more than “just a man.” He is my Lord. He is my Friend. He is my Saviour.

He is my Saviour because he conquered death. He made a way for me to go to Heaven. He made a way for you to go to Heaven. He can be your Saviour too!

I do not know about you; but when I think of what Easter really means, it is so much more. So much more than we could ever imagine.

Easter is about the cross and the stone that was rolled away.

So…

Happy Resurrection Sunday, dear one!

What My Birthday Means to Me

Today is my birthday! My 21st birthday to be exact, and I am very excited!!! And nervous…

For some reason, the last few weeks I have actually been nervous about turning 21. Call me crazy, but the thought of a new age milestone and new chapter is kind of nerve wracking. Now, I feel like I actually have to grow up. I was counting on being Peter Pan the rest of my life. But here I am turning 21.

Do not get me wrong–I am still tremendously excited about turning 21 too! And the excitement is outweighing the nervousness. So that is good!

I love celebrating my birthday. That might sound a little vain, but I do not want to be vain.

I love celebrating my birthday because I am reminded how great life is. God created me for a purpose. I have been His since the beginnings of the earth. He knew me before I was even conceived. I have been fearfully and wonderfully made by my almighty God, my heavenly Father.

I have a purpose. I have been given this great life.

For a long time, I did not like the way God made me. I did not like the life He gave me. I did not think I had a purpose.

But the more I knew God, the more I knew me.

Now, I love the way God made me. I love the life He gave me. I know I have a purpose.

So celebrating my birthday is not because I want a lot of gifts or whatever. I celebrate my birthday because I am grateful for the life God has given me. I celebrate because I have life. I celebrate because my life is beautiful. I celebrate because I have a purpose and am of value.

Below is my favorite song, “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry. It might not have a lot to do with this blog post, but I love it, so it has to be played on my birthday. Enjoy!

Let’s Celebrate My 21st Birthday!

This giveaway has ended!

It’s PARTY TIME! My 21st birthday is 6 wake-ups away, and we are going to spend the whole week celebrating. I hope during this week you will get to know me better and I can get to know you too (virtually, of course)!

To kick off the party, today is the start of a give-away! Yipee!!! I love giveaways. Come on–it is a chance to win free stuff. Who does not love that?! And I am very excited about the prize…

Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge

Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge

I had Captivating sitting on my book shelf for years growing up but did not really read it. After a year or so of marriage though, I finally read it, and boy, oh boy! was it life changing. God waited for the perfect time for me to read it. He knew when I needed it the most! It changed how I view myself and God. It was the beginning of real spiritual growth for me. Captivating truly unveiled the mystery of a woman’s soul.

I wish I could give a copy of this book to every woman I know, but alas, that is impossible. So I will be giving away one copy of Captivating. 

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment under this blog post with how long you have been married. If you are not married, comment with how long your parents/grandparents have been married. You may only enter once.

When it ends, I will use random.org to pick a winner using the number generator. The winner will be emailed and will be announced on the blog on April 2. The winner will have 24 hours to respond via email. If I do not hear from the winner, I will pick a new winner.

The give-away starts today and will end on my birthday, 03/30/2013 at 11:59 PM EST.

Happy commenting!

*Disclaimer: This give-away is solely of my own doing and is in no way affiliated with the authors/publishers. I have not received any compensation.

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? 

Diamonds vs. Pearls

This is a guest post I wrote for Singing Through the Rain a while back before I had a blog.

Beauty. There is nothing like the beauty of a gem. Women love jewelry. We have all heard the expression, “Diamonds are a girls best friend.” Diamonds are the hardest substance currently known to man and are created by intense heat and pressure. The thing about diamonds though is there needs to be a sculptor. A diamond is only valuable when it is sculpted by the work of a man’s hands.

To read the rest, go to Diamonds vs. Pearls. Enjoy!

Blessings, Big and Small, Introduction

Last night as I was tossing and turning, the chorus of a hymn from long ago popped into my head and wouldn’t leave.

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

I was inspired to start a series for my blog. I will be counting my blessings, big and small. I want to see what God is doing. Join me on my journey of counting blessings.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

God is Love

Two days ago, I began talking about why I love Valentine’s Day and why I believe it essential for a marriage. Many know the origins of Valentine’s Day is a celebration of Saint Valentine and blah blah blah. But I have a reason beyond celebrating Saint Valentine and love for my husband and that is God.

I wear a ring on my thumb that simply says “love.” It reminds me that I am loved by an almighty God, my darling husband, and so many people. It also reminds me to love others the way God loves me. One of my favorite verse in the Bible is…

God is love
1 John 4:16b

These three words might look so simple at first glance, but when they are truly pondered, there is incredible depth to them. Without God, we wouldn’t have love for He is love. His love for us doesn’t fade over time. It never changes and is always strong.

The word “love” in the Bible, God’s love, is agape. Agape love is completely selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional. It doesn’t need chemistry or compatibility. It endures forever. Agape love isn’t an emotion. It chooses it’s passion. Agape love is redemptive and keeps our hearts pure and whole. It’s the utmost standard of love.

I don’t think we will ever be able to fathom the depth of God’s love. It’s beyond anything our minds and hearts can give on our own.

Of course, God’s love can be extended to all people, not just our spouse, but your spouse should be at the very top of your “To Love” list. When we struggle to love our spouse, we need to turn to God. He will teach us how to love because He is love.

During Valentine’s Day, while you’re showing love to your spouse, children, and others, remember Who loved us first and to love others with the same love as God’s love.

Miracles and God’s Goodness

Two days ago, we received a bill in the mail from Metlife. I dreaded opening it because we have been having problems with them charging us for one hundred people since May. I didn’t want to have to call them back again (I’ve been calling them monthly) to argue about our bill.

Yesterday, I finally opened it. The first words out of my mouth were, “God is good!” The amount owed on the bill was ZERO!

For two days in a row, those words have been spoken in our home; and, after my post about decisions and miracles, we’ve seen God work.

We have been looking at our bills and crunching number, and we know that there is no way humanly possible that our bills will be paid. But God will work a miracle! Because God is good all the time!