Tag Archive: fighting

this great marriage-enhancing advice is from a friend of mine, Clint Botha, whose friendship has grown a lot since we both ended up in different countries and went virtual…

By no means do I consider myself and Karin some kind of pro married couple (although that would be an awesome competition and/or reality tv show). We have only been at this thing for 6 years and a bit, but these are the things we have found have worked for us.

– It’s a given for us, but Jesus is the centre of our marriage. He is our shared mission, goal, lord, saviour, love! That has made a huge difference in our marriage… I can not state that enough.

-We laugh. A LOT! We laugh at each other (not in a mean way… in other words… only if your partner also sees the funny side). We laugh at ourselves. I can not remember a day in our marriage (even the really difficult days) that we have not laughed about something.

-We save our energy for big stresses. We don’t sweat the little things. We are both of the attitude that life happens. On this journey there are things big and small completely out of our control and those things are not worth stressing over.

-We have a united front with money. Firstly we chose to have a shared bank account. There is no money allocated to Karin or me each month. For us marriage was all or nothing and this included earnings. We are also in agreement with what we do with that money (and Who it ultimately belongs to). We both try to not be reckless or bad stewards (sometimes better than others) and we also try not to hold onto money too tightly. What we found worked for us is that we set an agreed on amount that neither of us would spend more than without the others consent. That way you avoid being tied to never being able to spend… but you also never end up spending more than what was agreed on without the other persons knowledge.

-We give grace and forgiveness very freely and quickly. It’s a huge cliche’, but so important. We do not go to bed angry. Or to put it biblically: Ephesians 4:26 “26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”[a] Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry”.

-We accept that we are both broken people. Karin needs me to love her in spite of her brokeness as much as I need her to love me in spite of mine.

-We let go of passed stuff. It’s tempting to bring up previous mistakes. We’ve made it a priority to never do that.

– During our engagement when we were discussing married life and how to deal with stuff we decided to ban certain language. We banned the “d-word”. We don’t mention divorce. Not in anger… not as a joke. It is a no go word. We never have used that word in a conflict situation.

– We fight clean. We try as far as humanly possible (don’t always get this as right as we’d like to)…. but we try to never go for the jugular or take dirty shots at each other. We don’t do name calling, character assassination and that sort of thing. Stick to the issue.

-We talk. A LOT.

-And finally: “Quality not quantity” is an outright lie of the enemy. We signed up to live this life together and that means making an intentional effort to spend time together. Whether that’s going for a walk or just watching a movie together. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time with one other person for the rest of your life don’t get married.

[married for 6 years]

to continue on to the next post click here…

i was sitting in the back of the church meeting yesterday when a couple (who have been married for less than three years) arrived and she came and sat in front of me and he stood at the back of the room to the one side…

it was obvious to me that they were having some kind of negative vibe – she was obviously stressed and every now and then would look across at him and make eye contact and with a gentle nod of her head indicate to him to “come over and join me” – it was extremely subtle and i don’t think anyone else noticed and most people wouldn’t have, but it really broke me…

and it is quite possible that they have an amazingly happy marriage and that was just a ‘moment’ as we all have – relationships are tough and a lot of work (but thoroughly rewarding at the same time) and so i would imagine every one has moments when you pull in different directions or bump heads or piss each other off – and i really hope it was that… cos i wanted to go to him and say to him, ‘you Fool! get over your pride or whatever silly thing it was that caused you to argue just before you came in here, or maybe are carrying on with from last night, and go to your wife and love her. show her physically – with an arm around her or a gentle kiss on the forehead, that although there has been a blip on the radar or maybe even a little tremor or whatever it is that went wrong, that above all and overwhelmingly unrelated to that you completely love her and choose her and will never leave her.

cos i know there are a bunch of marriages struggling in our church. no-one has ever told me who any of them are but they have not needed to. if you watch people you can see, and it’s horrible. especially when you see people who have given up. going through my motions. given in to selfishness or pride or offence or whatever it is that stops you choosing to love.

and the ridiculous facade of needing to cover it up and pretend everything is okay cos how terrible would it be if people from your loving, caring and supportive community ever found out that there was something wrong with your marriage, oh the shame. so straighten the mask and off to pretend to church…

i would imagine a huge majority of that stuff is brought on by the lie of love being a feeling. when feeling is present then it’s incredibly easy to love, but love is a choice, or a series of choices, and all the actions that accompany those choices. and you HAVE to fight! tbV and i have been married for less than a year and it’s amazing and we both love each other immensely and it surprises us that that continues to grow (cos how can something grow that feels complete but it’s not and it keeps on) but we have to constantly fight for and work at our marriage.

cos the enemy is out there. and he wants to take us down. he hungrily desires to have yet one more marriage fail to live up to the hope of being a light and a beacon for others against a backdrop of brokenness and divorce and surviving.

but God wants marriages to thrive! God loves marriage (it was his idea after all) and He backs them and is cheering them on. and it is through His power via the Holy Spirit living in us and His guidance (via teaching in the Bible, the example of Jesus and many Godly men and women who have been able to live and model it out) that we will be able to be part of a growing, increasing-in-love union. i think one of the hugest parts of building a successful working thriving marriage is choosing to choose. again, repeatedly, especially when circumstances or behaviours encourage otherwise – i choose you again. i choose to love you. i choose to serve you. i choose to give to you. i choose to seek after a love that

is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. [1 Corinthians 13.4-8a]

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