Solving vs. Winning: 4 Tips to Help Solve Marriage Conflict

Anne and I dated for three years (including a year-long engagement). It was a very peaceful dating life. I couldn’t tell you about a single fight/disagreement that we had until that one day in Target…

Oh boy.

Scan Gun
Scan Gun

We were registering for our wedding shower. Target had given us the “scan gun” to document everything we were hoping people would purchase for us. Again, we never worked through conflict because, well, we chose not to fight about anything. But in the “toaster” aisle of the store, Anne found a toaster she wanted.  I preferred a different one. Then she said it, 

“This is the toaster I want for MY kitchen.”

The word “my” set me off like a match to a firework. I lost it. My mind snapped with all sorts of thought followed by words coming out of my mouth,

“Your kitchen? You didn’t pay the bills, I do. You don’t live there yet, I do. Aren’t I going to use the toaster too? Shouldn’t I have a say in it?”

This wasn’t one of our finer moments (especially for me). I grabbed that scan gun and went after anything that she didn’t want me to scan. I scanned Playstation games. I scanned bottles of Coke. I scanned pretzels. I didn’t care. It wasn’t about the shower any longer.  I wanted to make a point. I wanted to win the argument. After a few choice words, a few tears, and many apologies, we made it through the Target scanning debacle. 

It might seem petty to you, but for us at the time (Anne 19, me 22), it was the first time we didn’t see eye to eye (that we were willing to admit) and all the pent up frustrations exploded…over a stupid toaster. 

(Wedding Shower Tip: Scan your favorite snacks. Everyone who brought us a gift, brought a bottle of Coke and a bag of pretzels.  Anne and I cannot exaggerate the literal wall of snacks we were given. Our apartment looked like some huge supermarket display for Coke and pretzels.)

Next month we’ll celebrate 18 years of marriage. And of many of the lessons we’ve learned about conflict, moments like the “toaster moment” have taught us: 

“Solving” is better than “winning.”

I love how The Message translates Proverbs 16:18

First pride, then the crash – the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

Pride is the barrier to resolution. Because pride doesn’t want to necessarily solve the issue. It wants to win the war. It wants to make a statement. And It feels good to indulge in it. You’ll feel like you’ve got the edge. 

But the pride-driven win is never worth the prize. When you see what you’ve “won,” you realize that the pride has caused a crash…destruction. How do you see a win as a “win” when you, through your pride, have reduced your spouse to nothing. As I say so often in counseling, a win for “me” is rarely a win for the “we”; but a win for the “we” is always a win for “me.”

My question to you today: Are you looking to win? Or are you looking to solve?

Here’s some tips to help. If you want to be a SOLVER then…

1 – Purposely see the good and not the bad. Why is it so easy to be a critic? I think it has to do with the immediate gain we feel we get. It gives us ammo to use. Pride sees the “bad” as an advantage to have and utilize in case of conflict.  A solving spouse looks for the good in the person and actions of their mate. When you search for it, you’ll be more apt to act upon it. I think of the words of Paul, “I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.

2 – Look to grow instead of looking to gain. Looking to gain against your spouse doesn’t help you grow. But looking to grow will help your marriage gain. Solvers are growers. And they know growth necessitates three essential elements: team work and humility.  It’s that idea of hard-working together and finding ways to grow together instead of trying for personal gain.  

3 – Encourage effort over execution. Far too often, I talk with couples who only hear from their spouse when something is wrong.  When I ask about “encouragement,” I get people staring at me like I’m talking in the Klingon language (shout out to my Trek friends). Solvers give more than positive reinforcement; solvers build up their spouse. Love what the Hebrew writer exhorts the church to do. 

“But exhort one another daily, as long as it is called today.” Hebrews 3:13

It’s more than good church advice. It is great marriage strategy. Catch your spouse doing things right and watch your marriage win. You’ll dramatically see the atmosphere of your home completely transform.  

4 – Treat your spouse better than he/she deserves. A solver doesn’t treat their spouse like he/she deserves. A solver responds to their spouse like Christ responded to them. When humanity deserved nothing, Christ gave everything. When everyone pulled back from him, he poured out his love.  We people acted in hate to kill him, he offered forgiveness with his final breathes. Solvers recognize that no one in the marriage is perfect. Therefore, our response to each other shouldn’t come from a position of who deserves what, but how Jesus love can respond through us.

Pride is so destructive. It’ll pervert your mind to the place where you think you can control its power.  But pride will manipulate your mind into thinking that winning is what matters.  I promise, the way of pride is easier. But cause everything to “crash” (Proverbs 16:18).

Solving is hard work. Humility will seek to make things right so that it is the Lord and the marriage that shines the most. 

“Solving” is better than “winning.”

Be a solver with your marital conflict. 

 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

Pastors and Conflict: 8 Purposeful Actions to Help Heal Conflict

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

I sat in my office very early Monday and journaled about conflict.  As a pastor, I recognize that conflict is inevitable. Why? I’m human and I deal with humans.  I’m imperfect. I pastor an imperfect congregation. The more I understand that, the less pressure it puts upon me to be perfect. 

It was about 5 years ago, someone told me, “your job is to keep people from conflict.”  How impossible is that? Jesus didn’t even do that. But it’s a mantle that so many pastors take upon themselves.  

Pastors feel like a firefighter; constantly putting out little fires everywhere because people do not know how to navigate through healthy Biblical conflict (that’s another blog). We take upon ourselves the responsibility to solve everything so that everyone is happy and satisfied. Again, Jesus didn’t even do that. 

There’s also the constant pressure to make the church about the preference of the weekly attender.  With literally, hundreds of opinions and varied ideas for what the church “should” do is enough to rip the joy from why you do ministry.  And because you don’t do what people want you to do, you are blamed for “not caring” and/or not “hearing people.” 

So I started penning down some thoughts in my journal to share with my staff in our weekly staff meeting. I’m going to type them out like their written so their not well explained.  But you’ll get the gist. 

Here’s what I came up with and shared with my pastoral staff: 

1 – Defuse with compassion.
– Look at the world through the eyes of the “offended.” Get inside their skin and understand from their perspective. What’s their home life like? What season of life are they in? Are they dealing with issues that is intensifying the situation? Grab their perspective.
– Approach it humbly. Be open to the possibility that you are wrong. Have a teachable spirit.

2 – Validate their feelings. 
– Be cautious to tell someone they are wrong to feel that way.  Feelings are real. Emotions are real.
– Connect to what he/she is feeling. This may be the greatest connection point.
– Perspective IS reality.  Help give direction by guiding him/her though their focus. 

3 – Bring the conflict to the proper battlefield. 
– Be in the proper place and the proper time for conflict. Sunday morning in the church hallway isn’t the right place. 
– Make sure it’s the right venue. I saw a pastor in the coffeehouse the other day trying to deal with marital conflict.  That may not have been the best choice.
– Have the right people there.  My dad always says, “there’s two sides to every dime…then there’s the edge of the dime nobody is telling you.”

4 – Agree on what will be discussed and keep the meeting about THAT point.
– Try to stay on point to bring resolution. Keep the main thing the “main thing.”
– When a meeting is set, agree on what will be talked about to help keep focus.  Don’t get blindsided. 

 5 – Take ownership/responsibility over what you need to.
– Don’t take on undo faults. Taking on undo credit both good and bad isn’t healthy. 
– Don’t throw people under the bus.  Help guide your appointment to healthy biblical Matthew 18 conflict. 
– Represent yourself, your staff, and your church well. Be humble yet firm. 
– Represent The Church well.  Show the love and compassion of Jesus.

6 – Ask for forgiveness if you are at fault. 
– Avoid saying, “I’m sorry” and use “will you forgive me.” There’s a massive difference. “I’m sorry” helps establish sorrow.  “Will you forgive me” initiates the responsibility of forgiveness from the other party. 

7 – Give forgiveness. 
– If someone apologizes offer forgiveness verbally.  “I forgive you” does so much more than “it’s okay.” When forgiveness is extended, it releases an individual.  
– Communicate it afterwords.  It could be a note/card. Maybe it’s a text or message. To many people picture a vindictive God because their pastor doesn’t communicate or walk in forgiveness well.  

8 – Resolution doesn’t mean everyone gets what they want. INCLUDING YOU THE PASTOR.
– Keep the main thing Jesus and His Kingdom.
– Embrace and celebrate what you share.
– You may agree to disagree.
– Pray together.
– Give direction and accountability.
– Go after the Kingdom win and not the personal win. 

Do we as a staff (or any pastoral staff for that matter) have this stuff down perfect? Nope.  We’re human which is why we all need reminders of how to approach people with the same grace that Christ shows us.

Be humble. Be teachable. Show the love of Jesus.

Rinse and repeat.

 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

Happy wife… Miserable husband: 6 Reasons Why Appeasement Doesn’t Work

 

You’ve said it, I’ve said it: Happy wife…happy life. Call it nice.  Call it sweet.  I call it appeasement. It’s a conflict avoidance style that sacrifices your feelings, beliefs, or ideas in order to pacify or please the other person. To some, this seems like a noble identity to assume. After all, keeping peace and harmony in the relationship is important. But, is “giving in to get along” an effective method for fostering a healthy marriage?

Nope.

Appeasement has never been an effective strategy in marriage (or parenting, or friendship…or, well, life). Don’t get me wrong, it’s good and gracious to be accommodating to the preferences of your husband/wife in various circumstances. Our first response should always be to serve. In strong marriages, both spouses understand both give and take. Servanthood is a mark of healthiness. But when one spouse ALWAYS GIVES and the other ALWAYS TAKES major problems are unavoidable.

Constant yielding to your spouse may appear to achieve the desired peace, but this peace, at best, is temporal and superficial. In reality, appeasement brings eventual harm to the marriage. 

Here are some of the reasons why…

1 – Replaces Christ as the center of the relationship. Instead of a relationship that pleases the heart of God, all actions are done to please the heart of the spouse being appeased. It’s through him we are created and he holds all things together (Colossians 1:17)

2 – Creates a one-sided relationship.  Constant appeasing one’s spouse will empower him/her to assume a position of dominance in the relationship. Appeasement makes one spouse inferior to the other. This creates an imbalance that will fracture the oneness that marriage was designed by God to be. (Mark 10:8)

3 – Removes the word “no” from your marriage. I’ve found that couples that have an issue with appeasement want to say “no” but just don’t know how to say it properly.  “No” is a very good word and keeps us in check.  Healthy marriages don’t look to say “no” but are not afraid to say it in a healthy edifying way (Romans 14:19). Without “no,” the whims and desires of the spouse are controlling the relationship. 

4 – Removes respect.  I find both the spouse that is appeasing and the empowered spouse lose respect for one another for different reasons. The lack of healthy servanthood erodes the opinion that each spouse as of the other. Romans 12:10 says to “take delight in honoring.” Appeasement keeps you from doing that. 

5 – Cultivates a spirit of fear. Appeasement replaces the heart of serving the needs of your spouse is with the anxiety of having to constantly attend to the wants (not necessarily needs) of the spouse.  That mindset will loom over the marriage creating an atmosphere that God never designed us to live in. (2 Timothy 1:7)

6 – Develops frustration. The appeasing spouse lives with unmet needs. He/she represses heartfelt feelings at the expense of legitimate needs. Unfulfilled needs have a tendency to re-emerge and manifest themselves in other ways – depression, anger, bitterness, resentment, regret, and so forth. Appeasement literally drains the joy of serving your spouse. (Galatians 6:9)

Appeasement doesn’t work. Like scratching poison ivy, it feels good in the moment but spreads faster than you intended to places you never wanted it to go. I’m not a proponent of shifting to the polar opposite of appeasement (which is domination…basically involves one or both parties striving to have their desires prevail). But appeasement will feel right in a moment but will erode what you are trying to build. 

Marriage is a daily walk of humility before God and our spouse. Don’t stop serving each other. Be willing to take a step a step back and ask yourself, “How full is the ‘love” tank of my spouse? Have I been more of a taker than a giver?” If we’ll be humble and honest as couples, we’ll see stronger and more fulfillment than we dreamed of while showing an example of Jesus to the world around us. 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

Dirty Laundry Can Ruin Your Marriage

 

 

 

 

 

dirty-laundry-600x314

 

You’ve seen it and I’ve seen it.  

If you are involved in ANY type of social network, you’re going to have it flashed in front of you.  Some of you deal with it in work.  Others deal with it in the neighborhood.  I see it in church a lot. 

Dirty laundry. 

I’ve been familiar with the idiom for years. I’ve heard my parents use it as well as friends and co-workers. 

Someone is “airing their dirty laundry.”

The phrase simply means you are talking about things (usually a problem or dispute) that should be kept private. It stems from the idea from the fact that your dirty laundry (an analogy for dirty secrets) should be kept out of sight when people are visiting, otherwise it could be embarrassing for you or them. It can also be phrased “Don’t air you dirty laundry in public”.  But these days, there seems to be little to no boundaries when it comes to what SHOULD be private and not public.  

I believe social networking is a tremendous gift.  It’s given us the power of connecting with the people around us as well as reconnecting with friends and family once separated by geography.  You feel a part of your friend’s life even though he/she lives across the country.  It’s also empowered so many introverts with a voice of expression (both good and bad).  For those of us who grew up struggling with shyness and insecurity, social network has helped us break out of our shell.  My own personal social network posting philosophy is fun, inspiration, and connection (friends, sports, hobbies, etc). 

People post anything…and I mean anything. 

Selfies. Pictures of their food. Ridiculous moments of their day (I’m guilty). What their child said/did that was so cute. Random thoughts.  Inspirational quotes.  Memes of kittens with a random scripture overlaid.

It seem like there’s no end to what we can come up with to post. 

Then it comes up.  

Dirty Laundry.

dirty-laundry

“My husband/wife said something that hurt me…”
“My husband/wife is a…”
“My husband/wife expects…”
“I don’t care what anyone thinks, but my spouse…”
“What is my spouse thinking…”
“I can believe he/she is acting like…”
“People, you know who you are, need to…”
“My in-laws are…” 

As much as people can complain about what to post (quotes, kittens, food, etc.), this is one post that has to go away. There is no place for this.  You may have the right to do it…but it doesn’t make it right. Please take your dirty laundry off the line and take it back into the house. 

Why? Because it’s telling the all of us one of several things (in reality, it could be more than one): 

  1. Your hurting. 
    That’s a given.  I will not be sarcastic about your hurt.  I will not mock it.  You’re living in fracture and you need the same healing that I received through Christ.  One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 34:18 “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
  2. You don’t have a clue about how to handle conflict with your spouse.
    Again, I’m not mocking you, but you need help. It’s okay to admit you need help.   But seek it without dropping your laundry on the social network world.  Unless all of your “friends/followers” are solid Christian counselors, keep it out of your feed. Proverbs 12:15 “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.” Go to prayer.  Get help as a couple. Become a student of marriage and work on your conflict resolution.  I promise. It will bless you and your spouse.
  3. You enjoy drama and you, apparently, don’t want the soap opera that you are living in to end.
    Admit it.  There are drama kings/queens all around us.  If you are one of them…STOP IT!  (I’ll admit, sometimes I think I’m one of them.  That’s where Anne calls me out.)  Misery loves company (another idiom I should blog on) and if you are miserable, you want people to be sucked into it.  Why? It’s giving you attention.  You are the focus and the longer the facebook thread is, the more fulfilled you feel.  Proverbs 27:2 “Don’t call attention to yourself; let others do that for you.”
  4. You’re selfish enough to rally everyone to your side and away from your spouse.
    You know there are people on social network that are foolish enough to take your side having only heard your side of the story and not your spouses’. Hurt people do hurtful things like manipulate situations to help themselves.  Galatians 5:16 “My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness.”
  5. You’re vicious. 
    Your rants are a warning to people of their future if they cross you.  It’s burning bridges that you, in your hurting state, can’t afford to lose. Listen to the words of the Psalmist, “God, get me out of here, away from this evil; protect me from these vicious people. All they do is think up new ways to be bad; they spend their days plotting war games. They practice the sharp rhetoric of hate and hurt, speak venomous words that maim and kill.” Psalms 140:1-2.

If your on the reading end of social network, the “dirty laundry” being aired out is nothing more than a black widow’s web designed to ensnare you and poison you. Reach out to the hurting individual privately. 

Let me say that again: Reach out to the hurting individual privately.  Don’t engage in business that isn’t yours.  But there are ways to reach out to speak healing without becoming a part of the problem. 

If you’re the one hanging the “dirty laundry”, it’s time to step back and get some help.  It’s time to engage with your spouse in a way that fosters healthy communication skills.  Proverbs 10:19 says “The wise measure their words.” Your words need to be used in the right timing, in the right atmosphere, with the right tones.  It won’t turn around overnight. But intentional acts/words of health breed marriages, that themselves, move toward health. 

Your dirty laundry wasn’t meant for others.  It’s for you and your spouse. 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

2 Minute Devos: Crash – Day 16

Welcome to “Crash”…every day:

  1. Glorify God.
  2. Pray over the daily prayer point.
  3. Pray for the lost.

Today’s Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, butrejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.

Crash Prayer Card 3

Marriage Series: Fight Club Part 4…Dessert is mandatory!

UW4A7335-14

We began a series two weeks ago about fighting in marriage. If you missed the last three weeks, check out Fight Club Part 1: The first rule of Fight ClubFight Club Part 2: Break it down, and Fight Club Part 3: Dig a Pool.

As we’ve continued to state:

Healthy conflict is healthy for marriage.

It’s a certainty when two imperfect people get together with their desires and wants.  As much as we don’t like to admit it, we can be very selfish individuals.  Mix that with normal growing pains of a normal marriage and boom, you have conflict.

Fight Club

Welcome to  “Fight Club.”

RULE #1: Talk about it

RULE #2: Break it down.

RULE #3: Dig a pool.

RULE #4: Dessert is mandatory.

We’re down to the end of developing a healthy way to resolve conflict within your marriage.  The problem that a lot of couples have is they do not know how to resolve conflict in a way that leaves a sweet taste in their mouth.  Usually, we fight and then we walk away with a bitter taste of brokeness, anger, and hurt. Because of that, most people avoid conflict because they don’t know to end it on a “sweet note.”

In this last rule, what you read is exactly what the title is encouraging you to do: have dessert.  I’m a “foodie.”  I like to eat.  And if you’re going to end a meal the proper way, dessert is more than a suggestion to a meal.  It is essential.

BUT…I want you to two stop for a second.

8867-stop-sign-1920x1080-photography-wallpaper

I want you to see the conflict like a meal.  In the words of every mom on the planet, “you can’t have dessert until the meal is finished.” What’s left you may ask? Evaluation.  Talk with your spouse by setting up a time and place to go over what you two were conflicted about.  Setting a particular time and a designated place makes sure the two of you have no distractions and there will be complete focus.  If the conflict isn’t resolved, the “meal” isn’t over.

This is why evaluation is important before “dessert.” If you haven’t had resolution to the issue, you need to stop and go back to Rule #3 and take a dip in the pool of resources to try a different idea.  This way, you two continue to work together until you both see the problem resolved.  I hope you get the idea that Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 gives us. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  Jesus is obviously third strand, but it take you two to work together to help make the cord.  The two of you straining through the conflict will draw you closer and strengthen the resolve of your marriage.

If you two meet and recognize that the conflict is resolved, it’s time for dessert.

When I and I were dating, we didn’t have much money.  A typical date in college was saving up money to go to Olive Garden for the all-you-can-eat soup and salad…and, of course, bread sticks.  After, we’d go to a place called “Chedders” for  (brace yourself)  the “Cookie Monster.”

cookie-monster

The “Cookie Monster” is a ginormous, freshly baked cookie served on a skillet covered in hot fudge, ice-cream, whipped cream, and a cherry. Even as I type this, my mouth waters thinking about it.  It was the pinnacle of our dates.  We’d drive back to campus talking about how good the “Cookie Monster” was and how much we were looking forward to the next one.

Conflict can be just the same…if you end it with “dessert.”

What I mean by “dessert” is making sure that at the end of conflict, appropriate reward is given.  It could be words of encouragement to your spouse because of how hard he/she worked to resolve the issue.  It could be a note or an embrace of affection for your spouse that didn’t see themselves as creative but really contributed to some great ideas of how to resolve stuff.  Maybe the reward is the two of you going out on a date to celebrate your love for each other as well as to celebrate finally getting over the scuffle.  Whether it’s edification, gift, sex, or a moment together, couples that end conflict with “dessert” are NEVER going to fear conflict with their spouse.  Why? First, because you’ve learned to handle it in a healthy way.  You have followed the steps and worked together. And second, you’ve ended it on a sweet note.  You both walk away from the disagreement with the sweet taste in your spirit because you both sought to reward each other for a job well done.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” A healthy approach to resolution in your marriage will produce a healthy relationship.  It paves the way for forgiveness and grace to be exercised in your marriage.

Fight well.

Fight fair.

Enjoy some dessert at the end.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

Marriage Series: Fight Club Part 3…Dig a pool

UW4A7335-14

We began a series two weeks ago about fighting in marriage. If you missed the last two weeks, check out Fight Club Part 1: The first rule of Fight Club and Fight Club Part 2: Break it down.

As we’ve continued to state:

Healthy conflict is healthy for marriage.

It’s a certainty when two imperfect people get together with their desires and wants.  As much as we don’t like to admit it, we can be very selfish individuals.  Mix that with normal growing pains of a normal marriage and boom, you have conflict.

Fight Club

Welcome to  “Fight Club.”

RULE #1: Talk about it

RULE #2: Break it down.

RULE #3: Dig a pool.

We’ve started talking.  We’ve broken everything down.  Now it’s time to dig a pool.

ComingAlongDig

Yep you read that right.

In “Rule #2”, you both identified what HASN’T worked.  You see that you cannot go back to that exact method/model and do it again.  If so, expect the same results.  So to combat jumping on the carousal of insanity, it’s time to “dig a pool.”

What I mean by that is you and your spouse need to have a brainstorm session.  It’s here that you “pool” ideas together. The rule I give couples for this step in conflict resolution is this: There’s no such thing as a stupid idea. That rule is a “must” when it comes to “pooling” thoughts and ideas.  The second you demean your spouse’s suggestions is the minute you, to use a plumbing reference, start closing the valve of communication with your spouse.  In conflict, if communication is cut of and/or your spouse’s opinion isn’t welcome, safe to say, your impasse will go unresolved.

By “digging a pool” or pooling together ideas, a few benefits emerge.  First you creates new ideas. You get out of the box you’ve been living in and see things in different ways.  Throw in a couple humorous ideas just to break the tension and let the laughter help heal some of the frustration (Proverbs 17:22). Secondly, “pooling” fosters more communication.  If you two already struggle with “elevator talk“, this step will make you dig deep and find the words to say to each other as you utilize creativity. This method helps you exercise your listening and assertiveness skills that will strengthen the core of your communication.

You have to see this step as completely necessary because it is so multifaceted.  Not only are you moving forward in resolving conflict, but you are toning your communication skills at the same time.  Bringing in humor while encouraging creativity while help you both see that conflict resolution is both NOT scary and can be completely productive in strengthening your marriage.  It’s all about doing it in a healthy manner.

2 Things to do with the pool:

1 – Chose 1 idea to try out. When you’ve finished pooling your ideas, (make sure they’ve been written down) make a unified decision to try ONLY ONE out of the bunch.  This will force you both to work together in unity to bring some resolution to the matter
2 – Everyone gets a task. List out how you BOTH are going to work it out.  This creates accountability and a sense that it’s going to take more than one person working at this to make resolution possible.  As you both are stepping forward, your movements toward health become a tremendous source of motivation and/or encouragement to your spouse.

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” We serve a very creative God. You are the product of His creativity to walk in His creativity.  Our marriages should be walking as “his workmanship” doing “good works“.  You wanna do something good in your marriage? You want to walk in His creativity in your marital conflict?

Dig a pool.

Next week we’ll wrap up this series with dessert.

Thanks for letting me ramble…