October 15, 2017 · 10:34 am
There are many ways to build our foundation of intimacy as a married couple. One that some don’t consider is the refining process that occurs when couples go through trials, crisis and life changing events together. Going through trials together certainly builds intimacy in a relationship. The interesting thing about trials is that they often force greater reliance on God, thereby offering an opportunity to grow in our faith.
We do not want to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.2 Corinthians 1:8-9
Sometimes the challenges that couples go through are incredibly difficult. When two people are on the same page and working toward the same ends, the pain is considerably reduced by having someone to share them with. It is essential that couples be willing to share difficult circumstances with one another. Men are notorious for stuffing situations so as not to trouble their wives. Let your wife see inside you and understand your troubles; let her encourage and support you. If something is bothering you, odds are that you will make it known whether you say anything or not. When you become quiet or grumpy, your spouse will suspect that something is wrong. This leaves the spouse to feel responsible for your behavior when it may have nothing at all to do with them. If there are only two people in a room and one of them is obviously upset, it stands to reason that the remaining person must have done something to offend the other. This is often how people think, whether it’s accurate or not.
It is often very helpful to receive input from a source that can give you a perspective that perhaps you can’t see, being so close to the problem. Utilize the gifts that God has given your mate. Minimally, there is a cleansing process that occurs when you lay out the difficulties that you are struggling with rather than trying helplessly to filter through the emotional frustrations of carrying destructive baggage on your own. Whether the crisis is personal in nature or one that plaques you as a couple, remember, at some level you will both be affected in one form or another so work it together.
When couples have the opportunity to work problems through to resolution together, they feel a great sense of accomplishment and it strengthens the marriage and increases intimacy. You guys signed on as a team, play like one!
I pray blessing on you and that God give you the strength to do what’s right.
©2017 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.
Filed under Assertiveness, Behavior, Commitment, Communication, Emotions, Transparency, Trials, Unity
Tagged as Behavior, Communication, Emotions, Transparency, Trials, Unity
December 13, 2015 · 12:06 pm
I sit in my hospital room, contemplating the events that brought me here. What started as a freak accident, stepping on a screw head that was in the threshold between the master bedroom and the bathroom, has turned into a serious infection and hospitalization. The podiatrist entered my room with a choice of alternatives. “The infection is very serious and growing. The antibiotic IV’s will only hold it at bay. Our choice is one of two, send you home for six weeks with an antibiotic IV with no guarantee that we will kill the infection and very possibly be in a worse place than we are now, or remove the toe in a place past the infection site and eliminate the spread.”
I couldn’t believe it! Things were going so well. I had returned just two weeks before with a first-place gold medal honor for the first book I had ever authored. My wife and I were honored with a radio interview regarding our books, our ministry and our marriage. The Interview went so well that they slated us for a follow-up. Other interviews are on the horizon. Our ministry was growing and people were being healed. I was revved up and ready to teach my next marriage class in early January. To say nothing of the Christmas excitement flowing through the home. All seemed right with the world.
Why God? Why? This was where I chose to emotionally park myself.
As human beings this is our tendency. Forget all of the blessings that God has bestowed and focus ONLY on the one thing that we can’t make sense of. I don’t underestimate the importance of the grieving process and growing past those circumstances in which we can’t understand the loss. The problem is, too many times we don’t bother to put our car in reverse, back out of the parking space and move forward, working through the hurt and loss that only comes with God’s help.
Prayer before making my decision led me to Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” I was not alone in my circumstances. I was never alone.
When Jesus walked the earth, knowing the pain and the agony he would have to endure at the crucifixion, he asked God to take this cup if it was His will. This was very human, Jesus experienced all of our emotions. Jesus also knew his father and trusted in His strength to do what was necessary. This is an example to us all. In spite of the trials we may face, lean into the one who will get us through, regardless whether we understand the outcome or not.
How did my trial end? I processed my situation (I concede, with a bit of pouting) then decided to back out of the parking slot that I had settled into. Three days later I left the hospital (well, all except one less toe on my right foot.) Confident in the decision that I made. I will be spending the Christmas holiday recuperating with family and friends, fully aware and most thankful for all He has done (and is doing) for me. I will be most eager to get up and running for 2016!
I encourage you who are struggling or dealing with trials this holiday season, you are not alone. Trust God to carry you through the darkness.
I wish you all a MERRRY CHRISTMAS and focus on the blessings that God has given you.
Filed under Christmas, Emotions, Expectations, Grief, Thankfulness, Trials, Trust
Tagged as Emotions, Marriage by Design, Thankfulness, Trials, Trust
May 17, 2015 · 7:54 am
Marriage is not exempt from suffering. Some of you may be saying to yourself, “Marital suffering, that I understand. I’ve done plenty of it!”
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:16-17
In your marriage, remember that when one of you suffers, you both suffer. Our responsibility is to be of support and encouragement to our mates. Plenty of people are willing to tear you down, but you should never be your partner’s enemy, for you are called to be a team. This is not to say that marriage does not hold times of great joy and gladness (Jeremiah 33:11). Marriage has the potential to be one of the most gratifying decisions you ever make.
How do you respond to your spouses “times of suffering”? Are you supportive? In what ways? Are you annoyed or made uncomfortable by the tears/frustrations of your spouse? Why? Men, do you rush to “fix” your mate rather than take the time to listen? What are some action steps you could take to be more attentive to your spouse’s emotional struggles?
©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design
Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted