Divided and Conquered: Staying Unified in Marriage

Here is our second post on marriage and family. We hope you enjoy!

Remember your honeymoon? Val and I went to Mexico and stayed at a resort on the beach. It was all-inclusive.  We lounged by the water and in the pool.  The hotel room had a hammock on the deck overlooking the pool and I remember falling asleep in the hammock.

Falling asleep in the hammock.

That sentence reads foreign to me. Seven years after that beach in Mexico, we’re in our living room with both boys sleeping upstairs. Carter turned six years old today.  He enjoyed his gift, destroyed the house, and clashed with Val. Basically, a normal routine. One of the biggest challenges in our marriage, and any marriage, is staying unified.  You will face life together and must fight to keep it that way.

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Here are some ways to maintain unity in your marriage:

1/ Make a plan: Carter knows how to play us like an instrument.  He tests Val more than he tests me and knows what to say or do to get a reaction. There will be more than one force like this in your marriage.  It can be bill collectors, bad neighbors, your kids, or family members.  Each day take time to identify your conflicts, lay them out, and pick a course of action that you both can follow. When these things arise, go back to your plan and stick to it. There will always be surprises. When you have a foundation, the surprises are much easier to digest and overcome.

2/Pray together: Val and I don’t do this nearly enough. Find time each day to pray together. This can be at night, a meal, or any moments you can steal away.  Go to God. Find scripture you can use and pray as promises. We don’t spend enough time building each other up and prayer is an easy way to do it. Come next to your spouse and lift them up. Prayer is the first and most powerful way you can fight for your marriage and family.

3/Stay Open: I, like most guys, have a tendency to close up and not talk about my feelings.  I can block things off with the best of them.  Make sure you keep talking.  This can be over the phone, text messages, social media, or in person. Reach out and send an encouraging thought their direction. Compliment. Praise. Serve. When you stay closed off you set yourself up on an island.  No man, or marriage, is an island. Speak up and listen.  Those two things can work wonders for a relationship.

Marriages are always evolving and growing.  They change yearly, sometimes daily.  They take an effort. In the quiet moments, when you look at each other years from now, you’ll know it was all worth it and your souls are truly connected. You’ll find peace and that’s better than falling asleep in any hammock.

~Matt and Val

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