Work for your marriage with all your heart because a myriad of distractions will threaten to put it on the back burner. A marriage on the front burner provides stability and peace so all the other pots stop boiling over.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”
Colossians 3:23 NIV
Marriage on the Back Burner
We mentor married couples, and one of the most challenging issues of mentoring is finding times to meet. Their lives are frequently in chaos. They often have financial problems, organization problems, parenting problems, extended family problems, job problems, and not unsurprisingly, extremely high stress.
We will tend to meet with them once or twice, and then they kind of fall off the radar screen, and don’t answer our calls or emails. The chaos has gotten to them again, and they don’t think they have time to work on their marriage. It’s gotten assigned to the back burner.
It’s so important for them to see how critical their marriage is to everything else. And the most important element in their relationship is how they communicate to one another. Communication is the keystone of every great relationship. The attitudes, words, facial expressions, and tone of voice convey our true feelings when we communicate. There is really nothing more important in a marriage than communicating in humility and love. That’s why we always start with communication when we are working with a couple in conflict.
And yet, all those other things crowd in, and they put the boring communication exercises on the back burner. Then everything goes to Pott! HAHA!
If we live as God’s word says, and do everything as if we are doing it for the Lord, things tend to fall into place. God’s word defines the mature Christian as one who ‘speaks truth in love’ in Ephesians 4:15. I find it interesting that this one example was chosen as the benchmark of maturity. It seems simple, but actually it is anything but easy. Most of us tend to major on the truth but are weak on speaking in love; or we major on the love part but are weak on speaking truth. Both are necessary, and both are equally important.
Speaking truth in love is called assertive communication. It’s neither aggressive (when we major on truth) or passive (when we major on love). It’s balanced. It takes spiritual maturity to have the honesty and humility to communicate this way.
If each spouse feels safe speaking truth in love, feels understood, and listened to, the marriage will thrive. All other components of the marriage tend to fall into place with this one building block of healthy relationships. If communication is a strength for a couple, all other problems suddenly become solvable:
- household duties
- career choices
- extended family issues
- sexual relationship
Marriage on the Front Burner
If your marriage could use a tune-up, contact me and let’s talk. I can help you get started with the Prepare-Enrich assessment that will give you a snapshot of the strengths and growth areas of your marriage. I can point you to resources to help you get your marriage back on the front burner.
..because U count, deb