It seems that the majority of our readership is brides (and/or grooms) and those preparing along side of them for their BIG day. So we are going to do some new posts in the next few months based around newlyweds. The posts will range in topics from small home improvement stuff (hopefully with some giveaways and specials from local merchants!!) and relationship aids from my many mistakes (and following lessons learned!) in my few years of being married and working with couples. Can ya dig it? We would LOVE to have some input on these posts from both the more learned (those who have been married for a bit) and those getting ready for their wedded bliss. It is my personal opinion that marriage has been the most AMAZING venture I have headed into in life and I hope we can add some grace and ease to marriages both young and old!
Today’s post is super easy and probably one your mom taught you as a kid; If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say ANYTHING at all. Easy right? Totally… unless you are alive and breathing!! I chose this topic because it is very fresh in my mind (and marriage). Being stressed from some sickness and severe lack of sleep (for some reason kids always wake up on the hour EVERY hour when they are sick…) I was not quite the husband I would want to be and was a bit short with my wife. We were griping with each other for a day or so when we had the chance to talk thru things and decided it was just one of those times it would be better to get some rest, and talk later. I was challenged in a Bible study on 1 Thessalonians on Friday about loving people by always trying to do whatever you can do bring out the best in people. That’s what it means to love someone. It’s more than a challenge at times. The weird thing about NOT speaking when you are angry is that it gives you the opportunity to think about what is happening and to think of some GREAT things to say. I have noticed a familiar trend with my wife as well; when I try to love her like when we were dating (you know, like when nothing else mattered and we didn’t have any history of hurt feelings or fear of being hurt?), she responds much like she did when we were dating (hint: it’s pretty good!). So, not to get super deep into a rather simple concept, give it a try this week. When you feel like reacting negatively, or possibly saying something snide or hurtful (even when you may have EVERY right to do so…), try taking a break from talking. Think to yourself “what could I do to bring out the absolute best in this person” and give that a go. The results may surprise you. There will be MANY times in your relationships with others (and especially your marriage) that you will have the opportunity to react negatively and likely receive a negative volley back from the other side. It is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT though that at ALL TIMES you remember that your spouse is not your enemy. You are on the same team and “friendly fire,” even though deceivingly named “friendly,” still kills people (and emotions). You can just as easily ignite a fire that will turn the heart of your love towards you as you can burn down the bridges that will reunite your hearts. So, there ya go. Somewhere to start this week. I know it’s nothing earth-shattering, but give it a whirl and then, when you start failing at it more often, re-visit the commitment to use your words to love and build rather than kill and destroy! Talk to ya soon,