It’s hard to believe we’re in the middle of May. Hurricane season began on May 1st, and we pray this year will be a slow season with no major storms. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could forecast the number of storms we will face in our marriage this year?
Like a hurricane forming over the open Atlantic it takes many factors for the storm to develop into a perfectly formed hurricane; the water temp, the air pressure, and the steering currents. All these determine how strong a storm will be, how far it will go and who will be effected.
In our marriages major conflict usually develops over a period of time. Like a hurricane has names to identify them, so do our conflicts. As we allow unresolved differences over money, communication or any number of other issues to go on day after day, it is like a storm stewing over the open waters. Once a strong current of pressure arises all the little differences explode into one major confrontation. Many times one partner, (it can be the husband or the wife,) doesn’t see it coming. They are either oblivious to the true nature of the struggle, or they don’t care enough to pay attention.
At any rate a major storm is blowing across the marriage and often it can be harmful to anyone else who happens to be in the path. Especially if there are children involved.
How can we forecast when a storm is approaching?
1. Be Humble. It takes a humble person to willingly admit all is not well in the marriage. Humility paves the way for constructive criticism. The kind where your spouse shares with you concerns and/or observations and rather than resist, you listen without responding critically.
2. Be diligent. Once you’ve had the conversation and the issues are clear, go after the issues in your own heart. It’s impossible to change your spouse. The only one you have any power to change is yourself. And even this is impossible apart from the power of God at work in you.
3. Pray. God is at work in our hearts as well as our marriage. He uses the storms we face to build in us endurance, patience and trust. As we ask God to help us rather than resist the storm, and do all we can to prepare our hearts for the work needed; God will complete the work He’s begun in us.
We may not be able to prevent the storms from coming, but we are able to see when one is approaching and take the necessary precautions. When we do – death and destruction aren’t in the wake of the storm, but new life and growth appear and we have hope.
So how’s the forecast in your marriage? Are you prepared in case of an emergency?
We’ve certainly had some storms in our marriage, but we’ve now realized the importance of communicating and having an open heart. It sounds cliche, but when we really communicate about the things that are bothering us, our needs, our wants – everything is better. My husband is so good at listening to me and not taking it as an attack on him for something he is doing wrong – but as useful information about what kind of things we can make better.
I’m rambling – but I think my point is it’s not JUST about communicating. It’s about communicating with open hearts and minds.
So true, Minde. Thanks for sharing.
I agree, the three key elements above are what all marriages need daily. Im learning how to communicate more effectively and keep an open mind. I appreciate these loving words of advice. Im taking mental notes:)
Louise – thanks for sharing your journey with us. It is a lifelong pursuit to become more effective communicators – esp. listeners. After 32 years, we’re still practicing! 🙂