In one our favorite marriage books, Cherish, Gary Thomas uses a very helpful metaphor in how to help your spouse.
We all have things we do wrong at some point in our relationship whether it is blatant sin against each other or harboring anger and resentment for things said or done. What do healthy marriages do to navigate such rough waters?
Gary compares our response to our spouse in such times to being a physician or a prosecutor.
A physician is there to listen to what the problem is and do all they can to bring you back to health. It may take a long time, but a good physician won’t quit until a resolve is found.
A prosecutor on the other hand, is looking for cracks in your story. Ready to dive in for the kill just to win their case. The end result is condemnation and a broken relationship. Not anything like what we vowed to our spouse, “for better or worse”.
It’s easy to say this when all is well in our world. But when things are already tense, it’s hard to decide to be charitable and not judgmental. This is why we made our vows–to help us stay focused on what we promised, not what we feel.
Christmas is rarely without its conflicts. If you’re in one right now, may we remind you to look for healing and restoration through the conflict. It isn’t a matter of winning, it’s a matter of succeeding together in marriage for God’s glory. Paul tells us to “outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:10)
Easier said than done. But God! He helps us in our weakness and makes us vow keepers! We simply must ask.