Do you ever feel stressed out? Or lately, that there is no break from it? When stress hits our family, sometimes it's the ugly that spills out. It doesn’t always feel like our best moments. This past year, we encountered new problems and stressors that we never had before. Entirely new ways of living life have put our families and marriages under incredible amounts of stress. And that kind of constant stress combined with unhealthy ways of coping can threaten the unity of your marriage.
Look to God first for strength.
The Bible reminds us that it is God who is our refuge. We go to Him first in times of trouble. The times when it’s hardest to pray and read the Bible are the times when it’s most important. Focus on how God wants you to respond to the situation that you are in and how to better love the people around you. We can lean on each other in marriage, but that works best when we both are leaning on Jesus!
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. -Psalm 46:1
Fiercely separate the problem from the person.
Joe and I received this advice early in our marriage, and it’s something that has always stayed with us. When we get stressed, it’s easy to point fingers at what the other person is doing wrong. Instead of blaming each other, look at the problem as being separate from the person. We should treat each other as teammates and not opponents in tackling stressful circumstances.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. -Romans 15:5
Joe and Tara Buchanan have been married for 23 years and have four children. They have a passion for building strong marriages, and they share more of their story on their blog, Behind Our Smiles.
Be kind to each other.
Basic manners and kindness go a long way when the atmosphere in our home is stressful. When I am feeling overwhelmed, a small act of kindness from my husband means so much. We find small, quiet ways of saying, we’re in this together. Tell each other often that you love each other. If you snap at each other, be quick to apologize. The more stress there is, the more grace we need to offer each other. A little bit of grace goes a long way in combating stress!
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. -Colossians 4:6
Does your marriage need some encouragement and enrichment? Stay tuned for a special marriage event coming in the Summer of 2021!