Friday, March 6, 2009

Love Dare - Day 13

(Photo courtesy of All Posters)
Mark 3:25 "If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand."

Chapter highlights...

Conflict in marriage is inevitable. The storms of life test and reveal what you're really made of. Every couple goes through it; it's par for the course.

The deepest, most heartbreaking damage you'll ever do (or have done) to your marriage will most likely occur in the thick of conflict. That's when your pride is strongest, your anger hottest, you're most selfish & judgmental, your words contain the most venom and you make the worst decisions. A great marriage Monday can start driving off the cliff on Tuesday if unbridled conflict takes over and neither of you has their foot on the brakes.

Love reminds you that your marriage is too valuable to allow it to self-destruct, and that your love for your spouse is more important than whatever you're righting about. Love helps install airbags and set up guardrails in your relationship. It reminds you that conflict can actually be turned around for good. Married couples who learn to work through conflict tend to be closer, more trusting, more intimate and enjoy a much deeper connection afterwards.

There are 2 types of boundaries for dealing with conflict: "we" and "me" boundaries.

boundaries are rules you both agree on beforehand, rules that apply during any fight or altercation. Each of you will have the right to gently but directly enforce them if these rules are violated. These rules could be:
  • We will never mention divorce
  • We will not bring up old, unrelated items from the past
  • We will never fight in public or in front of our children
  • We will call a 'time out' if conflict escalates to a damaging level
  • We will never touch each other in a harmful way
  • We will never go to bed angry with one another
  • Failure is not an option. Whatever it takes, we will work this out.
"Me" boundaries are rules you personally practice on your own, such as:
  • I will listen first before speaking. "Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to to speak and slow to anger." - James 1:19
  • I will deal with my own issues up-front. "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" - Matthew 7:3
  • I will speak gently & keep my voice down. "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." - Proverbs 15:1
Fighting fair means changing your weapons. Disagreeing with dignity. It should result in building a bridge instead of burning one down. Remember, love is not a fight, but it is always worth fighting for.

Today's dare: Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your spouse is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to "fight" b. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.


Sarah said...

I love the quote, "Love is not a fight, but it is always worth fighting for."

We don't fight about many things, but I'm still learning to fight fair when we do. My tendency is to clam up and hold everything in, which is probably better than spouting off! :) But, I have found this process to be so beneficial in taking a step back to see what I am doing that may be causing rift and conflict, so hopefully it can be avoided, or at least discussed before it gets out of hand.

Have a good day. :)

This Country Girl said...

I loved Fireproof although I don't have the Love Dare book, I want to purchase it for myself! These were great words of wisdom today!