My appetite is starting to come back. I gotta be careful of what I eat now, because the temptation is there to go crazy and eat. But through this whole thing I have lost over 20lbs. I was thinking this morning that if I am going to eat, I need to make sure that I do some type of activity to kick up my metabolism back where it once was. I need to make sure that I take care of my body. Yes I am getting to a point here. In the same way, I have mentioned several times that I made lots of mistakes, in fact the very first blog post should point that out rather clearly. My marriage crumbled because I acted in careless ways and didn't take care of it. I need to make sure that I take certain steps to maintain my weight, it will take work, but it will be worth it. In the same way, I need to take ALOT of steps to maintain... scratch that... constantly work at making my marriage better and improve the short comings that brought me to the point I was at two weeks ago.
In my Fireproof reading this morning... ( by the way I was able to share it with my wife and cried like a big baby while reading it.) The reading talked about conflict, this has always been one of our biggest problems, this was something that I needed to hear. There were two verses... the first was Mark 3:25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. WOW!! So true!! My wife and I were so divided most of the time, that our house came crumbling down and with it our spiritual life came to a crash. Folks I am here to tell you that God changed that and will continue to change that. As our marriage stays in God's will so will our ability to handle conflict TOGETHER. My wife and I were discussing all the things we are facing in the next few months to get us on some stable ground financially, marriage, and some personal issues we are both working through. I would be lying if I said that one or BOTH of us didn't have anxiety about those issues. But the difference this time, rather than letting satan use it to divide us, we will let the Lord settle it according to his will and guide us through it.
The other verse that was in my reading was Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. I think back about all the times that I seemed to ALWAYS have a harsh word for my wife when it came to opinions, answers, or well just about anything else. I never spoke to her in a gentle way. My attitude was the source of our conflict never getting resolved. My attitude was this, always looking for a reason to leave and get out of the marriage. Thinking like that is caused by sin in your life and turning your back on Gods will for your life and marriage. This caused my harsh responses and in turn I received a building harsh response back. When I say building, my wife was the first to be patience and point out to me every time that I shouldn't talk to her like that. But because of my attitude her frustration would build up and the conflict wouldn't get resolved.
So I want to step through a few things, yes this is me admitting even more of what I did wrong. Here are the rules that my wife and I are going to adopt when it comes to conflict and fighting fair:
1. We will NEVER mention divorce. My best friend once told me, if it is in the back of your mind, than you have two options. The first was to decide that it was not an option. The second was that if you are always thinking it, then you might as well do it. Because it just means you are not willing to work on your marriage. I like the first option and if anyone is thinking the second option, they better get on their knees so that God can help them think better of it.
2. We will not bring old, unrelated items from the past. Oh boy we broke this rule SO MANY times it is not even funny. The past for me was her family. I could never let go of it or the anger associated with it. I would take it out on her and I did so in many ways. The Lord is helping me to forgive these people. The Lord has taken that anger from me.
3. We will never fight in public or in front of our children. Apparently we did not even know this was a rule. Fighting affects your kids in some very bad ways. It was put to me that if this is what they see, then they will start to think it is very normal and seek the same in a mate of their own some day. I'll go one step further, they will also think that it is ok to treat people around them like this as well. That is just one way of the many that I could list. Enough said...
4. We will call a "time out" if conflict escalates to a damaging level. Uhmmmm yeah, broke this rule so many times and almost did so much damage that there may possibly have been nothing to work with to rebuild this marriage. So thankful my wife loves me life she does. She is an incredible woman. WOW I love her!!
5. We will never touch one another in a harmful way. Folks I cannot tell you enough that this is HUGE. If you have so much anger, leave and go cool off, pray and then get some outside help. These urges in a marriage can lead you down a very bad road.
6. We will never go to bed angry with one another. I have heard a lot of people say they do this. I have also heard a lot of people say this is a stupid rule and sleep is way more important. Sleep is not more important than your marriage. I would definitely say resolve the issue before going to bed. Sleep is secondary to a healthy Christ centered marriage.
7. Failure is NOT an option. Whatever it takes, we will work this out. My wife and I have always said we are so stubborn that neither one of us will give up on this marriage. Well I believe that still holds true. "Whatever it takes" means surrendering your heart, your life, and your marriage to God. A pastor friend of mine said that if one of you is thinking divorce, then most likely one or both of you isn't where you need to be in your spiritual life. HELLO that was so me and it is true. God's will is never for a marriage to end in divorce. God hates divorce. So seek counseling, find common ground, and start building a solid marriage foundation on Christ alone.
My wife prayed during our prayer time together this morning. I cannot tell you how good it was to hear her pray. I haven't heard her pray in a long time. I loved it. The best part? She prayed for me and thanked God for me.
Oh one more thing. We sat in the comfy corner of the couch last night watching TV all snuggled up.
OK So here is what to pray for. Pray that the Lord would keep working in our marriage. Pray that he will help us to seek his will for many of the things we are facing. Pray for our kids, that they will embrace the future and let go of the past. Pray for my wife's fears and anxieties and that I will continue to prove my words and actions.
Father thank you for my wife. Thank you for speaking to her heart through others and helping her to give me one more chance. Thank you father for what you have done so far in our marriage. Father when conflict arises, help us to seek you for the answers.