How to Fight FOR Your Marriage...

"Why is it that you talk to me in ways that you wouldn't dream of talking to other people?" 

Those were the words of my wife. She was angry. And she was right. 

I wasn't verbally brutalizing her. I was more subtle—and maybe even more damaging—than that.

Let me explain.

Relationship expert John Gottman only needs a few minutes of observing a couple in conversation to accurately predict whether or not that marriage will go the distance. The accuracy of his predictions are legendary. What is Gottman looking for that gives him the clues as to whether a marriage will make it or not? According to Gottman, there are four horsemen of relational destruction:

1. Defensiveness

2. Stonewalling

3. Criticism

4. Contempt

However, Gottman believes that—of the four—the single most important sign that a relationship is in deep trouble is contempt.

Here's the kicker about contempt: Signs of contempt often show up in the little interactions of life—tone of voice or even slight facial expressions like the rolling of the eyes. 
Such little things communicate very important and powerful messages about how we really think and feel about others.

The little things, as it turns out, are not so little. They are pivotal.

"In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered." 
—1 Peter 3:7

So, how can you honor the most important person in your life in the "little things" today?

You may need to start where I did: by weeping, asking for forgiveness, repenting, and learning to remind yourself often how much you value the people closest to you—especially your spouse. 

If you're really serious about fighting for your marriage, I'd highly recommend a slow walk through the One Another Living Guide together as a couple. Why? Because...

God's handbook on relationships is the Bible. The One Another Living Guide is your journey through twenty-five life-changing "one another" verses from the Bible. (For example: love one another, pray for one another, bear one another's burdens, etc.) It's a pocket-sized booklet of biblical encouragements and challenges that help you and your spouse inflow the love of God into your lives—and then helps you overflow God's love into your everyday relationships in practical ways. Each "one another" study challenges you to express God's love to others using one of five love languages—time, touch, tell, to-do, or treasure.

To view sample pages or to order, go here.

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