How to have an awesome marriage #2

At JBC’s marriage retreat this past weekend at Odell Lake Lodge I taught on the “Ten Commandment’s for an Awesome Marriage”. The second is “Take No Offense”. The longer description is that we allow ourselves to feel hurt, offended, angry, or even slightly irritated because of something our spouse said or did or didn’t do for just 5 minutes and then we get over it. The 5 minutes is arbitrary, and in fact when we get this skill reasonably perfected we can make that 1 minute. Most adults will get their feelings hurt, get offended or angry at something their spouse says, does, or doesn’t do, and then they camp there for awhile replaying the event, mulling it over, and amplifying the emotional response that they feel to the point that they respond in such a way that conflict erupts and often escalates. In 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter in the Bible, it says, “love does not take into account a wrong suffered”. We choose to dismiss the offense from our mind, not because it doesn’t matter, but because Jesus has done that for us, and He asks us to do the same. If our reactions to the offenses of our husband or wife actually changed them to the point that they wouldn’t do that same thing again, it might be justified, but the fact is that our emotional responses of hurt, and anger rarely if ever change anything, they just make it worse. Let me suggest a plan to overcome this major problem in most marriages. (1) Admit to yourself that getting your feelings hurt is natural, but reacting in anger, with harsh words, and other forms of retaliation and payback is childish and immature. (2) Admit to yourself that your childish responses don’t change anything, don’t make you feel any better, and in fact make things worse and you feel worse. (3) Make a firm commitment to stop and to take captive the thoughts you have in less than 5 minutes. (4) If you blow it, don’t justify your behavior or blame your spouse not even a little bit, but instead confess it to God as sin, and remake your commitment. (5) The key way to control your thinking is consciously set your mind on something else that is good, and key Bible verses that you have memorized just for this purpose are amazingly powerful to change your emotions and attitude that have come as a result of rude, thoughtless, selfish, or mean behavior on the part of your husband or wife. A basic law of life is, “You don’t have to act the way you feel”. Another basic law is, “I don’t have to let others control my behavior by how they treat me”. And another, “Jesus has forgiven me of everything I have ever done, and He expects me to do the same”.

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