Friday, 13 April 2012

Does It Work?

The “silent” treatment, does it work?  You know when you choose to ignore your partner; you pretend that they don’t exist.  Obviously the use of such a tactic is meant to bring about change, if not to punish along the way.  It usually means I want my way and I am ready to resume a “normal” relationship when you are willing to come around.

 It is a form of revenge, so you teach your partner a lesson by refusing to talk to them in the car on the way to your in-laws.

 It can be a form of control.  By withholding conversation there is a threat that you may withhold other forms of marital civility.
Sometimes it is a manipulative tool that has proven effective in the past.

In the short-term this tactic may work but in the long-term it may turn the once compliant spouse into someone who is very resentful and angry. 

First of all - get over yourself.  James (4:1-2) tells us we quarrel because we don’t get our own way.  Proverbs (21:29) tells us that for a man it would be better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.  So whether the husband withdraws, stonewalls or just shuts down or the wife chooses to quarrel using the silent treatment the problems never get resolved or addressed.

Most of all you haven’t glorified God and if you are fortunate enough to have children you have provided a horrible model of how to resolve conflict in a God honoring way.

If either you or your spouse is guilty of using this approach to resolve conflict I would suggest you find a time to talk about suspending this practice.  Agree that you will learn more effective conflict resolution techniques.

Find a new outlet for expressing your frustrations, hurt, anger, etc.  Try journaling, go for a walk or workout, or try listening to music.   Prayer can provide a huge relief.  Consider praying together before initiating discussion on a topic that is potentially volatile.  Agree that you will find a solution that will bring glory to God, even if it takes longer than you would like, or you both have to compromise more than you would like.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Putting Money in Perspective

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matt. 6:24

turnip truck
Some experts claim that disagreement over finances is the number one cause of divorce.  They are wrong.  IF the husband and wife were both determined to glorify God money would not be an issue.

If I were running a class this is where I would say, “let’s close in prayer.”  I didn’t just fall off of a turnip truck.  I know that even in homes where God is honored, money problems do surface.  Most often disagreements arise because of your upbringing and/or your personality.  One of you is a spender the other a savor.  One of you came from a family where there was little discretionary spending, the other came from a more affluent family, etc.  One of you values the memories that a vacation creates for a family, the other resents the expense.

It is critically important that you are both in agreement that everything you have comes from the Lord.  He can take how little or how much you have away from you tomorrow.  Next it would be helpful if you can truly understand the other person’s point of view, if it is different from yours.  Why do they like to spend or save?  How important was money to your spouse’s family as they were growing up, etc.

If money discussions in your home are awkward you probably avoid them.  If this is an area of stress in your marriage, I subscribe it is a worship issue not a money problem. News flash – God knew this was going to be a problem for you and He wants you to grow in your faith. If God is at the center of your marriage the husband would show that he loves his wife as much as he loves himself by understanding her view toward money and doing all that he could to take her viewpoint into consideration when making financial decisions.  Secondly the wife would display her respect for her husband by understanding his perspective on the matter and expressing her support for what he believed to be best.  Ephesians 5:33

      ·       Plan to have bi-monthly meetings where you discuss all facets of your finances from            upcoming bills to savings to anticipated discretionary expenses.

·       Let the person who is best at managing money do it.

·       Set financial goals that you can agree on.

·       Set a budget that you agree to live with and review your progress during your bi-monthly meeting.         

·       If none of this is working go to a Christian Financial Planner (who does not sell products) or sign up for one of Dave Ramsey’s or Crown Financial’s programs.

Monday, 9 April 2012

A Wife’s Responsibility in Resolving Conflict

In the following six minute video John Piper provides some specific advice to wives who find themselves in the midst of a conflict with their husbands.