Is it really possible to be married and happy? Yes, I believe it really is. Schawn and I do not have a perfect marriage, but we have a very good marriage for a few reasons. Mostly, Schawn is amazing. She is loving. She is forgiving. She is very patient. She is a godly woman. She doesn’t nag. She doesn’t leave me TO DO LISTS. It helps to be married to a saint.
We also have a good marriage because we both do a lot of forgiving. We DO NOT hold grudges. We forgive and forget. We both have hurt each other. We both have said things we regret. We both have been selfish with wanting our way. But when those times happen we seek to come back to each other and say, “I’m sorry.” It’s such a powerful statement. It shows that we are putting our relationship back as the higher priority than our own wishes or desires.
I recently got very upset with Schawn. I wanted to make a large purchase. I had it in my head, probably before I even spoke with Schawn about it, that she would not want me to make this purchase. Every time we tried to talk about it, it would get heated. Schawn finally said, “I will not talk to you about this until you can talk to me calmly.” I did not like hearing that at all but that is exactly what needed to be said. When I finally was able to talk with Schawn calmly it was not at all that she did not want me to make the purchase. She just needed more information about where the money was coming from and how a few other financial things would play out as a result. I said “I’m sorry” and it all worked out. When we were able to calmly communicate with love and respect then things went much better. It’s amazing what happens when we approach our spouse calmly.
Ephesians 5:33 says “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Showing love and respect is critical. Research reveals that during marital conflict a husband most often reacts when feeling disrespected and a wife reacts when feeling unloved. Research found that when they asked 7,000 people this question: “When you are in a conflict with your spouse, do you feel unloved or disrespected?” 83% of the men said “disrespected.” 72% of the women said “unloved.” Though we all need love and respect equally, the felt need differs during conflict, and this difference is as different as pink is from blue!
Showing love and respect to each other can be a secret key that unlocks a beautiful marriage.
If you want to grow more together check out the series LOVE AND RESPECT: Getting Off the Crazy Cycle. It is on Right Now Media. IT’S FREE. Watch it together.
Here’s more about it:
We know that divorce is a major issue in our culture today, both inside and outside the church. Despite our best attempts at love, couples find themselves paralyzed by dysfunction and mired in conflict. Why do we face so many seemingly insurmountable problems today? Is there hope for the struggle? What are we missing? In this 4-part series, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs sheds light on an often overlooked, yet indispensable element of a healthy marriage—respect. Combining biblical instruction with scientific expertise, Emerson provides insight into the unique ways in which God has designed both men and women and how they can rightly embrace their differences in marriage. As couples come to see the heart behind their partner's complaints, they will better understand the place for both love and respect between husband and wife. Rather than becoming another statistic, struggling marriages can break their Crazy Cycle and become thriving marriages by living in accordance to God's good design. https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Content/Series/225912#Trailer
I pray that you will have a HAPPY marriage. May we seek the Lord as we grow together.
Pastor Chad Starfeldt
Pastor Chad Starfeldt was installed at Shepherd of the Hills in June of 2012.