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God, Help My Marriage Part 2

Emotionally Healthy Relationships

Jonathan Stockstill

January 14, 2018

Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT) - 12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Ten Qualities of Emotional Health

AFFECTION

Affection - the ability to openly express verbal and physical affection to the satisfaction of your spouse

  • Romans 12:10 (NLT): “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
  • You can never show love unless you love yourself.
  • How to improve: Get close to people who have a healthy love for God and others.

EMPATHY

Empathy - the ability to empathize with others and focus on the needs and desires of others, especially your spouse

  • Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT): “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”
  • When you are not well, you think about yourself all the time.

How to improve

  • Spend time imagining life through their perspective.
  • Intentionally sacrifice something you want for something your spouse wants.

COMMUNICATION

COMMUNICATION-the ability to honestly and openly communicate in a gracious manner (the ability to talk about your feelings)

How to improve

Write out things first, and then graciously communicate what you’ve written.

CONFRONTATION

CONFRONTATION-the ability to complain and confront your spouse in a gracious and timely manner

Reasons people don’t confront

  • Fear of making it worse
  • Passivity
  • Experience of being bullied

How to improve

  • Never do it when angry. As Proverbs 15:1 (NLT) says, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”
  • Know the moment.
  • Avoid the “super rebuke”; that is, multiple complaints in one moment
    • Do they feel coached or crushed?

FEEDBACK

FEEDBACK-the ability to receive complaints, correction, and input in a gracious manner without being defensive or hostile. I can receive it without being hostile.

  • Psalm 141:5 (NLT): “Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine. Don’t let me refuse it.”
  • Ken Blanchard-“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

How to improve:

The next time you find yourself becoming defensive with your spouse, calm down and reflect on what they are saying.

RESPONSIBILITY

RESPONSIBILITY-the ability to take responsibility for your behavior and say you are sorry with sincerity and grace in a timely manner. (Can you say you are sorry or wrong?)

  • Fights can be resolved with three simple words: I WAS WRONG.

How to improve

Be more proactive to recognize where you went wrong, and own up to it.

SERVICE

SERVICE-the ability to serve and give to others who are not reciprocating, especially your spouse

  • John 13:14-15 (NLT): “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”

Enemies of serving

  • Score-keeping
  • Selfishness
  • Rigid roles

How to improve

Stop keeping score.

FORGIVENESS

FORGIVENESS-the ability to process anger, offenses, and disappointments in a timely and gracious manner

  • Matthew 18:21-22 (NASB): “Then Peter came and said to Him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’”

How to improve:

Refuse to bottle up frustration and offenses; instead, bring them to God and a trusted friend for processing.

VULNERABILITY

VULNERABILITY-the ability to be vulnerable and reveal weakness without fear or shame

  • Men are too MACHO to be vulnerable.
  • Women are too MISTRUSTING to be vulnerable.

How to improve

Tell your spouse a weakness you see in yourself that you have never revealed or always felt uncomfortable sharing.

JOY

JOY-the ability to be joyful and faith-filled in the midst of difficulty. The opposite is being cynical, fatalistic, negative.

  • The atmosphere in the home rises and falls on the joy of its leaders.
  • When the leaders are joyful, the home is happy.

How to improve

Practice gratitude. Learn to say two things you are grateful for before you issue one complaint.

God, Help My Marriage

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