We wear life preservers when we’re in boats to keep us afloat when things get crazy and a crisis lands us in the lake. We don’t put our life jacket on as we are falling into the drink, it goes on before. It’s a preventative measure. It’s difficult to think clearly when you are scrambling just to keep your head above water to breath.
Having a fight with a spouse is like a crisis that knock us both over-board. You usually don’t see it coming and are caught “off guard.” I’ve learned that it’s better to be wearing some kind of floatation device ahead of time so that negative emotions of fear and anger don’t take over and cause panic.
Some of my floatation devices for marriage:
- I keep copies of my marriage license in various places throughout my home. (Preferably those places I go when I’m mad)
- Writing out my own wedding vows on a regular basis.
- I look at my wedding album pictures (or video if that’s what you have).
- I have various mixed selections of music that are special to us. Or you could also have a series of songs that were played at your wedding.
- I have a list (actually, various lists) of love for God offerings (buy a coffee card from his favourite coffee house, fill his car with gas, make one of his favourite dinners, make his favourite cookies). If you are stumped, try starting here .
We are told to conquer evil with good, these marriage floatation devices can keep your head above water when all you want to do is strike back in retaliation.
Never return evil for evil or insult for insult
(scolding, tongue-lashing, berating)
But on the contrary blessing
[praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection,
And truly pitying and loving them].
(1 Peter 3)
If your son and daughter were going to go white water rafting together, I’m sure you would want them to wear their life jackets. I think God wants the same thing for us, His own sons and daughters. When we start to ‘shoot the rapids’ in the boat of our marriage.
What is the first thing you do after a fight? Do you have a ‘floatation device’ in place for your marriage when you ‘shoot the rapids?’