If you have been reading my blog for very long at all, it would hardly be a surprise to hear that most of my life I have sought to learn principles to get through conflict in a more productive manner rather than just fighting. As an adult I formed those principles into a conflict resolution process we call PLEDGE. I use the process personally and teach it to others on a regular basis so that they might truly learn to love well.
More recently I have been thinking that to get the most out of the PLEDGE process, some key ingredients are necessary to put into the mix. This blog post lists those ingredients.
10 Key Ingredients to Living at Peace With Your Spouse:
1. Actively seek to live at peace.
Put each other first and serve your spouse unconditionally. How important is your marriage really?
2. Stay connected.
Don’t let bitterness drive a wedge between you. Either let things go–if you truly can–knowing how much your spouse puts up with you too. Otherwise, talk about those moments of tension or hurt feelings. With tension ask: “are we ok?” With hurt feelings say: “when you said or did that, it hurt. Are we Ok? Did I do or say something that hurt you?”
3. Be quick to confess wrong done to each other.
Do this the moment you realize the wrong you have done, even when it is minor. Why would you not?
4. Practice humility and forgiveness at all times.
Marriage can’t survive without these. It takes humility every time we admit the wrongs we have done to each other, and forgiveness to re-connect.
5. Be quick to hear and slow to speak…
…so that you can hear and appreciate each other’s perspectives.
6. Take whatever time is necessary to resolve conflict.
If you have not worked on your areas of conflict, it may take awhile to get through them, but it will be worth it. If it seems as though all you do is work through conflict, then take a break and do something fun that you used to like to do. A marriage won’t thrive without enjoyment in each other. Unresolved conflict steals that joy.
7. Use a guide for resolving conflict.
Of course, I highly recommend PLEDGE – the 6 step process we teach. The process really works if you work the process. If you need help – get it! I have on several occasions asked people I know for help in my life or marriage. Why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t you?
8. Husbands: work hard to show love. Wives: work hard to show respect.
We all need both love and respect, but it is widely known that women value love in the way that men value respect. Husbands, focus on showing love in creating a positive connection with your wife so that she feels safe and cared for. Wives, focus particularly on showing respect in the way you relate and communicate to your husband so he feels valued and wanted by you.
9. Live out kindness towards each other every day.
Be kind to each other in the ways in which you interact at all times, and in helping each other out. Express thankfulness for both.
10. Always remember there is an enemy who is out to destroy your marriage and mine, but that enemy is not your spouse!
Your assignment for the weekend: print off this page and read this together with your spouse. Take time to reflect on each of the points. Honestly acknowledge to each other where you fall short. Ask forgiveness from God and each other. Then pray and ask God to change you little by little in every way!
Question: Which of the above will you work on first? You can leave a comment by clicking here.