Nuggets of Wisdom in Premarital Counseling: Tips from a Christian Counselor, Part 2
In my previous article, I discussed the concept of nuggets of wisdom and their use in premarital counseling. These ‘nuggets’ are specific pieces of wisdom that are easily applied to our own lives and which we can remember in the course of our daily life.
In that article, I discussed where these nuggets come from and how they work, and gave a list of nuggets that can help us to maintain perspective in married life. In this article, I suggest further nuggets that can help us deal with conflict, with prayer and a life of faith, with the practical details of life, and nuggets which teach us the importance of appreciation.
Nuggets on Dealing With Conflict in Married Life
- Learn to fight well. Instead of being naive and hoping to avoid all conflict, be ready to deal with your disagreements in a noble way.
- Learn to drop it. Instead of pressing in on every little detail, learn perspective and appreciate what is truly important. Some things just don’t need to be hashed out.
- Learn to bring it up. Raising difficult but important topics, and navigating them well, will promote trust and intimacy with your partner. (This is one of the best nuggets).
- Don’t commit acts of war. By this I mean, don’t ever hurt your partner on purpose – ever. If you have to, agree to disagree.
- “I was wrong,” and “You are right,” really are powerful words. Saying them will create a lasting impression.
- When you disagree or feel defensive, just tell your partner what you hear them saying. They will feel heard, you won’t be giving ground, and you will have made a connection that may well help to resolve the issue.
- When you feel like clamming up and cutting them off during a fight, wait until you can use words without them being hurtful. (This applies especially to the guys). Then force your mouth open and start using words. (Isa 1:18) Start a sentence and make sure that you finish it. Words are usually what we use to offend, but they also tend to disappear when the chips are down.
Nuggets for Building a Life of Prayer and Faith
- Wash her in the word. (Eph. 5:26)
- In God’s eyes, your mate is your primary mission field. There is no greater investment on earth than to love your partner, and if you do nothing else in the day but love them, you may sleep soundly.
- Pray for your mate. Your prayers will be answered, but you may also find these prayers being answered in your own life. If you need or want something from your partner, pray for it. We are called to actively engage one another, but we need to ask God too. (Matt 7:7) If your partner also seeks the Lord, the Spirit will move in especially powerful ways.
- Above all, pray for an affectionate love and a culture of honor between the two of you.
Practical Nuggets For Dealing With Daily Life
- Make sure that you communicate about purchases and scheduling.
- Know when you need to drop everything and get serious. When your partner is sick, love them as best you can. When they’re in trouble, drop everything for them. There are things we would do for a precious friend, but often forget to bless our closest partner with. To look into the eyes of a sick partner who realizes that they will be lovingly nursed without cost is an incomparable experience.
- Never volunteer your spouse for anything without asking them first. Even if it is something they will love, asking them is a sign of respect.
Nuggets for a Life of Appreciation
- Your wedding is the start rather than the end of a lifelong journey. Begin your journey together.
- Beware of the way familiarity makes people lose their appreciation of precious things. Appreciate relentlessly and exuberantly!
- Don’t ever hesitate to laugh at their joke or tell them that they had a good idea. Always show appreciation when you can, and do it sincerely. To hold back from giving life is evil, but giving will reward you immeasurably.
- Relish the good times. If you are in a good spot, be keen to savor it and acknowledge it. Appreciating the good can protect you against bitterness and negativity. (Matt. 6:22)
- Marriage improves with age. It somehow gets better, sweeter, and deeper. People in old marriages say that their marriages are better than when they started out. Notice how you grow into each other, acknowledge the beauty of this, and be grateful for it.
- She is the garden of your life, and you must tend this garden. (This one is from my sweet Great Uncle Holger – and he’s been married a long time).
- Be his biggest cheerleader.
Christian Counseling Can Help You Prepare for MarriageThis article has presented nuggets of wisdom that others have found helpful in marriage. Preparing for your marriage is one of the most important things that you will ever do. As a Christian counselor, I have found that couples benefit enormously from consciously communicating about the issues that they are likely to face as they get to know one another better, and a trained Christian counselor can play an important role in facilitating this communication.
Photos are from freedigitalphotos.net; Embracing Couple Hugging Stock Photo by photostock, published on 07 March 2011; Stock Photo – image ID: 10033138; Husband Taking care of Sick Wife Stock Photo by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee, published on 23 May 2013; Stock Photo – image ID: 100170075