Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

Conflict in Marriage– the Biblical Way

How do you and your spouse deal with conflict in your marriage? Calmly discuss the issues? Yell and call names? Sweep it under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist?

Dealing with Marital Conflict Biblically

Come over to A Biblical Marriage and get some insight on how to deal with conflict how God tells us to.

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Bib or Apron?

  Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?

1 Corinthians 3:1-3

Our preacher did it again– he teaches the Word and applies it! He asked, “Are you wearing a bib or an apron?” And while he was applying the Scripture to immature Christians, I of course immediately said, “That applies to marriage too!”

Many marriage problems are not marriage problems at all, but are people problems. I’m continually harping on the fact that people — we — are naturally selfish. Look at a baby. Does it care that you have slept only 4 hours? Is it concerned that you have 2 other children to care for? Of course not! What about later, when he is expected to share? Does it come naturally? Not for most children. But hopefully, as a child grows older, it learns to be less self-centered and more others- centered. When two emotionally mature adults marry, they still have problems that any other married couple have, but they can work through them.

Brother Chuck mentioned 4 characteristics of immature Christians, and they are the same for immature spouses.

  • They are unable to digest the “meat” of the Word and were stuck in the elementary lessons. Immature spouses are unable to unable to digest the “meat” of real relationships, including the challenges that come along with them. Instead, they withdraw, either physically or emotionally.
  • They are incompatible with their spouse. Jealousy and quarrels abound. Remember that Godly marriages have a supernatural enemy who hates God and us, and wants anything glorifying God to fail. When we fight with one another, we can’t fight him. He doesn’t even have to fool with us because we’re not a threat to him.
  • They are unstable, tossed to and fro depending on the mood of the day or the advice of whomever they are talking to.
  • They are irresponsible. Any marital problem is laid at the feet of their spouse; it’s never their fault!

apron     princess bib edited

What are you wearing today?

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Stormy Weather?

hurricane sandyI’ve been thinking about storms a lot lately. My heart hurts for the people who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy– down here on the Gulf Coast we are used to hurricanes, and every summer it’s a coin toss whether or not we’ll get something from the tropics, but the Northeast had never seen anything like that before!

Hearing about Sandy brought to mind 2008, when Hurricane Ike hit our area and 2005, when Rita tore through our town. We lost over 50 trees in our little 1.3 acres and had a 100-foot pine tree on our roof, plus a few other punctures through the roof. (I’ll do a post about it sometime.)

Then tonight our pastor preached about storms of life. Ugh… We all have had them. We’ll have more. If you’ve been married more than a few weeks, you’ve probably had some degree of a storm in your relationship– maybe just a tropical storm, or maybe a Category 5.

I read Acts 27, Paul’s storm at sea, and got some insights into marital storms.

  • In verse 10 Paul warned them that a storm was coming. “Men,” he said, “I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on–shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to our lives as well.”

I’m telling you the same thing. That won’t stop it from coming, but you can prepare. At least you won’t be shocked and think your marriage is over because you will know that ALL marriages go through storms.

  • In verses 18 and 38, the sailors threw cargo, even food, overboard. The next day, as gale-force winds continued to batter the ship, the crew began throwing the cargo overboard. (v 18) After eating, the crew lightened the ship further by throwing the cargo of wheat overboard. (v 38)

You might lose some things in the storm.  You might throw selfishness– or something you’re putting ahead of the needs of your spouse– or your pride– overboard, when you realize that they are endangering your ability to stay afloat.

Your storm might last a long time. Maybe you’re in a storm WITH your spouse; it’s not a problem between you. Maybe caring for a special-needs child, or an aging parent. Maybe one of you is in school and resources are stretched to the breaking point. A chronic difficult situation can seem never-ending and is exhausting. You might go “many days without seeing the sun or stars and give up all hope…” (v 20)

However, Paul assured them that they would live through it. “Take courage! For I trust in God that it will be just as I was told.” (v 25) and “Not even a hair on your heads will be lost.” (v 34) God assures us, that even in situations that look absolutely hopeless, He is able to bring good.

  • But read what happened in order for the men to get to shore–they had to crash the boat and jump into the sea. …they saw a bay with a beach and wondered if they could get to shore by running the ship aground. (v 39)

Imagine how scary that looked to them! Don’t you think some wanted to take their chances and keep sailing? Sometimes, especially with a long-term marital problem that has been ignored and never dealt with, bringing it to the surface and confronting it seems more painful than ignoring it. But it’s like a splinter. It starts out as a little sliver, but then the skin gets red and irritated. Infection sets in. Maybe an abscess forms. An unacknowledged problem is still there; it just grows under the surface and gets more and more painful. You MUST deal with the problem if you want your marriage to thrive.

There are countless Scriptures promising help and support– here are some of my favorites.

  • Isaiah 43:18-19 Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to the things of old. Look, I am about to do something newl even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make highways [not just a footpath] in the desert, rivers [not just a piddly stream].
  • John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, But take heart; I have overcome the world.
  • Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
  • Isaiah 43: 2 When you pass through the deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through the fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you.
  • Joel 2:32 All who call upon the Lord for help will be saved…
  • Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
    Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 
    though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
  • Psalm 107:28-31 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.
    He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.
    They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.
    Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

I pray you are not in a storm right now, but if you are, grab a life ring and stay afloat. Catch your breath, and rest in the knowledge that it won’t last forever. You’re not alone. We’ve all been there. Brighter days are ahead.

stormy sea

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