CTA, Inc

The Normal Stressed Marriage

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Stress in marriage is normal - tips for handling it well.

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Introduction: We often assume there are only two checkboxes for marriage: great marriages and marriages that are falling apart. But God-focused marriages are on a completely different level.

Summary:

It’s key that churches work to normalize the challenges and struggles of Christian marriages.

Every “normal marriage” has stressors:

  • When two people come together in marriage, there is stress as they try to understand one another, get to know each other, and work through changes together.
  • Normal stressors are things that the couples can overlook and get past by giving grace and forgiveness.
  • Churches should give permission for married couples to live under this kind of normal stress.

Look out for the “we’ve got to get this fixed” challenges:

  • Criticism: spouses point out what’s wrong with what the other person is doing.
  • Contempt: spouses pointing out problems with who their spouse is. This is a bigger problem.

Encourage couples with Ephesians 1:11:

  • God has a power greater than our struggles, our brokenness.

Churches can counsel married couples:

  • Encourage them to find a way to build friendship.
  • Prompt them to work and serve together.
  • Give them permission to share brokenness, to struggle.

Thought Starters:

  • What kind of “struggling marriage” stigmas do you see in your church?
  • What marriage support programs do you have in place? In what areas could you better serve married couples?

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