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.
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.
- 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?