5 Peace Keeping Solutions for a Happy Holiday Season

BY: - 22 Nov '17 | Marriage

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The holidays can be one of the most exciting times of the year. After many months of being away from Grandma, you and your family will travel the three hours to her house for the best sweet potato pie this side of the world. Having had weeks to prepare to see your family, you just know that a good time will be had by all. Unless, of course, you and your husband, who just doesn’t get along with your favorite cousin NaeNae, can’t come to a meeting of the minds.

You have been looking forward with glee to the day you and NaeNae will see each other, giggle over old times like school girls, and leave the kids at the house while you go shopping for all things Christmas. But while you and NaeNae were busy making plans, Bae had plans of his own and he wasn’t trying to hear nothing about “that girl!” What should be a time of fun and peace is headed for disaster if something isn’t done, and fast!

Doing your due diligence could make for smooth sailing and good times for you and your spouse.

If this sounds remotely familiar, then you understand all of the mishaps that can come into play when you are trying to keep the peace over the holidays. No one wants to be on pins and needles around their spouse during the season “to be jolly,” especially when other family members are in the room. So, to take a preemptive strike and keep the peace with your spouse over the holidays, here are 5 things to start doing right now.

Admit There Could Be a Problem

The first step to any kind of recovery is to admit you’ve got a problem. Don’t underestimate the stress family and old surroundings can and has had on your relationship. If you face the issues head on before the holidays arrive, you’ll be better prepared to deal with the challenges as they come.

  • Be open and honest about the struggles you have around each other’s family members.
  • Keep it real about the changes you see in your spouse when they get around their kin
  • Discuss potential pitfalls and the tension that comes with them when back in your hometown

Don’t Forget to Pray

Once the talking’s over, let the prayers begin. The holidays should be a spiritual experience so starting them on your knees is not a bad idea. There are so many emotions that rise up during this time of year so praying over them together ensures you are both on the same page.

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Have a Secret Phrase

Regardless of how prepared you are, there are times when a person or a situation can still be too much. To keep yourself from losing it and wreaking havoc in the process, you and your spouse should have a custom made “SOS” signal and an escape route to go with it.

  • “Babe, can you make some more of those killer pancakes tomorrow?”
  • “Hon, I think I saw some oil leaking under the car.”
  • “I sure hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.”

Whatever your phrase, make sure you have each other’s back when it’s time to roll.

Set a Schedule that Works

This is probably one of the most sensitive areas and can cause the most frustration. He wants to play ball with the fellas. She wants to go shopping with the ladies. No one wants to be hemmed up by the kids.  By setting a schedule and working out who’s got next when it comes to the kids, you significantly reduce the chances of getting caught up in your feelings.

Set Each Other Up to Win

While it may be fun for you to spend hours on end with NaeNae, it’s torture for your husband who could never see eye to eye with her. Rather than insisting he have a better attitude towards her, help him find peace elsewhere while you and NaeNae do your thing. By having a plan in advance for situations you know make each of you uncomfortable, you are set up to win and allow peace to reign.

No one wants to deal with chaos during the holidays. But being unprepared to handle problems that might arise will cause just that. Doing your due diligence could make for smooth sailing and good times for you and your spouse. And, maybe, just maybe, your season will be jolly after all!

BMWK, are you ready to keep the peace this holiday season?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 127 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.

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5 Key Questions to Ask for Your 2018 Marriage Mission Statement

BY: - 24 Nov '17 | Marriage

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Most married people can connect to a time or two of frustration in their marriage relationship, but there also exists a path to a better relationship. So, here is an idea: For 2018, write a marriage mission statement together—a simple document of just a few sentences you and your spouse can create together that gives shape to your marriage.

It recognizes that we need each other to arrive at the places of God’s promise for us as individuals, so we create a set of guiding principles that will remind us to respect our points of mutual need. It’s important for the couple to create a personal document that really keeps them centered on what is important between the two of them. Yet, there are five key areas you will want to consider in creating a mission statement for your own marriage:

1. Start by asking big questions. Where are we going? What do we want to accomplish throughout the course of our marriage? What legacy do we want to pass on?

2. What guiding principles shape our relationship? One key element that you may want to include in your mission is a list of the things that matter the most to the two of you. The more specific the better! Think of areas like communication, money, trust, parenting, and life itself. For example, “We will honor Christ in how we speak to each other, even and especially in times of conflict. We will seek to build each other up and not use words to tear each other down. We will listen to learn of each other’s feelings, not listen to win an argument.”

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3. What marriage legacy do you want to leave? A marriage mission statement should include where you want to end up. At some point, God is going to call one of you home and what will remain will be the blessed memories and the love that your marriage has sown in the lives of others. An
example might be, “It is the mission of this marriage to be an example of love to our children, those that enter our house, and those that we call our friends and family.”

4. What Scriptures will guide your marriage? In many ways, the message of the Bible is your mission statement, so Scripture has to be the backbone of the direction of your marriage. For example, when thinking about how to handle money, the words of the Lord, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” may be helpful. There is no shortage of guidance from the Word of God.

5. What do we need to do and how do we need to treat each other, daily, to achieve God’s mission for our marriage? Simply writing your mission on paper does not move or shape your relationship. Rather, it is the action that you put behind the mission. The points of your mission statement call you to consider your individual and collective actions toward each other. For example, “We will set aside one hour a week to talk about our goals and our future together.” Or, “In order to bridge our communication gaps, I will set aside ten minutes out of every day just to listen to his/her feelings or needs.”

As you work through these questions as a couple, you can start to develop the Mission Statement for your marriage. Perhaps the mission would then look something like this:

On a daily basis, we will set aside time to talk and listen to each other. We will spend time sharing our concerns and giving each other equal time to air feelings when they happen and not harbor them. We will also discuss and reach decisions for our children and family—together.

On a monthly basis we will plan time to spend quiet, fun time together, just the two of us. This will be a time of connecting and reconnecting spiritually and intimately. Then at least once a year we will enjoy one big vacation together. At least once a quarter we will host an event for friends and family that will be a time to share, enjoy our friends, and allow our home and marriage to bless others through fellowship and friendship.

BMWK, what’s your marriage mission for 2018?

About the author

Edward Lee wrote 69 articles on this blog.

Edward is a husband, father, founder of Elevate Your Marriage Marriage Coaching, author of three books: "Elevate Your Marriage", "Husbands, Wives, God" and "Husbands, Wives, God Weekly Devotions." He is also the Pastor of LongView Bible Church in Owings Mills, Md. Visit Edward's blog at: elevateyourmarriage.com

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