Signs That Your Marriage is In Danger

 It was a clear but brisk day in the Fall. Everything was seemingly going well with Joe and Elaine. But on this day Joe entered the kitchen as one enters a theater knowing exactly where they will be seating. Noticing Elaine by the sink, he dropped the bomb; “I don’t want to be married anymore.” Elaine stood lifeless as if a news anchor had just announced that Mars was invading the Earth.  

These are fictional names but the situation is only slightly altered. How could something like this happen? Is this even possible? Weren’t there warning signs? 

 The answer to all these questions is yes. As the old adage says, where there’s smoke there’s fire. Unfortunately, individuals in a marriage sometimes either ignore the “smoke” or have blinders tending only to the busyness of life.  As a way to bring some light to this scenario, I will be presenting 5 warning signs that a marriage may be in trouble.  

The number one sign is if couples avoid discussing a difficult topic.

Sometimes couples find themselves in a precarious position of not wanting to discuss a difficult topic as if somehow, magically it will disappear.  This can be an unresolved argument regarding the house, work, kids, finances or a possible problem relationship with someone from the opposite sex.  

Unresolved conflicts can fester and just like cancer, metastasize to all areas of the marriage relationship. Couples with healthy marriages leave no stones unturned when it comes to discussing the difficult things. They understand that the “woness” of a marriage depends on it.

I will be going into the other signs on the next few posts.  Feel free to add some other signs that you think are important. 

5 Reasons Daddy-Daughter Dates Are Important 

I recently had a wonderful date with my beautiful, fun loving daughter. With my work and her school and extracurricular activities, it can be challenging to find time for these. But they are so very important. We didn’t do anything extravagant. We bowled for two rounds and had dinner at one of her favorite spots.
  
Although our bowling scores were embarrassing, we had great conversation and bonding time. Dinner time is just as enjoyable. We’ve done this before but it’s a new experience now that my baby girl is 16.  Having said that, I’d like to go into five reasons why daddy daughter dates are so important.

1. Reminding my daughter that she can talk to me

   Being a parent means that I’m in a position of authority not friendship. However, I also want my daughter to feel comfortable enough to open up to me about any problems or issues without worrying about being scolded or judged. Dates give us this opportunity.

2. Reminding my daughter that she is special 

   Young girls want approval and want to feel special. If I make my daughter feel special she won’t have seek in other places for acceptance.

3. Setting Standard for future dates

   By giving my princess an example of how should be treated, she will have a pattern of what’s acceptable and not acceptable treatment in future dates. She will then learn not to settle anything less than a gentleman.

4. Having Fun

     Daddy-daughter dates are a great opportunity to just get wild, loose and have lots of fun. We were probably by far the worst bowlers at the joint. But our jokes and trash talking made up for our lack of skill. 

 
5. Developing memories 
     Daddy daughter dates give my daughter memories that she will treasure for a lifetime. These can be a source of peace and joy in times of sadness or distress. The talks and wisdom nuggets can come in handy. 

So there you have some very good reasons to have daddy-daughter dates. The important thing is not what’s done, but just to do it. Because sooner or later someone else will be taking her on dates.  

What Does Our Marriage Communicate?

I’ve been married 19 years and I just recently thought about what our life communicates to our kids. What have I taught my son about how a woman should be treated? What have my actions reflected about my love for my wife? In turn, how has Lisa’s married life impacted our daughter?

I guess we often think about what kind of legacy we will leave our family. I wasn’t always a good role model, but as I matured in my Christian walk and as the refinement process continues, I would think that I became a better husband, leader, father and disciple. I can certainly say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have seen that growth in my wife.  

As we have both grown, Lisa and I have made it a point to impart the importance of servant leadership. As I lead my wife, I try to do so by serving her. She has done the same by serving her family faithfully and sacrificially. We have been most encouraged in our “woness” by hearing others tell us that our lives are an inspiration.     This gives us great joy. Not the kind of happiness that leads us to believe that we have reached the mountain top. But instead, a humble joy that God would choose to use such broken vessels to speak life to those hurting or those contemplating marriage.  

I think I can speak for my bride of 19 years when I say that in 2016, we would like most of all to communicate love. Not the emotion. But the verb. We would like to reflect in our lives what Jesus commanded His disciples in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

In this manner we can be sure we will leave a legacy of “won.”

My Longest Night

I don’t know if anybody else has been through this, but I; well my wife and I, were recently in a spirited disagreement which led us to do the unthinkable: go to bed mad at each other with our backs towards each other.

You know that moment in a “discussion” when an impasse is reached and there’s no going backwards. There is an option of saying “I’m sorry,” whether or not you’re to blame, another option would be to say “I think we should agree to disagree.” Yet another option would be to stay angry and not communicate at all. You know, the mature thing to do.
Well, we’ve been there recently. The topic of the argument or discussion doesn’t really matter. I don’t know if it really ever does. But on this particular day, for some reason, the topic mattered either because of pride, stubbornness, or stupidity. You know, there has to be a winner and a loser. So our voices got louder as if there was a third-party listening to declare the person with the loudest voice a winner.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, nightfall come and then the awkward time of going to bed without resolution. Do I say good night, do I not say good night, do I say “I love you?”

Do I say anything at all? Do I even sleep in the same bed? What are the rules of engagement? Well, we actually said nothing at all. And it was one of the longest nights of my life.  

You see, even if our anger is justified, it should not supersede love. Just as Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:26, we should not “let the sun go down in our anger.” The anger to which Paul refers is justified anger against injustice or against the precepts of God. Even this anger however, cannot go unchecked or be long lasting. Therefore, our default  (what ours should have been) should  be to swallow pride, engage our spouse and say, “Because I love you, I would like for us to discuss this later. I love you, goodnight.”

In this manner the fellowship of love is not broken. In this manner two can stay at “won.” And to put it simply, tomorrow is not guaranteed for anybody.