Make Sure Your Marriage Has a Disaster Recovery Plan
- Thursday, September 03, 2009
But that mindset is really of no benefit to our healing and our hope. Deepak Chopra says that true faith is being "comfortable with uncertainty." Trusting God means surrendering to his "grand plan" and moving forward with complete faith and confidence that the future will be better than today. It means being obedient to his will, even when you are scared and uncertain. And it means never losing hope, even when the odds seem to be against you, and God's timing is much slower than you think you need. As frustrating as it is to live through, there is much to be learned from "waiting on the Lord."
"Wait for the Lord. Be strong and don't lose hope…" ~ Psalm 27:14
In addition to prayer, we have found it very helpful to be involved in a small group at our church. We are members of a ChristCare group where we regularly see God's love and support demonstrated by others within our group as we seek to enhance our spiritual walk together. There is something very comforting about surrounding yourself with people who are walking, or have walked, in your shoes. You witness God's love in action in a very personal and meaningful way.
The other part of our disaster plan is to love and support one another. To talk--really talk, respectfully and lovingly, about our concerns, our hopes, our dreams and our fears. We are careful not to place blame on one another. This is critical if one of you has lost your job! And it is tough to do as you watch your savings vanish, your bills pile up, and your prospects dwindle. But take care not to turn on each other. Be your own best support system so that when you or your spouse has an interview, you can come across as capable and confident, not panicked and desperate.
Your marriage should be the one thing you don't have to worry about during a crisis. But you can't neglect it or take it for granted, either. You have to continue to develop and cultivate it.
If you or your spouse has to work longer hours or travel more, that will obviously pose a certain hardship on the marriage and the family. One of you will have to assume more of the household responsibilities. Trying to make family decisions over the telephone can prove to be difficult. The kids will be impacted by not having both parents there to support them. And you will probably just miss each other and miss spending time together. This can be very frustrating over time.
But it is important not to take your frustrations out on each other. Recognize that you are both doing the best you can to rise to the occasion and that this situation is temporary. It may last much longer than you wish, but things will get better. Be optimistic and supportive of one another and enjoy the times you do get to spend together. Have some FUN; release your stress with some inexpensive family exercise—walking, hiking, bike riding, swimming, etc.
And be mindful that the travel may open new opportunities for you--exposure to different people in a new work environment, the chance to prove yourself with a new challenge, or you just might be seated next to your new boss on a plane sometime! You never know how God may work and what situation he may use to open doors for you.
So "trust the process" and take care to protect the health of your relationship whenever adversity strikes. And while it may be the last thing on your mind, be sure to connect physically and intimately. It will sustain your commitment and remind you that you still love and need one another even if your world seems to be crumbling around you.
Nurturing your marriage when times are tough will strengthen it in a way that success and prosperity will never do. You will forge a bond of trust, reliance, and closeness that will enhance your relationship in ways you never dreamed possible. You will learn the freedom that comes from exposing your true selves to one another, complete with all your vulnerabilities and weaknesses. And you will grow and mature together while creating a healthy sanctuary from the stresses of life.
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