4 Pieces of Really Bad Marriage Advice
- Jennifer Waddle
- 2016 29 Mar
There’s a rooftop suite at one of our favorite vacation spots that overlooks the ocean. It even has its own private pool. And as our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary approaches, my husband is hoping to reserve that suite—if it doesn’t cost a fortune.
Some people might suggest that we not worry about the money, that we celebrate like it’s 1999! They would probably say something like:
“It’s your 25th after all!” Or, “You only live once!”
Well-meaning advice usually comes from the very best of intentions and can seem harmless enough. However, some of those innocent suggestions can lead us down not-so-good paths.
Take a look at 4 pieces of really bad marriage advice that may not be as helpful as they sound.
1. “Maybe you two should separate for awhile."
Taking a “break” from one another, by actually separating, can do more harm than good. It may give the couple a break from conflict, but it could be one step toward divorce.
When we say, “I do,” we commit to work through the good times and the bad. Walking away from each another without an immediate plan to seek godly counsel could be detrimental.
Gary Chapman, author of “Hope for the Separated,” and “The 5 Love Languages,” says this:
“Separation may give you some temporary relief from arguing, if that is happening, but you don’t win the battle by retreating. You win by staying on the battlefield and finding ways to solve the problems that are destroying your marriage. So, I cannot recommend separation as a means for enriching your marriage. That comes when the two of you engage with each other in a deep and meaningful way.”
You can read more about this topic on Gary’s blog, The 5 Love Languages.
Better advice: Consider taking a mini-vacation to get away from the daily grind. Use that time to work out a plan. Think of it as a “Retreat Rescue,” where both of you can relax, do something fun, and have some heart-to-heart talks. Agree to spend that time creating an action plan to redeem your marriage.
2. “When things get tough, call your mother.”
When we leave and cleave, we need to leave and cleave!
Things are stressful enoughwithout involving family members. One consequence of sharing your marital problems with your parents is that their view of your spouse may change. Even when things get better, parents may still carry ill feelings that could have a negative impact on the way your family interacts with one another.
Better advice: Call someone else’s parents! Find a trusted, older couple who has been through the trenches of marriage. Many churches can recommend people who are more than willing to counsel. If your church doesn’t offer this, consider contacting a larger church in the area, or ask your pastor for a referral.
3. “You should fight regularly to keep your marriage healthy.”
There are definitely benefits to working through conflict, but there is also something to be said for happy couples that rarely argue.
Fighting regularly can turn into a habit—one that instigates even more arguing.
Growth and maturity portray a willingness to let things go; to yield to one another in love.
When it comes to conflict in marriage, there’s a detailed passage in James that points us toward heavenly wisdom. And you know what? Not one piece of it involves fighting. Take a look:
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:17-18 NKJV)
Better advice: Learn to let the little things go. Brush them off. Turn the argumentative tide into calm waters, by being willing to yield. When you do have disagreements, (and you will), listen more that you speak, and assure your spouse that you are committed to working things out—together.
4. “Life is too short to worry about money.”
I’ve noticed a strange trend over the last decade or so. Newlyweds seem to be starting out with all the material possessions of their retired parents. And if they can afford it, that’s great.
However, financial stress can wreak havoc on a marriage. Poor spending habits and carefree living can lead to serious consequences.
We shouldn’t worry about money or acquiring the things we need. Jesus was clear about that in Matthew 6:25-34. However, He never said we should be careless either. Living in the moment can be fun, but it can lead to a great amount of turmoil down the road.
Better advice: Point married couples toward financial freedom, in the form of workshops, classes, or meetings with a financial advisor. Many advisors offer a free consultation and can really make a difference in the way a couple views money.
That rooftop suite, at our favorite resort, might be a lot of fun. But it’s probably way beyond our budget. Either way, we’ve decided that just being together is more important than swimming on the roof! Our very best advice comes from the wisdom of God. Ask Him for discernment and He will give it. For He is the Rewarder of all who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Jennifer Waddle is best known for words of encouragement as an Author, Speaker and Musician for Women’s Ministry. She currently has three published books on Amazon and is a regular contributor for WomensMinistryTools.com and GotQuestions.org. Jennifer is committed to sharing authentic messages of hope to women of all walks of life. She loves being a wife of 24 years, mom of four, and nana of two. Most of all, she cherishes her time spent in the Word of God, with a cup of coffee and a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains. Contact Jennifer here: www.jenniferwaddleonline.com or [email protected]