Relationship Builders (Part 4) – How To Resolve Perpetual Problems
23 Apr 2016 Saturday service – Kong Hee and Sun Ho
Perpetual problems are having the same argument over and over again.
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
1 Pet 3:8-11 [NIV]
You don’t have to solve all perpetual problems for marriage to thrive, but when it becomes serious then we need to do something about it. When it becomes contentious, condemning etc. It becomes critical to the survival of your marriage.
We get caught in a gridlock. Stuck in a frustrating situation where no progress can be made.
We need to move from gridlock to dialogue. Learning to talk about the problem without criticizing or condemning each other.
To deal with the perpetual problems we first need to understand the cause!
Cause of perpetual problems
Dreams that are unaddressed or not respected
Often our deepest dreams are rooted in childhood or youth. Eg when a mother meets the needs of the daughter, the daughter will also do the same and tend to be a great mother focused on the needs of her kids.
Gridlock kills relationships.
Some dreams can be hidden.
For eg I want to have a good job and save up enough money for retirement. The hidden dream is I want to be stable.
They will cause problems if they are hidden and not acknowledged.
For eg husband wants more sex than the wife is willing to give.
The wife was sexually mistreated when young hence only ready to give sex on her terms.
The husband’s dream is for the wife to initiate sex, because he feels he isn’t that good looking. So he wants his wife to make him feel attractive to her at least.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
Helping each other realize dreams is a major goal of marriage. Know what our partner wants in life!
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
1 Pet 3:7
How to break a gridlock?
Step 1: Become a dream detective
Find out what your partner’s dreams are, and the underlying reasons.
Once you have done that..
Step 2: Communicate thoughts and feelings clearly and honestly
Be honest, don’t downplay it. When your spouse is honest, don’t judge.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, James 1:19 [NIV]
Listen the way a good friend would listen.
The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
Prov 15:4 [NIV]
3 Levels of Communication:
A. Be understanding and interested in the dream
Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
B. Offer financial support
If you’re not interested, or can’t participate, then at least offer to contribute! Pay for lessons or the equipment for the dream. That way, your spouse will feel supported and encouraged.
C. Be a part of the dream!
The best thing of course is participating and being part of the dream!
Step 3: End the gridlock
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
The goal is to have the ability to accept the differences between each other and compromise.
Declaw the issue! Take away the sting and sharpness. Remove the hurt so the problem will no longer be a source of pain.
How? By compromising..
2 Areas of flexibility:
#1. Issues that we can’t give in to
Because by doing so it will affect your core values. We want to make this area as small as possible.
#2. Issues that we can be flexible about
We want to make this area as big as possible.
The greatest enemy of love is selfishness.
5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil
1 Cor 13:5
We must make a compromise with grace. But things won’t get better overnight in an instant. It will take time. Have faith, patience, trust and commitment to the whole process.
But is that all there is to marriage? Having their own career, sex, raising kids, etc.
Marriage is more than that. There must be a deeper sense of shared meaning.
Two soulmates become one by creating inner life together.
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Gen 1:27-28
Develop a life together that incorporates both persons dreams, beliefs, values and goals.
To end off, these two poems best describe how we should approach marriage and love.
The Art of Marriage
by Wilferd A. Peterson
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things…
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
The courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.
An Uncommon Love
By Terah Cox
May you have the love only two can know.
May you go where only two as one may go.
May the sun rise and set in your bonded hearts and the moon never find you too long apart.
May you cherish each other’s dreams as your own and turn stumbling blocks into steppingstones.
May you brave life’s mountains and miles together.
May there be no storm your love cannot weather.
May you be lovers and allies and friends.
May your soul’s conversation never end.
May you capture on earth what’s in heaven above.
May your hearts know the rapture of an uncommon love.