NAME Canada – Men and Women Resolve Conflict Differently

Forgiveness

Bill & Pam Farrel shared some important reminders with us about resolving conflict with our spouse:

  • Women tend to confront issues while men tend to bury issues
  • Couples who can identify the real issues can grow closer
  • Emotions follow decisions

Decide AHEAD of time how you will deal with conflict!

Forgive One Another

People don’t fall out of love, they fall out of the willingness to forgive.

Colossians 3:13 – we are supposed to forgive everyone (even our spouse)!

What forgiveness is not:

  • Just letting it go
  • Saying “It’s okay”
  • Denial
  • Forgetting
  • Reconciliation

Forgiveness is a decision you make in your heart to not allow anyone else to control your emotional life.

Reconciliation is a decision to restore a broken or hurting relationship

Forgiveness makes sure there’s no bitterness in your life.

Six Statements of Forgiveness

  1. I forgive (name) for (offense) 1 John 1:9; Genesis 45 – reunion of Joseph and his brothers
  2. I admit that what happened was wrong. (If nothing was wrong, maybe a bad attitude just needs to be adjusted.) Romans 3:23; Genesis 45:5
  3. I do not expect this person to make up for what he or she has done. (Take them off your hook, and put them on God’s hook! Give God a chance to work on the person.) II Cor 5:17
  4. I will not use what happened to define who this person is. (Give up name-calling. Ask God to help you see that person as He sees them.) Forgiveness sets us free to be able to love in a healthy way. Ephesians 1 – God looks at everyone as desperately needing His grace.
  5. I will not manipulate this person with this offense. (Don’t beat people up with the past.) II Cor. 5:17 (Imagine the relationship you’d have with Jesus if he manipulated you by what he knows about you. He doesn’t do that.) Genesis 45:10 (If someone is moving from toxic to healthy, they own their issue: This is what I did. I’m so sorry I hurt you. What can I do to earn back your trust?)
  6. I will not allow what has happened to stop my personal growth. II Peter 3:18 You don’t have to be perfect, but you need to work on getting better. Bitterness stunts your growth.

Boundaries are put in place to give others time to allow God to work in their lives.

Psalm 103 – Bless the Lord, O My Soul

 


Name Conference: Marriages that Last

Lasting Marriage

Yesterday at church we celebrated two marriages which have stood the test of time. One couple has been married for 53 years. The other couple celebrated 63 years of marriage.

Have you ever wondered why some marriages fail while others thrive?

Here’s some more information that Bill and Pam Farrel shared about lasting marriages at the NAME Marriage Conference in November.

Seven stages most couples go through

  1. Newlywed
  2. Couple begins family
  3. Children enter school
  4. Children enter teen years
  5. Children enter adulthood
  6. Retirement Years
  7. Aging/Loss of spouse

“A hormone called PEA is released when you decide to marry someone – you’re actually addicted to this person. This lasts 18-24 months. When it’s gone, it’s gone. However, Oxytocin can be produced over and over by laughing together, by sharing mutually satisfying experiences, and sex.”

  • Women don’t divide their love, it multiplies!
  • Treat your spouse like company.
  • Sometimes it’s not just a spiritual problem, maybe we need a nap!

Midlife transitions: Wife’s search for significance; Husband’s search for companionship

We experience:

  • Overstated emotions
  • Question: Who am I and why am I on the face of this globe?
  • Most vulnerable to an affair

Work through Crisis

Wise women will take the question to God

“I love you too much to let life pull us apart, so let’s set some date nights.”

Men: Superman syndrome

  • Men become aware of the expenses of life
  • Men can become so focused on providing for the family that they forget to build relationship with the family
  • Testosterone drops in mid-life
  • Health crisis that gets your attention
  • Mid-life is a transition like puberty; transition from productivity to wisdom. People need your wisdom!

 Questions couples should ask themselves:

  1. Who would be a great mentor couple for us?
  2. When’s a great time for a date night? (Hint for couples with young children: Thursday night toy box. Put together a special box of toys children can only have on Thursday night (or whatever night you have your date night). Children have to stay on their beds to play with their special toy box.)

Seasoned Sisters – a supportive group of women Pam gets together with regularly.

  • In construction “sistering” = putting 2×4’s together so they can bear more weight; we should be doing this for each other as women.
  • “Choosing Joy!” – a phrase Pam uses to remind herself that she can’t change the circumstances, but she can change her attitude.

Pray Scriptures over your family

Isaiah 30:8 The Lord longs to be good to you

REMEMBER!

  • “If couples can hang through this transition (midlife), life will right itself.”
  • God is good all the time! Hang on to that. Goodness is ahead. Stick together.
  • Write out a dream list of what you want to do in the second half of your life.
  • Number one trait of couple who last a lifetime – want a love that lasts a lifetime (Pure grit and determination)

“Remind each other: It’s not you, it’s not me, it’s just life!”

 


The choice is always yours - conflict or connect. Quote from Bill and Pam Farrel

NAME Marriage Conference: Men and Women Relate Differently

The choice is always yours - conflict or connect. Quote from Bill and Pam Farrel

This past week, my husband and I had the opportunity to attend the NAME Marriage Conference in Edmonton. In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of the nuggets of wisdom that were shared at the conference.

Bill and Pam Farrel shared with candor and humor. Their first session was about how we relate differently.

  • Being perfect is NOT a good pursuit in life! The goal is to be on a journey together. Take your vows seriously, but not yourselves.
  • Our differences fascinate us . . . and they frustrate us. Genesis 1:27
  • Most couples don’t know what to do with their differences
  • Men are like waffles: They tend to think in boxes, and spend time in one box at a time. As men mature they jump boxes faster, but they always have one single focus at a time. Men are problem solvers. If men get to a box and don’t know what a solution is, they just move on. Some boxes are just plain empty.
  • Women are like spaghetti: Women integrate like a plate of noodles that all touch each other. We travel through life making emotional connections. Multi-tasking is a gift to women, but it can be frustrating to our husbands.

Men and Women Relate Differently

Most couples live with an assumption in their relationship – all conversations are going to be good for both of us. This isn’t true. We need to take turns when it’s time for communication.

The point is to help her finish. If the woman thinks you see her as important, she will want to connect with you. When trust is reignited, a woman is ready to connect. For women, the relationship is built on trust, not content. Men need to pack their bags and go on a listening journey.

Women need to stay in the box with men. Guys do have feelings, they are just slow to reveal themselves. Feelings sink to the bottom of every box. The key to unlock your husband’s heart is to let them live in the box they feel safe in. Become a great listener. Instead of seeing and opening issues surrounding the box your husband is talking about, stay in the box.

Romans 15:7 – accept the person the way God made him.

It’s easy to see differences as flaws. Some things are hard-wired in! I’m going to accept you the way God made you, not the way I wish God made you.

When a man solves problems he uses only one side of his brain; A woman uses both sides of her brain when solving a problem.

When a man eats, the part of his brain that makes him feel happier is stimulated; When a woman eats, the part of her brain that sharpens her eyesight is stimulated. She becomes more aware of her environment and has more to talk about. Relationship works better when food is involved.

Our differences cause us to communicate differently.

4 Levels of Communication:

  1. Small Talk – helpful in determining which relationships to continue or to get things done.
  2. Thoughts and Ideas – preferences; goal is to share the idea with the willingness to defer to the other person.
  3. Opinions and convictions – you share who you really are (Morals, ethics, raising kids, God, political persuasions) Your best friends tend to agree with you. If you have a high level of agreement as husband and wife, you will have less conflict. You need to make appointments to talk about these things.
  4. Emotional connection – All of us are a combination of what we think and what we feel. Decisions need to be made based on truth. Some things in life you just love and some things you’re just not interested in. One of the reasons you’re with the person you’re with is because you share “chemistry”.

When you load up your life with responsibility, you have to have a way to keep the emotional connection. James 1:19

Four Steps to Being a Great Listener:

  1. Repeat Key Phrases
  2. Rephrase (What I hear you saying is ….)
  3. Regroup (Am I in the ballpark?)
  4. Reconnect (Is it a little like this…?)

The choice is always yours – conflict or connection