How do you manage crises in your marriage? Dr. Greg Smalley of Focus on the Family discusses coping with stress and the stuff of life  – while maintaining connection with your spouse.

What’s the difference between a conflict and a crisis?

Conflict: Greg defines this as internal strife between you and your spouse.

Crisis: “There are so many things – financial problems, disaster, miscarriage, loss of a job, family strife… it creates a very different season. There are some important things we need to be doing to protect our relationship. Each one of these different things can catch you off guard.”

Greg shares how he and his wife Erin stay connected and healthy in crises:

1. Recognize the spiritual warfare that comes with every crisis. “Satan is out to destroy our one-ness.” Increase your prayer covering and keep short accounts.

2. “Rediscover what can give you life.” Greg and his family are walking through a difficult season involving his father’s health problems. Greg shares how he is tempted to react – withdraw and eat unhealthy food. Instead he challenges himself – and us – to intentionally turn to God first and our spouse second. He also challenges us to work out or do physical activity to burn off some of the stress that we’re feeling.

3. Practice the principles in James – be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to get angry.

4. Actively serve others. Greg shares how a neighborhood couple turned up on the Smalley doorstep recently seeking help after an extra-marital affair. He wasn’t sure he had the energy to serve – but God gave him strength. “It’s so easy to get consumed with managing the crisis – it’s been amazing to be a part of their story and see them reconcile.”

Highlight : In the middle of the storm, serve someone else

Coming through a storm with your spouse

One Response to "Coming through a storm with your spouse"

  • Shannon says:

    Thank you! Needed this to hear! Going through a lot with my marriage and my 16 year old daughter, not wanting to obey rules, and add in 20 month old boy that isn’t giVing me anytime to myself!

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