Love is wonderful, but no one ever said love relationships are simple or easy. Even a good marriage that many ministers have can have bad times. It may help to consider relationships as a work in progress; a long term commitment in which the “downs” sometimes outnumber the “ups”. Relationships are cyclical. Ups and downs are part of a cycle ministry couples can expect to experience many times in their relationship. We may not love our partner all the time – and the other person won’t always be there for us. If we accept this reality, we’ll have a better chance of getting through the “down” times. Shared goals, values and dreams clearly help keep a relationship alive and vital.
Here are some signs of strength to look for and build on:
- Flexibility and the ability to compromise
- Knowing when to agree to disagree
- Pulling together in times of trouble
- A sense of humor- the ability to lighten up and let go
- Shared decision-making and the ability to acknowledge/respect important aspects of each other
- Realistic expectations and acceptance of the other person’s frailties
Ministry Leaders….Help your marriage survive a crisis by:
- Keeping a realistic perspective of the crisis. This keeps the effects from spreading to other areas of your lives.
- Avoid blame. Don’t waste energy blaming and criticizing. It distracts you from problem-solving
- Laugh. A sense of humor helps you keep perspective and is a great stress reliever.
- Exercise control. It’s natural to feel fear and anger during a crisis. There are ways to express them without hurting others. Understanding that destructive emotions are related to the crisis can help you maintain control.
- Support each other and prevent the snowball effect of growing problems.
Still Waters Restoration & Resource Ministries offers the following information to Ministry Leaders:
Many of the ways in which we interact in our relationships are based on patterns of behavior we learned in the family we grew up in. Some of the behaviors we learned are not what we want our relationships to be like now.
Here are some ideas that can help us create and maintain healthy relationships:
- Don’t make promises you can’t or won’t keep. Be reliable in the small things
- Keep short-term arguments in perspective. These will pass if they’re not blown out of proportion
- Give thought to the purpose of your relationship. Be clear about what you want and the value of what you’re trying to achieve.
- Don’t assume the worst every time you have some hassle. Examine and the negative patterns of interaction.
- Consider the key dimensions of your relationship. Look for ways to strengthen your attraction to each other, improve your communication, feel more trust, have more strength of purpose and enhance your enjoyment of each other.
Still Waters Restoration & Resource Ministries is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness among Christian Ministers and their families.
This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not meant to be used in place of professional consultation/treatment for individual health needs.