Take Five {Time-Out for Couples}

Tense moments, angry feelings, frustration. They come to us all, and enter every marriage, and every parent-child relationship. How I wish I knew, back in the early years, what I now know. What a lot of grief and heartache I could have saved myself and my family!

Mario has always been more patient, and good thing, or I wonder if our marriage would have lasted. I’m the hot head of the household. Stubborn, impetuous, and hard-headed. And I don’t take things at face value. To me, words, looks, and actions have something behind them. I constantly second guess even my own motives and reasons!

I remember a time, in our earliest years, when Mario unwisely commented that I ‘looked like a big fish’ as I lay on the couch relaxing.

The motive (in my mind)? “My husband thinks I’m ugly, and that I look like a big whale. He’s not happy with me.” And only I weighed 95 pounds, at the most, which you can tell by the above photo!

Until the Lord showed how wrong it was, I would just clam up, and could go days without speaking! Which is what I did that time. And for my communicative, vociferous Italian, this was inconceivable!

Hurt to the core, I planned diets and beauty treatments so my husband would once again think me beautiful. And he, totally unaware of what he’d done, harped at me to talk, backing me deeper into my corner.

Obviously we worked through it. And after my five days of silence, he tried to convince me he didn’t mean anything by the remark. Yes, you read that right — five days; I told you I’m hard-headed. Oh what problems those hidden meanings created!

I know now that he didn’t mean a thing by it. He’s pretty much an open book, often saying whatever pops into his head. But what tense times and rows we had, especially in our six years of marriage before knowing the Lord.

And how we broke the Lord’s heart.

And I think perhaps that is the key to victory. The Lord has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He is there in the room with us. And when we behave poorly, it breaks his heart. He has given us his word to teach us, and his spirit to lead us into right. And he is always present, ready to help — when we call on him and let him work in us.

Let’s let that sink in. The Lord is present.

So instead of reacting, let’s learn to Take Five. Step back a bit, during tense moments. Take it easy. And don’t break the Lord’s heart.

Sit down, open the Bible, and hold hands. Read passages about his being there. Think about and thank him for his presence. Thank him for being a very real presence in time of trouble. Pray together. Thank God for one another. Kiss. Hug. Make up. Then get on with the joy of living. {Maybe even go out to dinner?} There are few things we can’t work through together, with some give and take. And why hurt each other and the Lord, instead of learning to work through, overlook, and moving past the difficulty into freedom and blessing?

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need, (Hebrews 4:16).

He really is there, and ready to help. But we’ve also got to become willing to change!

[Image ©TheScorziellos-Sheila]

Disclaimer: Although I hold a counseling certificate, the information in this article is offered as personal advice and testimony, not professional counseling. If your marriage is in trouble, please seek professional help or pastoral care.

4 thoughts on “Take Five {Time-Out for Couples}

  1. Oh How I can relate! We both knew the Lord as we entered marriage and gave our marriage over to God. But my Scots-Irish / German blood always got the best of me. But God knows how to pare us up doesn’t He? Tom is English and Canadian – to the core. His patience, care and calmness saw me through working with childhood issues and deepening my relationship with God. Tom encouraged and built me up – he even told me once to let him have it – he can take it – because he knew I needed to “vent”. :). I miss his gentleness in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. God is so good to give us just the right companion! I too am so grateful for Mario’s patience and gentleness, and don’t know what I would do without him! Patience and gentleness have always been the two traits most lacking in my life, but thankfully the Lord has helped me great progress. I’m infinitely grateful for his love and patience, even when I don’t deserve it! I’m so glad that you do have Tom’s memory with you, though I know how you must miss him. But memory can also be a great blessing! God bless!


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