Hello & happy Monday!
Whew! I don’t know about y’all, but this weekend flew by. I feel like we just haven’t stopped moving since we got to Austin and I’ve loved it, it has been SO FUN! We love Austin so far. I’m telling you guys, there is SO MUCH FOOD in this city and it all looks so dang good. Yesterday Taylor and I started a list of all the places that we want to try here and lord help me, cause it’s not going to be short. #ineedtoexercise
Give me all the tacos. And barbeque. And tex mex. And ice cream. And foodtrucks . . .
You see what I mean? It’s a problem
Anyways – Over the weekend we went to this super fun bar in south Austin and before you go in, they have this great sign on the outside. I mean how fitting is that, “Welcome to Awesome, Texas” (don't mind the terrible photo quality)
Now on another note . . . TODAY IS #MARRIAGEMONDAY!
I get so excited to talk about marriage and to share our experience with you, so thank y’all for listening & reading – it really means the world to me.
This course has been a real blessing to Taylor & I and I truly hope that these posts and our experience leaves you feeling inspired and wanting to love and serve your spouse better.
. . .
This weekend Taylor & I completed the second lesson in our marriage course – The Heart of Family by Kirk & Chelsea Cameron. If you missed my lesson 1 post you can see that here! As I have said many times before it would be so much easier to simply tell you only what I want to share about our experience in the class, but that wouldn’t be truthful, nor would it be beneficial for you or us.
So let’s get down to it, shall we?
This week’s lesson was about conflict, and y’all, it was hard. So hard in fact that within the first 10 minutes of us discussing the first question on the study guide, I was walking out of the room in tears . . .
I wish that I could tell you something different, but I can’t. This week’s lesson was plain hard. We had to talk about some tough things and face some of our biggest problems and it just wasn’t fun. But with as difficult as it was, it was seriously needed and it was honestly and truly really good.
I would easily say that conflict is probably one of our biggest struggles. We are both ridiculously stubborn and we get frustrated easily, which together creates conflict.
I often find myself getting frustrated with Taylor because of his tone of voice. Even if he isn’t mad or frustrated, his tone of voice comes across to me in that way – mad/frustrated/annoyed. Or when he is frustrated and he raises his voice, I take it as him yelling at me or scolding me, when he thinks he is simply raising his voice.
And then for me, I am very sensitive and I tend to take things very personally. I hate being scolded or yelled at and when I do, I shut down.
So when we put these two things together it creates immediate conflict in our relationship. Taylor will say something, I will get offended and then I will respond with frustration causing him to get annoyed and then we end up bitter toward each other.
When that happens over and over and over again it starts to take a toll on you. It starts to become your new normal and all of the sudden you go from this place of love to this place of bitterness.
It is so easy for us to let our emotions lead the way, but this week’s lesson taught us the importance of pushing your feelings to the side, thinking before you react and relying on God to change your heart.
God has this amazing capability to change our hearts, to change those hateful, frustrated feelings that you’re having and turning them into love.
John 13:34 - A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Most of what the video talked about this week was being slow to react. When you are fighting, take a second to think about the situation and ask yourself if what you are about to do or say is going to work to build a solution or if it is just going to strengthen the fight.
This is of course much easier said than done, but I loved what Chelsea said, she said that in that moment it can be hard to want to love, respect, honor or react positively to your spouse and so if you can’t do it for your spouse than do it for God. Reach out to God and ask him to change your heart and your feelings.
James 1:19 – Know this, my beloved brothers; let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
I can tell you that Taylor and I are so quick to act on our feelings and after having gone through this lesson we are now working so hard to be intentional about what we say and what we do, because now we understand the importance of it.
I love what James tells us when he says, “be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” By doing these three things, we are reacting not through our emotions, but through love and compassion.
. . .
The other focus of this week’s lesson was on the “mother problem” of your relationship. What is that one thing that you would consider to be your biggest problem?
We said our stubbornness and our pride – especially together.
Taylor and I have bad memories and we forget things easily or we tend to think something happened that didn’t and we actually fight over these things.
I will think (and be sure) that I said, did or told him something, but he will completely disagree with me and say that I didn’t say, do or tell him what I said I did and like me, he is 99% sure that he is right.
Neither of us likes to give in because we are too prideful and stubborn.
I mean honestly does it even matter who was right or wrong? No. All that matters is that from that moment on you figure out what you need to figure out and then move on.
It is such a simple thing to do, but because of our pride, neither of us wants to back down. We want the other to be proven wrong and in those moments, we’re not acting like a team but instead were working against each other.
Ephesians 4:31-32 – Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Going back to what I was saying at the beginning of this post, we discussed how to change ourselves instead of critiquing and trying to change our spouses. Taylor & I had just watched the lesson and got done hearing about how you don’t want to change your spouse, but instead you should focus on what things about yourself you can change and how those changes can affect your marriage.
The first question on the study guide asked us to write down the different ways in which we were raised differently and how those different ways impact our relationship.
We were both raised very differently, not to say that either way was better than the other, they were simply just different. We are both incredibly fortunate with our upbringings and how we were raised, but when you combine two people’s lives and their pasts it is hard and a total adjustment, which is probably why people often say that the first year of marriage is the hardest.
While discussing this question and trying to answer it, we found ourselves going back and fourth saying, because you do this, you are initiating the problem and causing the conflict, so you need to change. We were 100% blaming the other person and trying to change them and not us.
We became frustrated and annoyed with each other, which is what caused me to walk out of the room in tears.
After walking out, Taylor came and found me in our bed and I was in no mood to finish the lesson, but he kept reading the questions and the bible verses to me even when I wasn’t responding. He began to answer the questions on his own until I slowly started to respond. I finally came around and we finished the lesson together.
Taylor put me first in that moment. He took time to react, he came and found me and worked to bring us together again even when I felt so against it. He very easily could have forgotten the entire lesson and walked away from the situation, but he didn’t. And although it took some time, I am thankful that I came around, chose to put Taylor first and continued on with the lesson, because I could have just as easily refused to finish it and let my pride & stubbornness win again.
We put each other first and we chose to not let our emotions lead the way and while we probably could have reacted that way much sooner and avoided the first scenario, we're still learning . . . and that's okay.
I know that I would be writing a very different post today if we, especially Taylor, hadn't chosen to react the way we did and for that I am beyond thankful.
We keep our lesson posted on our fridge so that we have a constant reminder of what we are practicing, because it is seriously so easy to forget and fall back into your old habits.
Even if you forget, which you are bound to do time and time again, keep trying to be intentional and continue to work on yourself to be better, because the more we do it, the quicker and easier it is to make it a habit and the more natural it will become.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
- Click here to purchase The Heart of Family Marriage Course -
- XO -
I'm Emilee. Twenty-something. Homebody. Believer in a simple + intentional life. Daughter of the King. Living in Austin with my hubs.
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