Christmas isn’t always considered a time of joy, in fact, it can be stressful. Stress puts pressure on marriages and the Christmas often brings those things to the surface. It is no surprise that the financial struggles can be an unbearable strain on family life and that many will feel it, even more, this Christmas. Many couples around the world are worrying about whether they will lose their home, how to pay the bills, and how to provide presents for their children. Some parents have already decided that they will spend this one last Christmas together as a family before they split up.

Shelley Hesford, of Cheshire law firm SAS Daniels, said: “We believe January 12, 2009, the first Monday after children return to school, will be D-day – divorce day. We get more calls in the first few days of New Year from couples wanting to separate or divorce than any other time of the year.”

You do not need to be one of those statistics! Give your children the best Christmas present they could have, a family that stays together! You might feel that this is impossible, things have gone too far, and there is no way back. We have news for you; it isn’t too late, and it isn’t impossible!

10 Things You Can Do When Your Stressed

1. Remember your Promises.

Remember the promises you made when you got married. “To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.” Your relationship isn’t based on feelings or the circumstances around you, it’s based on your covenant and commitment.

Numbers 30:2 (NIV UK)
When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to bind himself by a pledge,
he must not break his word but must do everything he said.

2. Hold each other.

When you experience frustration with your circumstances, do you have a tendency to blame each other and push each other away? Instead hold each other, comfort each other and remember that possessions are not important but family is.

Matthew 19:5 (ESV)
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

3. Do Things Together.

Sit down together and watch your wedding video or flick through your photo album. Remember the good things you have together rather than dwelling on the hardships.

Matthew 19:6
So they are no longer two, but one.
Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.

4. Irradicate selfishness.

The word “I” can be one of the major problems in a marriage. Many marriages end in divorce because of selfishness. When what “I” want becomes of greater importance than what “we” want then it is destructive to the marriage relationship. This Christmas you can change that and choose to give to your relationship instead of thinking what you can get from it.

Ephesians 5:29-33 (NIV)
No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it.
That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body.
And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife.

5. Support.

Respect and honour should be part of your relationship. Criticism is a destructive force in marriage and nagging doesn’t help the situation either. Become a supporter not just when you are winning at life but in the difficult times too.

Proverbs 14:1 (ESV)
The wisest of women builds her house,
but folly with her own hands tears it down.

 

6. Dream Together.

Get out of the house for a while go for a long walk and talk. Talking doesn’t mean getting into old arguments or blaming each other, talk about your hopes, your dreams for the future and how you can rebuild your marriage.

2 Corinthians 4:18a (ESV)
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.

7. Make an effort.

It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that life will be easier or better without your spouse. All your cares will disappear, and that divorce is easier than making your marriage work. Divorce has a huge price tag – “pain”. Working at marriage isn’t easy either, but the results are worth it.

Galatians 6: 9-10 (NIV)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

8. Appreciate.

Appreciation is often missing from a marriage in trouble. Take time to say thank you, not only for gifts but for the things we often take for granted: a cup of coffee, a meal, a day at work, a clean home.

Ephesians 5: 26-28 (The Message)
Christ’s love makes the church whole.
His words evoke her beauty.
Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her,
dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.
And that is how husbands ought to love their wives.
They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

9. Sow good things into your marriage.

We sow into our marriage through our words, attitudes and actions. It is time to change the seed and expect a different harvest, instead of rejection sow acceptance, instead of bitterness sow gratitude, instead of selfishness sow love.

Galatians 6:7-9 (ESV)
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption,
but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

10. Yourself!

Your presence is so much more important than presents! This Christmas you can make a difference in your own lives and the lives of your Children. Give them a Christmas to remember, a family that stays together! Give each other time and attentions. As

And, for the last piece of advice, this Christmas keep Christ in your Christmas if He is allowed to be at the centre of your family you will have the strength to make the changes necessary to stay happily hitched.

by Lainey Hitchman

Bringing Worlds Together Book

Many couples struggle to get on the same page in marriage. Whether you are newlyweds or have been married for years Bringing Worlds Together will help you blend together. Expect to learn more about your spouse, gain insight and be challenged.

Are you ready to move closer rather than drift apart?

Available in print and ebook formats.

Adjusting Expectations Book

No-one enters marriage expectation free. Adjusting Expectations helps identify how expectations were formed and whether or not they were realistic. Most expectations need some adjustment; they are often too high but can also be set too low. The good news is expectations can be reset!

Find out what you should expect and what God expects from you.

Available in print and ebook formats.

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