2-R-1-N Christ Marriage and Relationship Ministry - So they are no longer two, but one.  Mark 10:8

Spring has officially sprung!For most of us it has not been a bad winter but just knowing that spring is here offers us a new and fresh beginning. So with all of the spring cleaning that we are going to do I feel we should now end our three month marriage lesson for the fellows. I hear your collective cry of joy husbands. It seems like we have been picking on you but I guarantee that if you received all nine of the lessons your marriage will float in peaceful bliss forever. 
So let's get to the last three. 
Mistake #7: Playing God in the MarriageWhen we marry we come together as two adults who willingly decide to live, love, and join together as one. Which means that you are not her "daddy" and she is not your "mommy" (unless you have decided to play a fantasy game). 
Many couples forget this and approach each other in a shame-based communicative style. Many husbands (and I know many wives as well but our focus is on you guys) use a parental-style tone. One that is critical and belittling. Its fine to be angry with your wife but how your responds to your spouse in your anger makes all of the difference in the world. Your marital relationship depends on how you approach and express your negative feelings. 
When you approach your wife as if you are her parent using shame-based communication this will generally trigger an instant defensive reaction on her part. She will mostly become angry as well and thus an escalating series of retorts or complete withdrawal from all communication will occur. 
So dear husbands to keep your marriage from drowning as you play God or the parent simply avoid using lecturing language such as: "I can't believe you"..."You always"....,"You never".... and last but not least "How come you..." 
Remember you are her lover and soul mate not her parent. Treat her in the same way you would treat your closest friend then step one step further and add love to it. 
Mistake #8: Using the Untamed Tongue 
Tame your tongue. It can be very vicious. Train yourself to never speak with angry responses. As we seen from above those types of responses will induce a cycle of escalating conflict. Yelling  and screaming will only put gasoline on a burning fire. Speak with grace and love. 
You should always speak the truth but you must add a sprinkle of kindness and gentleness to your voice. Its difficult to hear someone tell you about your faults. What's even worse is to say it in a loud, harsh and cruel way. Remember this woman is the love of your life. You don't want to hurt her with words. That kind of pain never goes away and will be brought back up every time its revisited. 
As an adult we must learn to own our actions and take responsibility for how we respond. So dear husbands watch yourselves and employ the skills of self-discipline and taking a healthy time-out. When you become aware of your feelings of anger or defensiveness remember to do those things and then you will be able to curb and tame your tongue. 
Mistake #9: Being Distant 
In a healthy marriage the couple must stay connected and intimate. If that is not done because one or both has drifted apart then the marriage will drown. Just that simple. You might sense that your wife is pulling away from you so your response maybe to pull or hold back too so that you may protect yourself. 
She maybe the reason for the growing distance in your marriage. Instead of dawning back yourself you must move closer to her. You must learn to be intentional in seeking ongoing connection and attachment with your wife. You have to take the lead in this situation and be proactive in this area. 
You cannot expect to change your wife. What you can do is actively work towards creating an affectionate, warm, and encouraging environment in your home. This can have a huge influence on her. Your goal will be to get her full attention and get to the bottom of what has caused the drift. You want to bring the closeness and love back to the union. Once this is done your marriage will not drown but float on for as long as you both shall live. 
So dear husbands thats it in a nutshell. It took us three months to get all of the mistakes in but if you just take your time and incorporate them you will see it was well worth the time and effort. Our goal is to keep all marriages that have been linked with God afloat and happy. 
Our next months lesson will no longer put you on the hot seat husbands. Also remember wives that all nine of these mistakes applies to you as well. 
Many couples avoid change because sometimes the thought of changing behavior is more painful than what is already going on. But change is needed to keep your marriage balance and growing. If you are making any of these nine mistakes now is the time to start to change. It won't happen over night but steady wins the race. 
One bright wonderful day you will look up and see how well your marriage has grown with the new changes.