You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)
I gave a phone interview recently with a researcher who wanted to know what I thought was the greatest threat to marriages in modern society. I told him that I thought there were several but one of the leading threats is stress. Society is moving at a faster pace than ever and demanding more of us all of the time. Especially during certain seasons or times of transition in life (births, deaths, illnesses, a new job, moving to a new city), couples experience the most pressure and more family problems as a result.
To succeed in marriage, you simply must keep the stress in your life and household to a manageable level. You must view stress as an archenemy that threatens to destroy you. By the way, did you know that the primary cause of doctor’s office visits is stress-related illness? And financial stress destroys more marriages than any other single issue. The stress of over-burdened schedules robs you of the time you need to be together as well as the emotional and physical energy that is essential for relational intimacy. Stress is deadly.
Take some of these steps to manage your stress levels:
+ Begin every day with a time of prayer and Bible reading. Trust God with the problems and needs of your life, and don’t let the burden rest on you. Also, pray for direction and make sure the decisions and choices you are making are being guided by the Lord. He will always lead you into a life of rest and peace and will keep you from harm.
+ Honor the Sabbath Day every week. One of the Ten Commandments is that we honor the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. It is critical for our spiritual, emotional and physical health. It gets us out of the rat race and also keeps us from acting like them (the rats)! Be sure and be faithful to attend and participate in a good Bible-believing church.
+ Avoid debt and over-extending yourself financially. Save money and pay cash as much as possible. Debt creates stress that robs you of the joy of what you purchase and possess.
+ Schedule and protect time to be together every day as a couple to talk and relate without distraction. Even if it is only twenty or thirty minutes, it greatly reduces stress and increases intimacy and goodwill.
Finally, I just want to encourage you to keep Jesus as the focus of your life. He is the Prince of Peace and ultimate stress-buster. The more we worship and celebrate Him, the better everything becomes.
Talk It Out | How manageable is the stress level in your marriage? What can you do to help reduce it? Talk about practical ways you can follow he steps listed above and keep stress at a minimum in your lives.
Walk It Out | Spend a quiet time together this week. Read a Scripture that’s especially meaningful to you, and pray together, committing your needs and cares to God.
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