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• Control your work schedules to allow time together other than just at night. • As a husband, be sure to take time to discuss issues your wife is facing or issues you are facing as a couple. • As a wife, allow your husband times of silence if he needs to think before discussing an issue with you. • Refuse to harbor resentment toward one another. • Commit yourselves to working through misu n d e r s t a n d i n g s a n d disagreements. • Be honest and open. Do not hint at your negative feelings; share them kindly but clearly. • Do not make important decisions without openly discussing them. • Postpone decisions where there is strong disagreement. (A husband should avoid overriding his wife’s objections in decisions, even when she has trouble stating her reasons. Many godly husbands have testified to God protecting them from a wrong decision through a wife’s intuitive objections.) • Never share information with others which betrays trust. • Never belittle, rail, ridicule, or nag. • Regularly express gratitude, commendation, and encouragement. • Be polite and courteous. Say “please,” “thank you,” “forgive me,” etc. 4. Improper ties with the past. One of the most painful problems in marriage is the problem of past relationships interfering with present loyalties. The most common example is where either the husband or the wife is loyal to parents at the expense of his or her loyalty to the marriage. The Bible describes marriage as “leaving” and “cleaving.” For a husband and wife to join properly to one another, they must properly leave their parents. This does not mean forsaking parents in a hostile way. It does mean that a husband finds in his wife what he once found in his mother, and that she gives him the loyalty she once gave her parents. In giving sons and daughters in marriage, parents must learn to release them. While giving advice is proper, particularly when children request it, interference in the decisions of married children violates God’s order. The in- 44 | Loaves & Fishes • Issue 32


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