Posted in focus on faith

12 Tips for the Bride/Groom (and the rest of us!)

high-society-bride-cartoonThis advice to the bride to be, given in a hurry and  “off the top of” Terry Osgood’s incredibly level head was just too good to leave in a private wedding message. With permission from the writer, a brilliant lawyer and longtime friend, here are 12 tips suitable for framing! 

As hard as it may seem to believe now, the days will come when you have serious disagreements. My advice relates to how to weather those times. 

[1] Always keep in mind the big picture. This includes your faith in the Lord, of course, but also remember that you are in this marriage for the long haul, and that your Beloved loves you. If s/he did something that hurt you, remember that s/he is committed to spend the rest of his/her life with you. When you are feeling particularly sorry for yourself, watch your wedding vows on DVD and listen to those words and the prayers from your wedding day.

[2] Especially when you disagree on an ISSUE, remember to affirm your partner. That is, separate the issue from your relationship. Issues come and go (thankfully), but your relationship does not.

[3] Always assume the best of your partner. If there are two (or more) ways that something can be interpreted, assume your spouse meant the best one.

[4] Eliminate sarcasm from your life — it serves no good purpose.

[5] Commit to communicate. This includes talking to each other, but it also includes listening, praying, and reflecting.

[6] Do not avoid difficult conversations — learn how to bring up delicate subjects early in your marriage. Difficult issues do not go away and they do not get easier.

[7] Do not assume that your partner handles conflict in the same way you do. If one partner needs to withdraw to “process” the other partner may see this as abandonment or the “silent treatment,” If you need to withdraw, explain what you are doing and why. If you need to talk, explain why this is important.

[8] Do not assume that your partner handles illness the same way you do. Some want to be pampered; some want to be left alone. Some don’t know what they want.

[9] Be sensitive to timing. Avoid bringing up difficult issues at stressful times.

[10] Remember that you will be modeling conflict resolution skills for your children.

[11] Let the small stuff go. Not every disagreement matters. See [1] above.

[12] You know that “never let the sun go down on your anger” verse in Ephesians? I misread that verse for about 40 years. (I thought it meant that one had to resolve every dispute with a partner before one could rest at night, so I made it my mission to convince my partner of my position before we could sleep.) I am now convinced that it means that you are not supposed to hold on to your own anger when you lay down. In other words, commit your partner and your dispute to the Lord before you go to sleep. If the dispute is not resolved, then give it to the Lord to worry about while you sleep. It amazes me how much better this approach works than my “stay up all night” approach.


Christian writer and speaker trying to follow God one yes at a time.

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