How to Improve the “Offense and Defense” of Your Marriage

Whether it’s in sports or relationships, the way to win is to have both a strong offense and defense. In today’s post our friend Jim Burns from Homeword talks about how to work on both the offense and defense of  your marriage. Enjoy!

To use a sports phrase, “the best offense is a good defense.” This is true in the world of sports but it’s also true when it comes to relationships. One of the most important Bible verses in my life is this:

“Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23

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I’m convinced that if people can learn to guard their heart, they will have much better relationships and frankly, a stronger relationship with God. Even though I’m thinking about relationships, most of the principles are good for all aspects of life.

Defense:

  1. Do all you can to get as emotionally and spiritually healthy as you can. People who practice healthy disciplines (emotional and spiritual) are the people who are building a firm foundation to guard their heart.
  2. It’s the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. There is pain in life. But the people who practice the pain of discipline do well, and the others experience the pain of regret.
  3. Spend regular time with God. I don’t remember necessarily what I ate last Monday but it nourishes me for today. Regular times of practicing the spiritual disciplines make a major difference in relationships.
  4. Lean into replenishing relationships. Basically, we have VDP’s and VIP’s. (Very draining people and very inspiring people) We will all have VDP’s but we need to find regular times with the VIP’s. I’m convinced you can’t do marriage, parenting or just life very well without having a community of support and replenishment.

These are just a few of the things you can do to strengthen your defense.

How about offense? When you think offense, think intentional decisions to guard your heart. .

  1. Stay away from compromising situations. When I was a youth pastor I used to tell kids if they didn’t want to face temptations, then maybe they had better stay away from “inspiration point.” Very few people don’t actually understand what they are doing if they are moving toward temptation. The Bible uses the word flee a lot. Flee sexual immorality. Flee evil. Flee bad company.
  2. Make sure you are in accountable relationships. Find people who will hold you accountable. Don’t look for people who are pushovers but people who love you enough to confront.

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