By Lisa Lakey
My mom hates driving over bridges. Yes, she knows it’s unlikely a steel and concrete structure will crumble the moment her wheels touch the surface, or that her compact car will careen over a four-foot barrier and into the river below.
But each time these unavoidable structures arch in the horizon, my mom grabs my dad’s hand and closes her eyes as her anxieties roll over her.
I, on the other hand, have no such qualms about driving over bridges. Physical ones, anyway. Metaphorical bridges? Those I’d like to avoid at all costs.
Like when my husband and I have had a disagreement big enough to carry over into days or even weeks, leaving a gap between us I don’t want to cross. Maybe my pride keeps me on one side of the chasm, while my husband’s pride holds strong on the other. Sometimes, I’m not sure I have the energy to make it over to him. I’m just tired of the same argument … again. I think, What’s the point of trying? We’ll just end up back where we started.
But to truly get our relationship to healing? Someone’s gotta cross that bridge.
Been there? Let me offer three (no one said “easy”) tips to close the distance.
1. Pray. “God, I don’t want to make this better right now,” is an honest prayer. But ask Him to soften both of your hearts and to give you wisdom in how to come together again.
2. Take a baby step. Maybe the first step over that gap is a quick “I love you” text or an affectionate shoulder squeeze as you walk by.
3. Talk. When you can, discuss the situation without accusing, yelling, name-calling, etc. Too soon? Admit your desire to make things better, but ask that the conversation can wait a day.
Crossing bridges is an unavoidable part of married life. So when you’re scared to cross, keep your eyes open, and focus on your spouse waiting on the other side.
The Good Stuff: But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16-17)
Action Points: What’s one “bridge” standing between you and your spouse? An argument that never got resolved, resentment, broken trust? Pray about the issue. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s leading, discuss with your spouse what might bring healing in this area of your marriage.
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