A crisis is anything that demands immediate attention because it threatens danger of some sort. Crisis management is the action we take to diminish the danger and, ideally, turn it into an opportunity for improving the situation. Crisis intimacy is the power of a couple in love when they pool their resources — wisdom, analytical skills, faith, etc. — to produce the best possible results with the help of Christ the Redeemer.
Problems can unite us instead of divide us. Here are a few obstacles that block crisis intimacy, and their cures:
The blame game. Never mind who’s to blame; it’s a waste of valuable time. It can be helpful to identify who contributed to the crisis, but only for the sake of implementing a plan for improvement. We all make mistakes, we all sin, so let’s forgive and get busy with the work of solving the problem.
Complaining. Sure, crises give us plenty to complain about, but it delays solutions and it misdirects our energy. We should take our complaints directly to God where they dissolve in his mercy. Then, we’re free to hear the Holy Spirit’s guidance on how to best deal with the crisis. Which one of you is not in complaining mode: you or your beloved? That is the one who is most open to the Holy Spirit at this moment.
Paralysis. Crises can easily overwhelm us into inactivity. We feel stuck in a whirlpool, like we’re drowning and cannot escape. In this frame of mind, we don’t see the lifeline being thrown to us. Or we see it and don’t reach out for it, or we reach out for it and don’t hang on when it begins to pull us, because it doesn’t feel safe. To conquer this, we need to focus only on finding the next step for managing the crisis, trusting that the Holy Spirit will show us the next step afterward and then the next, and so forth until the crisis has been resolved. By handling it this way as a couple, our intimacy deepens.
- How do I feel when facing a crisis? Empowered or victimized? What helps me to feel empowered?
- How do I treat my beloved during crises? What can I do to build a partnership for problem solving?
Strengthen your relationship:
Consider a recent crisis. Tell your sweetheart how you could have handled it better. Then describe what your sweetheart did that was helpful to you or good for managing the crisis. (Take turns doing this.) Finally, pray for each other, lifting up your beloved’s wounds that need healing from this and other crises.
This is the sixth in an 8-part series on the intimacies that are so important for a good and lasting marriage.
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© 2018 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries