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Helping Your Marriage Survive the Coronavirus

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Helping Your Marriage Survive the Coronavirus

Guy and Amber Lia, co-authors of the book Marriage Triggers, offer couples advice for dealing with heightened tension from being 'stuck' at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Our guests share practical suggestions for recognizing the triggers that can lead to conflict and deescalating in order to restore peace.
Original Air Date: April 16, 2020

Today's Guests

Episode Summary

Guy and Amber Lia, co-authors of the book Marriage Triggers, offer couples advice for dealing with heightened tension from being 'stuck' at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Our guests share practical suggestions for recognizing the triggers that can lead to conflict and deescalating in order to restore peace.
Original Air Date: April 16, 2020

Episode Transcript

John Fuller: All right, during these days of the coronavirus you’ve heard, no doubt, that it’s important to keep your body’s immune system strong so you don’t get the virus and that’s really good advice. But what about your marriage? How do you keep your marriage strong during these stressful times? That’s our topic today on Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, I know who probably doesn’t need to be worried about social distancing and all those factors of the coronavirus right now.

John: Okay.

Jim: And that’s newlyweds. (Laughter)

John: Well, I think you’re right about that, Jim. I mean…

Jim: They’re going – they’re going to blow off all of the advice.

John: I’m sure you and Jean wouldn’t have minded. Dena – Dena would have loved if I could’ve just stayed home for the first two years or so of our marriage.

Jim: (Laughter) Well, that’s a good two years isn’t bad. I think for most people that have been married for longer than a few months, being cooped up in the house, not being able to go out and get to the job, spend a few hours there, come back – all in blissful home environment. You know, when you’re there together, some stress can show, and we do want to attack that today and talk about things to remember in your marriage to keep your marriage healthy during this time. In fact, you can use this time to strengthen your marriage. How about that? I would say personally that’s happening for Jean and I. We’re reading the Word together in the morning early. We’re praying together. We’re walking together just to get a little exercise. And it’s done wonders just to connect us and bond us emotionally. I think Jean said, “Man, I wish we would have done this years ago.” So, it’s working for us.

John: Well, I’m glad to hear that, Jim. And for audience members who aren’t feeling quite like it’s working for them, as I said, this program really is for you. We’ve got a couple of folks who really are going to be transparent about some of the struggles they’ve had and they’re going to offer some very practical tips for you as you’re feeling maybe cooped up together. Guy and Amber Lia join us remotely, of course. And, uh, they have four boys. They’re authors and co-owners of a media production company. They live in Los Angeles and they’ve written a terrific book that we have at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. It’s called Marriage Triggers: Exchanging Spouses Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. Get in touch and get your copy.

Jim: Amber, Guy, it’s great to have you with us here on Focus on the Family. Thanks for making the time.

Amber Lia: Oh, thanks, Jim. Thanks, John.

Guy Lia: Yeah.

Amber: It’s always a pleasure. And it’s fun to have my husband here with me this time around.

Guy: Absolutely. Thank you.

Jim: It is. I know you were on last time by yourself – well with Wendy. And, uh, Guy this is your first time. Hey, listen, you recently celebrated your 14th wedding anniversary. Yay!

Guy: Woo hoo!

John: Congratulations.

Jim: Now I’m at 33. John, where are you at?

John: We’re 35 now.

Jim: OK. So, we’re all doing well…

Guy: Wow.

Amber: That’s great.

Jim: …And, uh, we’re hopefully enjoying the journey. And I understand it was quite an adventure trying to celebrate while practicing physical distancing. So, what was the secret there?

Amber: Yeah, well, you know, we think that a lot of people are experiencing just tons of change and also a lot of disappointments during this time of quarantine. Like not being able to celebrate birthdays or special events.

Guy: Mm hmm.

Amber: And we fell into that category certainly when we had this anniversary. Guy had made some really special plans…

Guy: Yeah. We had… Yup. Yup.

Amber: …Further out. And then those didn’t happen. So, he came up with plan B. You’ll have to tell them about it.

Guy: Yeah.

Jim: Well, hang on. Guy – let me ask Guy. Guy, give us some of your insight, your special plans, so we can use them in the future. What was the plan?

Guy: Well, we just – we just had – we have a special place that I wanted to take Amber that we connected to out in Malibu. There’s an amazing restaurant out there that’s right on the water…

Amber: Mm hmm.

Guy: …On the pier. And it’s just absolutely beautiful.

Amber: It’s our favorite.

Guy: Incredible food that meets our – our dietary standards where we are right now. It’s just a fun place.

Jim: Well, thanks a lot for suggesting a, you know – an Oceanside to a land-locked state like Colorado.

Amber: I know. Yes. Yes. That’s cruel. That’s cruel.

Guy:  I know. Yeah. Sorry – sorry about that.

Amber: So, we are going to make it out to the beach during the quarantine.

Guy: Yeah and our plans got dashed, but we were not going to be defeated. We knew that we had to get out and do something. And so, we had this great plan to go out and pick up food from a Cheesecake Factory, a place that guaranteed…

Jim: Yeah.

Guy: …You know, roadside pickup and so that we could just pull right up, and they’d deliver it to us. We didn’t have to touch anybody. We could stay away. And as soon as we got there and called, they were like, “We don’t have enough staff. You’ve got to come on in and pick up your food.” And then they had the wrong food. So, I had to go in three more times…

Jim: Oh no.

Guy: …From the roadside. And then we got in the car and wanted to drive to our location. We’re trying to find somewhere really nice just off the road in a beautiful, you know, scenery landscape.

Amber: A meadow or park. Or, something. (Laughter).

Guy: Yeah, but by this time, it had taken 45 minutes for us to actually get our food. Amber was hangry. And yeah.

Amber: I was hangry. I admit it. I was hangry at that point.

(Laughter)

Guy: Yeah.

Amber: And a little irritated.

Guy: And I’m like…

Jim: It sounds like a wonderful anniversary. It’s great.

(Laughter)

Amber: I know.

Guy: And I’m like, “I want to get to our destination.” And she’s hungry. So, I literally had to, like, pull over and go in the back of the car, sanitize, grab the appetizer, bring it up to the front.

Amber: Yeah.

Guy: And let her eat the appetizer while we’re driving. (Laughter)

Amber: So, instead of the romantic location we – we’re gorging on an appetizer as we’re driving along the road. It wasn’t real romantic.

(Laughter)

Amber: He did find a spot.

Jim: It’s funny ’cause, but you’ve written this book Marriage Triggers. Maybe your next book should be “Service Triggers: How Restaurants Have Let You Down.”

Guy: Yeah, right. Seriously.

Amber: (Laughter) Yeah. Yeah. No, but that was OK. But I mean, we did find a spot eventually.

Guy: Yeah.

Amber: But then, you know, we actually were not able to go to the location we wanted because it was a – a park that they had just closed all the parks. But… (Laughter)

Guy: I had I had a table with a tablecloth and candles and…

Amber: Yeah.

Guy: …Salt and pepper shakers and china and the whole deal.

Jim: No. Get out of here.

Guy: So, I had like set it up.

Amber: He did.

Guy: Oh, no. I was like prepared.

Jim: Are you serious?

Guy: Oh, yeah.

Amber: Yeah, he did. He was…

Jim: OK. That sounds pretty good.

Amber: Yeah, it was good.

Guy: Yeah.

Jim: (Laughter).

Amber: Those were the things that we focused on. And I think that’s kind of one of the points that we’re – we’re hoping to make just for ourselves and our relationship during this quarantine time as well as for other couples is we have to focus on what we can do to value and treasure each other in this time when things are really out of the norm. And so, yeah.

Jim: Well, let me – let me back this up just a little bit…

Amber: Sure.

Jim: …Because you’ve hit on so many good things in that illustration. Part of it is just, you know, we as human beings, we get into a routine. We like routine. We’re comfortable with routine. And then all of a sudden, we’re disrupted. And even your hangry comment. I mean…

Amber: (Laughter) Yeah.

Jim: …There’s emotions going on that when things are not going in a predictable fashion, it freaks us out. We kind of lose it a little bit and we tend to strike at the people closest to us. And that would be our spouse and our kids.

Amber: That’s right.

Jim: And how do you dial that down? First of all, how do you notice it when you’re being triggered in that way? And – and I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to many people that we’re in a very unique environment here and you’re going to feel things that you may not normally feel…

Amber: Yeah.

Jim: …Or things are going to come out of you that may not normally come out of you, right? Emotionally.

Guy: Yeah.

Amber: Yeah. I think those seemingly small things become these breaking points for a lot of people when there’s all of this stress. I mean, Guy was really helpful, um, when I started to get hangry. He didn’t get irritated and upset with me. I just kept telling him, “I’m really hungry. We’ve got to find a place to park soon.”

Jim: (Laughter).

Amber: And so, he just pulled over and managed it. You know, that was thoughtful of him. He didn’t try to make it the ideal scenario. He said, “Well, we’ll do the best with what we’ve got.” And I really appreciated that. Yeah.

Jim: Yeah, that is so good. What are some of those keys that couples can use right now to – and that’s one of them. You kind of alluded to that to not respond the way you normally would respond. Like, “Why are you whining?” That’s not a good thing to say right now.

Amber: Right. Yeah.

Jim: Give us a few of those helpful insights to respond differently, to be more sympathetic, to be more loving, more kind in their relationships. That’s usually the answer, right?

Guy: Yeah, right. A big one that I wrote down, um, when I was preparing was we – you have to focus on the blessing and not the barrier. Um, and that’s really difficult for me. I’m – I think that these triggers are things that I still deal with. You know, from – marriage for me is a very organic thing that every day, every month, every year, I have to go through a whole new set of emotions and – in things that are affecting how I view our marriage. And so, these triggers are things that I still deal with even though we wrote this book. You know, it’s something that we still have to capture our thoughts in every single moment that happens throughout the day. So, if I can keep my focus on the blessings that I have, especially in my wonderful wife and my incredible kids, I can get over the barriers very quickly and manage them.

Amber: And practically speaking, we’ve given each other permission to say, “I’m feeling hangry right now…”

Guy: Yeah. Right.

Amber: “…And I’m about to snap at you.” Which is what I did. You know, I had to tell him and communicate with him nicely. “Look, I feel myself getting tense…

Guy: Mm hmm.

Amber: “…I feel myself getting irritated. And I need your help.” And so as opposed to, you know, manifesting that frustration at him, I actually invite Guy into helping me manage those triggers with me. And because he is compassionate toward me and he loves me, um, he’s quick to help me problem solve. Even if it’s just, “Hey, why don’t you go take a break for a minute, um, in the other room? Go take 15 minutes to yourself. We can’t give you total peace and quiet in the house away from kids. But go take 15 minutes if you’re feeling that way. And then we can try to figure this issue out together later when we’re both more calm.”

Jim: Amber, I can just – I can just see you screaming for the coconut crusted jumbo shrimp right now.

(Laughter)

Jim: I’m starting to think about it. I’m getting hungry.

Amber: Uh huh. Yeah. I did.

(Laughter)
Amber: I did. I just told him.

Jim: Let me ask you, one of the incoming calls or emails that we’re getting from couples – and I so appreciate this – you’re experiencing it. Our producer talked to you about this. But you know, one in the marriage, taking this coronavirus seriously, wiping down everything, while the other one, if I could say it – it probably generally is, uh, wife is concerned, wiping everything down. Husband is a little lazy. Maybe, “Hey, it’s no big deal, you know. If we get it, we get it.” But I mean, it’s creating some real tension in the relationship because husband, “Man, take this seriously. We have kids. You bring that thing home. This could be deadly to one of them.” And that’s all so true. But talk about even that approach being different and how that creates tension in our marriages.

Amber: Mm hmm.

Guy: Yeah, we’re – Amber and I, we have a number of differences in the way that we deal with situations and this is certainly one of them. You know, I used to be an EMT and, you know, in our training we’re very much trained to when you arrive on a scene, you quickly survey the scene very quickly. Look around, see where – where the safety things are and make sure that everything’s gonna be fine. Then jump in and go do your job and do what you need to do. Amber, on the other hand, is very much like jump in, get it done immediately, boom. Like she’s a planner. She’s all of that. And so, you know, we…

Amber: If the government told me to wipe down all groceries…

Guy: (Laughter) Yes.

Amber: …Before bringing them in, then I’m out there wiping all my groceries. And Guy is go – out there going, “What is she doing?”

Guy: I’m the one that’s grabbing the grocery with one hand and then wiping, and she say, “No, you grabbed it.” And I’m like, “Oh, now I got to watch that hand and this hand.”

Amber: Now I have to wash your hand before you touch that again. Yeah, that’s out life right now.

Guy: But these are just differences, so we have to – we have to know that, um, you know, we were a match made in heaven once we said, “I do.” You know, we balance each other in those differences, and I know that I need to understand that Amber has certain concerns for our family and our kids that I may not feel. But if I see that she’s feeling it, if I want to bless her and I want peace in our home, I know that I need to try and do everything I can to make her happy and make her comfortable.

Amber: Sometimes you just need to do it your spouse’s way. You know, it may not make a lot of sense to you. I mean, Guy has done that for me.

Guy: Yeah.

Amber: It doesn’t totally make sense to him how thorough I want to be with the cleanliness factor right now during this quarantine.

Guy: Yeah.

Amber: But he does it anyway and that’s a blessing to me. You know, he – he recognizes – well Proverbs 11:2 is one of the verses we’ve been focusing on. Which is another thing we try to do is take a verse and even just for the week, just let that be kind of the verse that we focus on as a couple. But Proverbs 11:2 says, “Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” So, Guy is continually modeling that for me. He’s just humbling himself and not saying to me, “Hey, I don’t really think we need to go to those lengths. Why don’t you just relax?” Instead, he’s like, “OK, what can I do to help you?” And so, that goes a long way. And just, “OK, it’s not a big deal. It can’t hurt to wipe this stuff down.” So, he jumps in and helps me with that. And that’s been really amazing.

Jim: Yeah. And Amber, I do want to roll the tape back because we’re playing the end of the story. But there was a time in your marriage where you felt like, “Man, are we compatible?” You were questioning whether you had married the right guy. Correct?

Amber: Well, yeah. I was actually pretty certain that I had married Mr. Wrong…

Jim: (Laughter).

Amber: …And, um, wasn’t even willing at that time to acknowledge that he had married Mrs. All Wrong. But we did. We married the wrong people initially. And like Guy said, I think once we said, “I do,” we were a match made in heaven, but it did not feel like that early on. But eventually what I came to see as I prayed through, “God, I need You to work in our marriage and work in me.” I began to see that Guy had his unique personality and his background. I had my unique personality, my unique background. And those were not things that we needed to clash over. Those were actually things that made up our own unique marriage personality. And so, when you start looking – you’ve got to kind of flip your perspective a little bit and view these differences, not as points of tension or triggers, but really as things that can be strengths for you as a couple. Guy helps me not be in panic anxiety mode all the time over quarantine. And I help him be a little bit more cautious and safe with our children. So, we actually are a complement one another if we choose to view it that way.

Jim: And I so appreciate what you’re saying there, but it’s getting from point A to point B. There’s gonna be, you know, couples that are listening where emotionally they’re not able to control those emotional responses right now, which is the whole point of your book, Marriage Triggers.

Amber: Yeah.

Jim: So, the question will be, “How do I pull that back? How do I not respond in the way that my flesh, my emotions want to respond? How do I respond in a more Christlike way?” And I don’t know what the secret is to that other than you just gotta do it.

Amber: Yeah. You…

Jim: How did you – how did you find the mechanism to go from impulse to thoughtfulness?

Amber: I think it starts first thing in the morning for both of us…

Guy: (Laughter) Yeah.

Amber: …Is really we have to put the foot of the bed. And before we do, we have to say, “Lord, we want today to be different than yesterday.” When yesterday didn’t look so good. And, you know, Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”

Guy: Hmm.

Amber: And so, Guy and I talk to each other and we’ll say to one another, “Look, we need to talk about things before they become bigger issues.”

John: Some really wise advice from our guest today on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. They are Amber Lia and her husband, Guy Lia. And together, they’ve written a terrific book called Marriage Triggers: Exchanging Spouses Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. And you can get your copy of the book and a whole host of helpful resources on dealing with this pandemic at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: You know, Amber and Guy, one of the things in this environment where we have a pandemic, it certainly is a dark cloud, but there’s always areas that God is working, even in that darkness to give it a silver lining. I’m thinking of the fact that many couples are writing us saying, “Being cooped up together is showing me why maybe I shouldn’t have married my husband.” Or something like that. And I can only say, “What an opportunity for us to grow quickly in our relationships, in our marriages because of the pressure.” In other words, pressure can cook something really good. (Laughter)

Amber: That’s right.

Jim: And so, we can use this time to identify those triggers that you masterfully write about in Marriage Triggers. Let me give you an example for Jean and I. You know, I’m an extrovert. I think I at times I can drive Jean a little crazy.

Amber: (Laughter).

Jim: And when we first got married, I remember praying to the Lord saying, “Lord, I wish we could do it the way those in the olden times did it, where we had a year to have a honeymoon together.” And you know what was so amazing? The Lord provided a job for Jean and I, where we had about 10 months to go out and to – it was for a group called Motivational Media and we would set up a self-contained multi-media show at high schools. We traveled in a customized van. We stayed at hotels. Went to Florida. We traveled to 18 states and we took 10 months. And it was awesome. This was God’s answer to my prayer about a one year honeymoon or close to a one year honeymoon. I remember probably four months into this we’d been together 24/7. And Jean said to me – and Jean’s more introverted. And she said, “I think I’m – I’m gonna go to the grocery store and just get a few things to snack on for tomorrow.” And I said to her, “Hey, I’ll come with you.” And she looked at me and said, “No. Let me go alone on this one.”

(Laughter)

Jim: Because she – it drained her…

Amber: Mm hmm.

Jim: …To be around somebody, even her husband, all the time.

Amber: Yeah.

Jim: And here we are in this environment now. Of course, we’ve been married 33 years. That’s old hat now. Jean knows to move with my quirkiness, like bursting out into song in the middle of the day or teasing everybody.

(Laughter)

Jim: She kind of rolls with the flow now. But speak to that tension that can be created, especially around this idea of temperament type, where you have an introvert and an extrovert and the introvert who finds it more difficult to express their needs and their concerns. They’re saying, “Man, can you stop? You’re crushing me. You’re killing me with your presence because it’s out of the box and it’s too much.”

Guy: Well, you know how God answered my prayer that was a lot like yours? He got us pregnant three months after we got married…

Jim: (Laughter).

Guy: …And said, “I’m not going to give you an opportunity to get to know each other as friends first.” We literally – I say, it was one of those things that really altered me in my place in our marriage is that we got pregnant very quickly. And so, that was a difficult transition for me. And I think that that led me into three, four, five years of really kind of spinning and not being able to have our friendship be built on a strong foundation so that we could exemplify that for our kids as well. So…

Amber: And so, we weren’t very good friends.

Guy: Yeah. No.

Amber: You know, for quite a long time. But you’re right. This time right now is a good opportunity. It – you know, none of us have just changed overnight all of a sudden because we’re suddenly in quarantine. So, if there were issues that were issues before, they’re just exacerbated right now…

Jim: Right.

Amber: …During this time frame. And so, it is. We always say that triggers are opportunities, and this quarantines an opportunity.

Guy: Mm hmm.

Amber: So, we have to flip our perspectives a little bit and start thinking, “OK, if I have prayed…” And I think a lot of our listeners want to be better believers. We want to be kind. We want to be more patient. We want to have better marriages. We want to be better moms and dads. And so really, I think this time is an answer to those prayers.

Guy: Yeah.

Amber: This is actually God saying, “OK, you want to grow in patience. Here’s your opportunity…”

(Laughter)

Amber: “…For the two of you to learn to be more patient with each other.” And I think about Jesus, you know, when He was beginning His ministry, there were several days where He just went from one need to the next to the next with people.

Jim: Yeah.

Amber: People were coming to Him repeatedly. He wanted to just take some time away with His disciples for a break. And He couldn’t get that break. And then He had to feed the 5,000. And, you know, it says that Jesus looked on those crowds with compassion. And then He immediately moved to action to meet their needs.

Guy: And He exceeded their needs, too. (Unintelligible)

Amber: He exceeded their needs, too. He did. And He did it with such a tenderness. And so, this time with my spouse is really that opportunity for me, first of all, to examine my own heart.

Jim: I think it leads me to that other question, Amber, that you mentioned about the “me first attitude” – which everything we’ve just said, the servant attitude of Jesus. But then you have this spin on it about it’s good to have a “me first attitude.” What are you driving at? It sounds contradictory.

Amber: It does. You know, we think Biblically. “We’re not supposed to be me first. We’re supposed to be humble and let others go first.”

Jim: Even if I’m disgruntled about it. (Laughter)

Amber: Yeah, exactly. But, you know, this is really the essence of Romans 12:10 which says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” So, for me, a “me first attitude” isn’t about putting myself first. It’s rather humbling myself first and serving my husband first. So, if there’s an argument and we’ve both done and said things that are wrong, I need to humble myself and have a “me first attitude” to go and apologize first. We think that if nothing else, during this time period, if more spouses just put on that “me first attitude” and looking proactively for ways to outdo one another in showing honor, then this will be time that is – has really eternal value. Yeah.

Jim: Yeah. That is so good. Um, let’s end with just a simple couple of things that people struggling can do right now. You know, we’ve got the shelter-in-place and we’ve spent a lot of time together. Hopefully we’ve taken advantage of that. But what’s something the couple can do – maybe praying together? That’s really helped Jean and I. But what would you suggest to open our hearts up to one another again? What can we do when we’re together in a few minutes right now? (Laughter) What can we do to rekindle those connections?

Amber: Well, prayer definitely I think is great.

Guy: Yeah.

Amber: Even if you’re not motivated to pray with each other. We believe in the supernatural power of that for sure. Mm hmm.

Guy: And we – we also have heard a lot of people are not sure how to pray or what to say exactly.

Jim: It can be clumsy if you haven’t done it a lot.

Amber: Yeah.

Guy: Yeah. Exactly. And so, at the end of each of our chapters in our book, we actually offer a little prayer about that particular trigger that people can just use it as a jumping off point just to kind of start you off.

Amber: But you can even take a verse…

Guy: Yeah. Yeah.

Amber: …And just – just pray that verse. You know, if you want to have more kind, you know, tone of voice, then pick a verse about kindness, you know. Or if you want to build your friendship with your spouse, pick a verse about friendship and then just pray that. Just say, “Lord, let this be true in our lives today and in our marriage.” Very simple. Doesn’t have to be complicated. So, that’s just one simple thing that we could do each day. Um, Guy had a fantastic practice that we did for many, many years that we think is a great one to do during quarantine right now, um, with creating a vision board. If you want to just describe that real quick.

Guy: A vision board or a prayer board. I used to do it with my – my guys group when we were single, and we’d get together like the day after New Year’s and just bring all of our magazines together and we’d get together at my apartment. We’d all hang out in a big circle and just cut out pictures of all the things that we wanted to envision for our lives for this particular year.

Jim: Huh.

Guy: And we just take a big board and just paste them all over. And it just looks like a collage, a mess. But you can see that you’re setting aside like the things you want to pray for in your life. And I had on there, you know, wedding rings and I had on there, you know, hiking and new hiking shoes and a trip to Colorado and, you know, all these different things.

Jim: (Laughter).

Guy: And, but these are just the – I just wanted to visualize the things that I’m praying for in my life. And it was something that we did. And soon as Amber and I started dating, I had her come and we did it together. And it was so fun because we saw that our boards were different in many ways.

Amber: Mm hmm.

Guy: And it was a visual way to see the differences between us…

Amber: Yes.

Guy: …Because we didn’t look at those boards while we were each doing them. We kind of waited until the end.

Amber: Surprised each other. Yeah. (Laughter)

Guy: Um, but then we got to use that as a way for me to bless her, because I now know…

Amber: Some of the things that are on my mind. (Laughter)

Guy: …Which pair of shoes she actually wants me to buy for her this year. (Laughter) Um, but I also knew – I could see what her goals are. And it was an instant way for us to bond vision – on a vision.

Amber: And in your marriage you can do that right now. You can cut out magazine clippings or you can print some phrases and words or verses.

Guy: And do it with the kids. How fun to do it with the kids right now, too.

Amber: Do it with the kids. Just what do you – what do you want, you know, your lives to look like? What do you want God to do in your marriage or in your family a year from now or five years from now? And just paste that all together on a cardboard or a box or piece of a paper…

Guy: Poster board. Yeah.

Amber: …Whatever you can find.

Jim: Sure.

Amber: And that’s something that you can do just to create some positive connection and communication.

Jim: I – I would give one word of caution, Amber, to what I said earlier…

Guy: (Laughter).

Jim: …When it comes to, you know, find a Scripture and if that’s an area you need to work on, you know, pray about it. Think about that scripture. Be sure you don’t identify a Scripture that your spouse can work on.

Amber: Yes. Yes.

(Laughter)

Guy: Very, very good point.

Jim: And say, “Here’s one you might want to read.”

Guy: Yeah. (Laughter)

Amber: Be your spouse’s spiritual cheerleader, not their spiritual critic.

Jim: That is so true.

Amber: Definitely.

Guy: Me first. “Me first attitude.”

Jim: Amber, Guy, this has been terrific. And what a great book Marriage Triggers. Uh, it is a wonderful read and I hope the listeners who are struggling with how to do this better, how to improve, take advantage of this time. I know there’s some sorrow. People are losing their lives with the coronavirus. But for those of us that are weathering through it and, you know, sheltered-in-place, let’s take advantage of the time. Let’s build our marriages. Let’s build our families. Do things a little differently that are more productive, more Godly, more Christ-centered. And your resource Marriage Triggers is a wonderful way to do that. And, of course, we have that here for you. And remember, it’s easy to one click buy from an online group, but I’ll tell you what, when you purchase the book through Focus on the Family, your dollars go to help strengthen marriages, help parents be better parents, help save a baby’s life. I don’t think the others are doing that with the proceeds. So, if you can make a gift to Focus of any amount. If you can’t afford it, we’ll get it into your hands because we believe in Amber and Guy’s content that much and we know others will take care of the expense of getting it into your hands. We want you to have the best marriage you can have. This is one of the best resources you can do that with. And we want to get it to you.

John: Request your copy of Marriage Triggers: Exchanging Spouses Angry Reactions for Biblical Responses by Guy and Amber Lia. We’ve got that, as Jim said. Support the mission of Focus on the Family by calling us to get your copy today. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. When you’re in touch if you have any questions or if there’s anything we can do, maybe connect you with a counselor because things are pretty serious right now. Let us know and we’ll schedule that consultation. You can also stop by our website and we do have a lot of resources there as well. That’s fcousonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Guy and Amber, thank you so much for being with us. I love your spontaneity. Your openness about your struggles and your solutions – Biblically based. Thank you for sharing those with us today.

Amber: Aw, thanks, Jim. Thanks, John. We are praying for every listener. We understand how it feels to be triggered and we hope it blesses them.

John: Well, we appreciate that. And those prayers. And, yes, together, as Jim has said elsewhere, we’re gonna get through this. Together we’ll get through. Well, thanks for joining us today. And be sure to join us next time as we have advice on having deeper conversations with your kids while you’re at home.

Teaser:

Jonathan Mckee: This is the time where we could sit down and plop on the floor and be like, “Oh, man, you know, we’re week three into this.”

Jim: Yeah.

Jonathan: “OK, here we go. You know, what’s the best thing about this that’s happened in the last three weeks? You know, what’s the worst thing?”

John: On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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