#resolving #Conflict #Marriage #NotABattleGround

Copied from  SYMBIS Assessment blog December 5, 2018!

It’s common for family members to clash with the engaged couple (or one another) during a busy season of wedding planning. Weddings seem to provide endless opportunities for families to squabble about traditions, decor, music, and other minutiae down to the smallest details. Unfortunately, family members do this to the detriment of peace, and the bride and groom’s happiness.

Last week in part 2, we talked about the importance of boundaries–and how having strong boundaries can make your wedding planning process more enjoyable. But even with the healthiest of boundaries in place, conflict can still arise.

It’s incredibly uncomfortable and awkward to have a full-blown conflict while you’re trying to plan your wedding. Fortunately, there are ways to handle this constructively. Here’s how.


If at all possible, you want to work together to keep this conflict from escalating. Present a unified front as a couple, and don’t engage in gossip about any individuals who are behaving problematically. Finally, avoid siding with a family member to avoid the discomfort of saying no to them.

You might have to have a private, direct conversation with the person or persons who are creating drama. Explain that they’re very important to you and your fiance, but that this time is meant to be a time of happiness, celebration, and peace. Let them know how important it is to the two of you for your families to get along, especially during this time.


To promote the idea of unity between your families, emphasize the fact that not only are two individuals coming together; two families are, as well. Shut down gossip among and between families, and treat your family members and future in-laws with patience and kindness.

Some couples choose to emphasize familial coming-together and unity during their wedding ceremonies, in addition to the traditional “two become one” philosophy. Even though we’re meant to “leave and cleave” to our spouse once we’re married, it’s no secret that our families will be crossing paths from now on. Whether that happens often or seldom, a peaceful existence between the two is the most ideal outcome.


We understand how stressful it can be to have family members who don’t get along with each other, or who give you and your fiance grief for one reason or another. Some couples are tempted to elope in order to avoid any family-related issues.

For example, maybe one of your parents won’t give you their blessing (or you think they won’t). Or perhaps they have given their blessing, but the situation is still volatile for one reason or another.

Eloping to escape complications won’t prevent problems. In fact, it could actually create something worse than what you might deal with otherwise. It isn’t productive to simply delay problems you’re going to have to face either way by running away.

At the very least give your families an opportunity to give you their blessing. Believe in the real possibility that things may not turn out as badly as you think they will. And if they still choose not to give you their blessing after you have given them the chance, the two of you can regroup and continue to move forward in another way.


Wedding planning conflict isn’t isolated to family members. It can also extend into your relationship. And sometimes, conflict with family during the wedding planning season can create unnecessary conflict between the two of you. The important thing is to realize that this is a possibility and prepare to be proactive.

In other words, decide now how you’re going to respond to any potential conflict that develops between you. What will you do to keep your cool? Can you plan ahead to put the brakes on any issues that arise–before they get out of hand?

We can’t promise that you and your fiance will never have a disagreement during the planning phase, but if you do, you’ll be more equipped to handle it constructively.


If you and your fiance would like a little more guidance during this busy season of wedding planning, check out our book, Getting Ready for the Wedding. You’ll find even more specifics about how to successfully navigate the engagement period, all the way to your big day.

  1. Are you and your fiance dealing with family conflict during your engagement?
  2. How are you dealing with the conflict between the two of you?
  3. How are you navigating it?

Let us know how we can help you! Know that God is on your side and you are not alone in this incident.

The SYMBIS ASSESSMENT is facilitated by this ministry it will help you identify the areas of conflict in your relationship and how The Lord can help you to navigate them. Just Book an Appointment!





By November 28, 2018

Boundaries are critically important in marriage. They protect you as a couple from negative outside influences, helping you to strengthen and maintain a healthy relationship from within.

If you don’t have boundaries yet, you need to have a discussion with your fiance about what those boundaries need to entail. The wedding planning season isn’t the easiest time to enact boundaries, but if you don’t already have them as a couple, it’s a good time to establish them.

That’s because planning your wedding is one of your first big opportunities to exercise boundaries. While the two of you attempt to plan your big day together, you’re going to get a lot of noise coming in from the outside. Boundaries can help you filter that noise. (Check out part 1 of our wedding planning series here if you missed it!)

Here’s how you can exercise your boundaries while you’re planning the wedding.


If you and your fiance are working together to plan your wedding, stick to your plans. Don’t let someone else’s whims or demands derail you. There are ways to not cave, while still being respectful.

Family pressure is always tough, especially when it involves wedding plans. Mothers, in particular, tend to have very deeply-held convictions about what they want for their sons’ and daughters’ big day. If their grand visions don’t line up with yours, stick to what you and your fiance have planned.


It’s wise to anticipate at least some level of pressure from family or future in-laws. If you realize early on that this could happen, it gives you a chance to plan how you’ll respond. You can:

Defer to one another regarding wedding-related decisions (i.e., “Let me ask him/her”)
Diplomatically delay providing answers to demands (“Thanks for the suggestion; let us give that some thought”)
Kindly refuse to have certain conversations regarding plans you don’t want to commit to

While enforcing your boundaries isn’t always pleasant–particularly when they apply to family–they’re essential to protecting your relationship. They also help you to not feel so pulled in one direction or another.


Planning a wedding can get intense and stressful at times. In fact, it can feel like navigating a field of landmines. Boundaries can help you navigate that field, and they give you a higher chance of defusing those mines before they explode.

As the two of you stand your ground in the decisions you’ve made for your day, keep a cool head. Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should belong to you. While it’s okay to listen to ideas and opinions, you don’t have to take them. Just be sure to stay as calm as you can and be kind in your responses; you don’t want to look back on this time with feelings of regret for how you handled yourself.


We all have relatives who are very enthusiastic about being involved in our big plans. Maybe you want them to feel included without giving up the most important decisions.

If that’s the case, are there portions of the festivities that you can hand off? Does your enthusiastic family member have a particular talent or interest they can lend to planning, decor, or entertainment? Consider whether there are parts of the celebration you can entrust to them so they can make their mark.

Next week, we’ll wrap up our series with part 3, which will help you navigate conflicts that might arise in the midst of your wedding planning season. See you then!

Are you in the thick of wedding planning right now? How are you and your fiance establishing healthy boundaries with your families during this process? We’d love for you to share your experiences with us in the comments.

4 WAYS TO BE A BETTER TRUTH-TELLER: PART 2 By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

“When in doubt, tell the truth.” – Mark Twain

In part one of this series based on my new book, Love Like That, we talked about how truly loving like Jesus requires us to stop fearing vulnerability and start being willing to risk rejection. To that end, we must…


You won’t successfully achieve vulnerability, authenticity, and truth if you’re too concerned about what people think of you. Jesus held such powerful convictions that when he spoke out against injustice or hypocrisy, he couldn’t care less what others thought of him. He didn’t dwell on it–and we shouldn’t, either.

The Velveteen Rabbit was afraid the other stuffed rabbits would find out that he was stuffed with sawdust. He didn’t believe he would truly be loved for what he was. The irony is, we can’t truly love or be loved if we aren’t authentic. And we can’t be authentic if we’re preoccupied with what others think.

The “disease to please” keeps us from being authentic, and authenticity is what makes the difference between wanting to be seen as a loving person (or, impression management) and truly being a loving person.

When we’re real, our hearts work in harmony with our heads. Whether you’re in the spotlight or behind the curtain, you’re the same person. And you stop turning somersaults in order to win the love of others. Instead, you love fiercely, in part, by stepping out and outright risking rejection.


Jesus spoke the truth with love, and he says we should do the same: “Confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love.”

It’s hard to tell painful truths to those we love when it feels like those truths will get us rejected or leave us heartbroken. But every time we give up an opportunity to speak truth to someone we love, we risk hardening our hearts–and that’s far more dangerous than simply being rejected or making someone angry with us.

Authenticity is more to do with existing as who you are than with performing a specific role. When we speak the truth from a place of love, our actions naturally follow. They’re not contrived, and there’s no performance or pretense. We no longer agonize over your every move, but instead, the things we do flow naturally from our being.

Jesus was so deeply convicted to bring others to the Father that he didn’t care what anyone thought–not even the Pharisees, who ruled the proverbial roost during that time. No, Christ keenly felt a deep anguish on a personal level for anyone who might be missing out on the message of God. He felt pain for the superficial and the hypocritical. And because he spoke truth from a place of love, he spoke truth to save them from themselves.


Do you want to become a better truth-teller? The best place to start is by allowing yourself to become a little more vulnerable. Why? Like the Velveteen Rabbit, most of us eke through life being barely authentic, feeling like impostors who could be found out at any given moment.

But when we begin to acknowledge our weaknesses, disclose our insecurities, and admit our frustrations, our authenticity becomes real. We open our wounded hearts, and we become truly real.

In his book The Wounded Healer, Henri Nouwen says, “Making one’s own wounds a source of healing does not call for a sharing of superficial personal pains but for a constant willingness to see one’s own pain and suffering as rising from the depth of human condition.”

That’s why we can speak the truth in love. Because Jesus spoke the truth from a heart that understood pain. And he felt pain on a deep level for those people who were missing God’s true message.

Love and truth-telling go hand-in-hand. When we separate the two, we trade genuine vulnerability for superficial and meaningless approval. When we don’t love others enough to tell them the truth, we keep them at arm’s length and risk a shallow, even false, connection. But when we truly put ourselves out there, we begin to love more like Jesus loved.

In the coming week, how will you practice caring less about what others think and begin speaking the truth in love? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

Want to know more about how to love like Jesus did? Order your copy of Love Like That here.

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