Who are the Gen Xer’s? The forty-one million Americans born in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. According to Tricia Goyer’s awesome new book, Generation NeXt Marriage, we of Generation X are serious about life. We want successful marriages, yet we’re realistic and a bit overwhelmed from “the techno-stress that 24/7 communication such as cell phones, e-mail, and instant messaging has brought about. We’ve bought into following our dreams and finding our purpose. Yet we struggle to balance our spouse, kids, ministry, work, and service. ”
Let me say right off that Tricia Goyer is fast becoming my favorite non-fiction author. After reading several of her books, I feel akin to her sisterhood. She definitely has a way of relating that somehow leaves me feeling as though I’ve just poured my heart out to a great Christian girlfriend. Talk about encouraged!
How to narrow my enthusiasm down to one blog post? Not possible. You’ll definitely be hearing more from me on this book as I get time to write here and share more of my thoughts. Yes, it’s that good.
For today, I want to focus on Chapter 13, sub-titled, Conflict Resolutions for Couples. Main title: Love is a Battlefield.
I have to laugh at the thoughts that went through my mind as I began reading this particular chapter. They took me back almost fifteen years to a hot July morning and a dusty, gravel road. I was walking with a neighbor, my newlywed self no doubt chatting on about married life when my friend happened to ask me, “So how do you and your husband fight?”
My blank-faced response had her hurrying to explain. She told me how she’d learned to fight from her parents. Throwing things, defending vulnerable body parts, etc. That nearly every fight she and her dh had left their home a wreck. But making up sure was fun! So back to her question, how do you guys fight things out?
Um, we didn’t! Not like that, and not often even in minor disagreements. We still don’t, this many years later. So this statement from Tricia really stood out to me:
“I’ve seen many couples give in to resignation. In fact, I grew up in a home like that for many years. I never saw my parents have screaming fights. Yet I never really saw them laughing, talking, or having fun together either. After a while, it seemed as if they didn’t care.
It has taken time for me to realize that lack of conflict in a marriage should not be the goal. No one wants an emotionless marriage, but rather one in which the conflict is as carefully tended to as the romance, the care, and the consideration.”
Ouch. All these years of thinking what a great marriage we have, and now this! But there’s so much truth here. For several years now I’ve realized how quick I am to avoid conflict. Sure, I have some deep hurts within me, none I would blame directly on my spouse, but enough things have happened in our relationship that I know what triggers to avoid and what things to leave unspoken. I love my man sooooo much, and he loves me, of that there’s no doubt. But I do know there is room for a much deeper relationship.
Tricia says that when it comes to conflict, there are two important things to remember:
- Closeness fosters conflict.
- Through conflict, we can grow closer to our spouses and to God.
She quotes the following from Gary Smalley’s, Marriage You’ve Always Dreamed Of:
“Conflict is not something to be avoided but something to be navigated. If we want to get to the deeper levels of a relationship, we have to go through conflict. By entering the door of conflict, we learn more about each other and our relationship.”
Now I’m not advocating fist-fights or sudden outbursts of self-justified offensive action here! And neither is Tricia Goyer. But sometimes suppressing a slew of grievances can come back to haunt you, you know? Better to inter-depend upon one another, than try to handle the most sensitive of subjects independently. Right?
And for more from that chapter on handling conflict–from identifying and confessing failures to your spouse to forgiveness and regaining of trust–you’ll have to buy the book!
Do you still find yourself humming the love songs of the 80s and 90s?
Do you still believe that every marriage should be between soul mates?
But — do you wonder how you can succeed at love and marriage when the generation you grew up in didn’t?
Marriage isn’t what it used to be-it can be better than ever.
If you are a Gen Xer, your marriage has challenges and potentials that no other generation has known. A Gen Xer herself, Tricia Goyer offers realistic help to achieve the God-honoring marriage you long for. She includes:
·Ways to protect your marriage despite the broken relationships modeled in your youth
·Stories, suggestions, and confessions from fellow Gen Xers facing the “What now?” question of real-life marriage
·Advice from the ultimate marriage survival guide: the Bible
·Stats, quizzes, sidebars, and study questions related to this “relationally challenged” time in history
·Practical helps for negotiating kids, work, sex, money, and dirty laundry-sometimes all in the same evening
If you are part of a generation of adults who don’t want to bow to their culture or live and love like their parents did — this book is for you.
WIN A FREE COPY OF Generation NeXt Marriage!
To enter, just leave a comment on this post. One week from today I’ll announce the winner!
Love Gen X Style! Share your story and WIN a dinner for TWO to the restaurant of your choice! ($50 maximum)
Tell us the story of how you and your spouse met. If you have photos, send those along, too! The winning story will be chosen at the end of the blog tour and will be posted on Tricia’s GenX blog. More comments on your post increases your chance of winning … so tell your friends!
Contest entry form for Generation NeXt Marriage blog tour
Go here for a sneak peek: Book excerpt
And to this link to hear What people are saying about Generation NeXt Marriage
But honestly, even if you are not a Gen Xer, this is a must-read for strengthening your marriage. Buy the book! (Or comment on this post to get your name in the drawing for a free copy!)
And lastly, be sure and visit Tricia Goyer’s website at http://triciagoyer.com