Pastor Phil Ayres from Kingdomcity joins Mel and Jeziel in the studio to share wisdom on marriage and relationships. Phil has a passion for growing strong families, and is a goldmine of knowledge and advice. Phil says his passion stems from enduring many difficult years of marriage. After weathering the storm, his marriage is now stronger than ever, and he loves to share his expertise on compromise.
The book of Amos, chapter 3 verse 3 says “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?”. This is an excellent metaphor for marriage. The aim of marriage is obviously to be united and to work together in harmony. However, sometimes the direction doesn’t seem clear. In these situations, compromise is key. It’s not a case of giving in, or one party winning over another. It’s about coming to a resolution together.
When should we not compromise?
While compromise is a catalyst for better joint decision making, it’s important to note there are things you shouldn’t compromise.
- Your relationship with God
- Dignity and respect
- Deep life convictions
- Commitment and loyalty to spouse
Compromising before marriage
Compromise doesn’t have to wait until marriage. Before committing to each other in matrimony, a couple needs to discuss their deeply help convictions to identify whether they can build a life together. Some things you might need to discuss are:
- Do you both want children? If so, how many?
- Where will you live?
- Who will work, and where?
- What will your lifestyle look like? Do you both have a desire to travel, or to save money?
What are the keys to compromise?
The short answer is: empathy. Being able to understand and share the feelings of each other means you’re already a step ahead. Going in the other direction, the enemy of compromise is indifference. It’s easy to say “I don’t mind” or “it’s up to you” but that’s not effective. Here’s five tips for better compromising:
- Clearly communicate your needs
- Identify a range of options, and problem solve each one
- Exercise empathy, and put yourself in your spouses shoes
- Work out what is fair
- Try some short term goals, or even a trial period. Don’t be afraid to come back and reassess.
When might we need to compromise?
So we know how to compromise, but you might know when it applies. Needing to compromise doesn’t mean the situation is deal breaker. Well here’s some classic examples of compromise:
- When, and how often you can go out to play sport?
- How long each of you should spend playing video games or watching TV?
- How often you can be intimate
- Where to direct finances
- Parenting decisions
- Sleep styles and cycles
For all of Pastor Phil’s tip top tips on compromise, check out the podcast below: