God’s way in a Marriage!
In today’s marriage talk, we have Max & Tatiana all the way from Sydney in conversation with Pastor Priji on how to handle cultural and personality differences between spouses and raise their children and build a godly marriage, not to forget, we have something for singles too!
Pastor Priji: Greetings in Jesus name. Welcome to the Marriage Talk Podcast. It is such a joy to greet all of you. This morning I would like to introduce you all to Max and Tatiana. They are from Sydney. We would love to hear and learn from them. We would love to know about you both, where you are from, how did you both meet and how long you have been married and a little bit about your family.
Max & Tatiana: Thank you for the opportunity to join your podcast. Tatiana and I have been married for 10 years now. We are originally from South America but live in Sydney at present. We were born in Argentina and Columbia. We have been Christians for a long time. We met at church in Sydney. We both have been involved in various jobs and careers before; but, God has planted a desire in our hearts to help couples who are struggling in their marriages and relationships. We established Let Love Happen a couple of years ago and we wanted to share our journey and be hopeful in Christian marriages. Our heart is to really restore a million marriages, that’s our mission worldwide. We are certified counsellors and family therapists and two years ago we specialized in couples.
Pastor Priji: So beautiful. You mentioned that you both are from South America with different cultures and backgrounds and now you are in Sydney which is a new place and culture. How have you navigated your personal life? When it comes to the family of origin, people have different upbringing, cultures, perspectives and value systems; why is it important for me to understand where my spouse comes from? Why is it important for me to understand what are all the things I have brought into this marriage because of where I come from?
Max & Tatiana: What we have found is that often when we get together with our partner or our spouse, the romantic phase is the one we assume that our partner communicates in the way that we have grown used to, conflict management the way our family did it, have rules around in the way that we have grown in as little kids. What tends to happen is that In the first year the reality phase kicks in and that’s when we realize that my wife/husband doesn’t do conflict the way I do conflict or communicate the way I communicate. One thing we like to do in our work is to bring clarity around, looking at the family origin, rules, expectations, the ways that you have grown up, your place in the family is all so critical to understand. This is from a family lens, but there is also an individual lens. The values that are important to you but might be different to your spouse. It’s a real eye-opener when we go through family testing and personality testing. Non-negotiable it has to be done, for couples health. they both need to understand where they come from, spoke and the unspoken rules.
Pastor Priji: Non-negotiable that’s right. We cannot keep it for another time, opportunity. It is something we need to deal with it at the beginning of our journey as a couple. I believe most of the time we have conflicts in marriage is because both of our families have differing sets of values. How do you bring a value system in your marriage where you acknowledge both sets of values and you are growing in complementing rather than conflicting with each other?
Max & Tatiana: Opposites attract but opposites attack as well! We can take time to evaluate those family rules. Just because we had different value systems in our homes as we grew up doesn’t mean we subscribe to that view as an adult. Sometimes we just go by the riles we grew with without thinking about what makes sense for us. Having a conversation with our spouse is a great start. We have a great exercise where we ask the couples to identify their values, then they have a conversation about it. We ask the couples that they just have to work together and that they don’t have to compromise on their value system. You need to somehow come together and support the growth and value of each other in ways that will make sense to you. The other thing is that sometimes people think that if they come from the same city or state then their values will be similar but you will be surprised that their values can be very different. 3 components that will help couples are:
1. Self- awareness
Pastor Priji: I think sometimes we keep this for a very later point of our life almost when we reach a crisis point. There is so much conflict that we can’t that we cannot decide and then we run to counsellors to sort out these emotions and value clashes. It would be wise to accept and embrace each other with their value system at an earlier point in life. A lot of our listeners are unmarried, what advice would you give them regarding entering a marriage with a clear heart and perspective?
Max & Tatiana: Temptation to not work/invest at an early stage due to phase but it is wise to invest at an early stage of their relationship. Most of the couples who come are already 7-10 years down the line and they have not done the basic work that should have been done at an early stage. It’s really unhealthy way of relationship. So the advice will be to not leave the work for a later stage, plan well and it would be a great investment early on and a gift for your kids as well.
Pastor Priji: Let us talk about children. In many marriages, they fail to hand down to their children adequate value. I want to understand from your perspective, how can the newlywed prepare and train their kids so that their family of origin does not impact them the way it impacted us?
Max & Tatiana: God’s principle for parenting is cross-functional and cross-familial. We need to understand God’s way of parenting, how can we discipline; and then we can take something from our life and put it together. But you see it through the lens of the gospel and what’s wise. For newlyweds, be easy on yourself because having kids is an enormous task. Most couples don’t realize this till they have them. Mentoring and coaching that can come from the church and trusted others are really critical and important.
Pastor Priji: Yes, this is so important especially when you have a community standing beside you who are not threatening, they stand beside you to say that you will come out strong. Is it easy to acknowledge some of the character traits, is it easy to trace some of the character traits back to our parents?
Max & Tatiana: We follow the fifth commandment, where we respect our parents. We normalize the couples that parents usually do what they know is best before we enter into the family of origin work and most people do well. 2 keys to inner healing:
1. Understand forgiveness, to get rid of resentment and move forward.
2. Understand Christian identity.
The most challenging aspect is to start building boundaries at the same time respecting and honour their parents.
Pastor Priji: Thank you so much for sharing your heart. If you would like to share anything as a concluding note and also share some of your programs for couples.
Max & Tatiana: Thank you for that.
1. Tools are available to stop you from getting into trouble/preventing problems.
2. Curing and working on issues that are already existing.
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