In your house, you have a hot water heater. If you have a more traditional type tank water heater then you would notice that there is a little pipe that comes out the side of the tank and runs right down near the floor and just stops. For years I assumed this pipe was there in case someone simply wanted to get water directly from the tank for some reason. However, I discovered just the other day how important this pipe is. At our house, someone had inadvertently turned the water tank heat up too high to the point that it was creating a dangerous amount of pressure inside our water tank. A little valve and this side pipe went into work to keep our hot water heater from exploding. The valve was activated and the pipe began pushing out water to avoid a disaster. Little did I know at the time that the safety mechanism on our hot water heater was very likely saving our very lives at that moment. If a hot water heater builds up too much pressure and explodes it could completely collapse an entire home. Pressure is good, but too much pressure can be deadly.
"Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)
In a marriage, it is normal for little things to come up between the spouses that begin to create pressure on the relationship between the husband and the wife. When hope in a marriage is deferred it makes the heart of the hopeful a little sick and stirs up a seed of resentment. These little moments where hope is deferred begin to mount up in the heart of the hopeful spouse creating a growing amount of pressure on the relationship as a whole.
This pressure then begins to even out on both sides. There is a special sense between a husband and wife as to when something is wrong between them. Therefore, as the deferred hope is making one spouse heartsick, their disappointment is noticed by the other spouse who begins to resent the dejected attitude they seem to be getting from their spouse. This allows for pressure to be built on both sides of the marriage and is creating a perfect environment for an explosion that could have a lasting negative effect on the marriage.
In order to avert the crisis of an explosion in the marriage, someone needs to open up and be the valve to let off some of the pressure. Though this sounds simple it is a very delicate process to open up with the right spirit and attitude so as to not set off your spouse. Care must be taken so that a crisis can be avoided. There are four things that can be done to skillfully take the pressure out of the situation in marriage.
“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 16:1)
I know this sounds almost like a cliche but it is very important to pray for your spouse when you sense that tension is building between the two of you. If you are going to take pressure off the situation you will need to talk to your spouse, but before you do you need to ask the Lord to prepare their heart, and also ask the Lord to give you the proper words to say.
“Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” (Colossians 4:6)
Take the time to communicate with your spouse. You should be kind in your speech, but very open with this person that you love. When hope has been deferred and you are disappointed to a point that it cannot be overlooked in your own heart then you need to be open about your hurt and talk to your spouse about it. Discretion will show you the right time to have the conversation, but the conversation must be had. Too many couples live with an undercurrent of pressure that they are unable to control, and therefore truly miss the joy of their marriage because of the tension. There are several things you need to keep in mind when you go to speak about your hurt to your spouse…
Pick the right time. - Try to find a time that is not right in the middle of the conflict. Do not address the situation while you are angry, you will say something that you regret. Do not address it while your spouse is angry, you may hear something that you will regret. Use good judgment in finding a time for this discussion.
Do it privately. - Never, and I truly mean never, choose to have these conversations in front of others. This would include your children. This is a conversation that needs to happen privately. When it is done publicly it will embarrass both you and your spouse unnecessarily.
Do it tenderly. - Open the conversation gently with a sincere attitude and tone. Do not be sarcastic or demeaning, but be serious about what is bothering you. Trust the love that your spouse has for you to respond to the pain you express.
“These things I command you that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
Even as you open up about your hurt express your love for them. Let them know that you realize that they love you and that they probably did not intend to hurt you as they did. Take the opportunity to reassure them of your love for them. Leave off the conversation on a high note again expressing your love.
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Colossians 3:13)
Once you have expressed your hurt, be sure to be ready to forgive. The hurt you have in your heart will turn to bitterness if you do not allow true forgiveness to heal the hurt.
When we use this kind of communication in our marriage it can relieve some of the pressure in our marriage and lead us to find the happiness that God intended we would have in our union.