Keeping it Real is a ministry of Stained Glass Ministries, a Marriage Ministry founded by Dale and Jena Forehand. To learn more about Stained Glass visit their website www.daleandjena.com

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  • Keeping it Real

The Face Off

As we kick off Series Two of Keeping it Real we are in the beginnings of the best time of year in The Forehand House. Yes, we are talking about Football Season. The time when Sweet Tea Flows like a river, Ribs and Mac-n-Cheese are the keys to a balanced diet, Crimson is the only acceptable color to wear on Saturdays, and each TV in our house is on a different station to make sure we don't miss anything!


But all this excitement around sports, specifically the greatest of sports, reminded us of the way a Hockey game begins.


The Face Off.


Two people fight for control of the puck, and by extension the game, in the center of the ice. It's a great and dramatic way to begin a Hockey game, but it is NOT the best (still dramatic) way to begin a segment of some Heated Fellowship.


When we are in a potentially hard conversation with our spouse and come into it in this "face-off" mentality, it immediately turns us into enemies instead of partners.


So many times conversation is not about resolving the issue but instead winning.


So many times it feels like your spouse is just playing a game with your relationship.


So many times discussions become derailed by a spirit of competition.



Instead of having a face-off with your spouse,

learn to have a face-off with yourself



Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting

- Psalm 139: 23-24


King David prayed that God would search HIS heart.

King David did not pray that God would search THEIR heart.


So often we see "the holy-elbow" happen during our conferences. When Spouse A thinks that whatever point we just made was really applicable and good for Spouse B to learn. This is not the way to go about this, friends.


We need to look less at our spouse and ask The Father more and more to look into the deep places within ourselves when troubles arise.


We have learned that when we face-off with ourselves it forces us to take a pause, settle ourselves, and stay on the bottom of the conflict ladder.


Facing Off with ourselves first brings moments of inhaling and exhaling.


Facing Off with ourselves first keeps us from diving into a conflict "guns-a-blazing"


Facing Off with ourselves first turns the burner down to a simmer instead of a boil.


Facing Off with ourselves first helps us follow Jesus' command to remove the beam from our own eye instead of focussing on the speck in theirs (Matthew Chapter 7)


When we take the time to face-off with ourselves we pause and can ask ourselves what type of relationship we are asking our spouse to walk into?


The question is this: Does my spouse want to be in relationship with the way I am right now? Even better: Do I want to be in relationship with myself the way I am right now?


Does your demeanor, attitude, tone, body language, and overall persona communicate that you are someone that your spouse would want to be in relationship with? If not, it might be time to take that face off, look in the mirror, and have a face-off with yourself to see what is really going on.


We will leave you with Jena's favorite version of a classic children's song.


If you're happy and you know it, tell your face

If you're happy and you know it, tell your face

If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it

If you're happy and you know it, tell your face












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