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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Your Family Can Be Happy

 SECTION 3

How to Solve Problems

How to Solve Problems

“Have intense love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”1 Peter 4:8

As you and your mate start your life together, various problems will arise. They may result from differences in how each of you thinks, feels, and approaches life. Or problems may come from outside sources and unexpected events.

It can be tempting to avoid reality, but we are advised in the Bible to face our problems. (Matthew 5:23, 24) You will find the best solutions to your problems by applying Bible principles.

 1 DISCUSS THE PROBLEM

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: “There is . . . a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7) Make sure that you spend time talking about the problem. Honestly let your mate know how you feel and what you think on the subject. Always “speak truth” with your mate. (Ephesians 4:25) Even when strong emotions are involved, resist the urge to fight. A calm answer can keep what should be a simple discussion from escalating into a battle.Proverbs 15:4; 26:20.

Even if you disagree, remain gracious, never forgetting to show love and respect to your mate. (Colossians 4:6) Try to resolve the issue as soon as possible, and do not stop communicating.Ephesians 4:26.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Set an appropriate time to discuss the problem

  • When it is your turn to listen, resist the urge to interrupt. You will get your turn to speak

 2 LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: “Have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another, take the lead.” (Romans 12:10) How you listen is very important. Try to understand your mate’s point of view with “fellow feeling . . . and humility.” (1 Peter 3:8; James 1:19) Do not just pretend to listen. When possible, put aside what you are doing and give your mate your full attention, or ask if you can discuss this later. If you think of your marriage mate as your teammate rather than your opponent, you will “not be quick to take offense.”Ecclesiastes 7:9.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Keep listening with an open mind, even if what you are hearing displeases you

  • Listen for the message behind the words. Notice your mate’s body language and tone of voice

3 FOLLOW THROUGH

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: “There is benefit in every kind of hard work, but mere talk leads to want.” (Proverbs 14:23) Agreeing on a good solution is not enough. You need to follow through on what you both decide. This may involve hard work and much effort, but it will be worth it. (Proverbs 10:4) If you work together as a team, you will “have a good reward” for your hard work.Ecclesiastes 4:9.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Decide what practical steps you will each take to solve your problem

  • From time to time, evaluate your progress

Learn More

How to Be a Good Listener

Active listening is, not a mere technique, but an act of love. Learn how you can become a better listener.

How to Avoid Hurtful Speech

What can you do if you and your spouse have let hurtful words affect your relationship?

How to End “the Silent Treatment”

How do some couples get to the point where they refuse to talk, and what can they do to resolve their differences?