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FAMILY FUSION: Maintaining the balance

Reverend Haynesley Griffith

FAMILY FUSION: Maintaining the balance

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“Overcome your barriers, intend the best, and be patient. You will enjoy more balance, more growth, more income, and more fun.” – Jack Canfield

Life has a lot to do with balance. Depending on where you are and you lose your physical balance, it could be your last day on earth because the arms of gravity were not designed to save you from falling.

If you lose the chemical balance in your body or mind, you will develop some form of sickness. If the balance of gases in the earth’s atmosphere is lost, every living thing on earth will suffer or even die. If a proper balance of ingredients were not placed in our food, then meals would not earn the title of delicious or tasty.

As a teenager I was more than adventurous; almost anything that created an adrenaline rush for me I had a tendency to be put to the test. One of my pastimes was surfing, and one day the sea was showing off its strength by raising waves up to about ten feet. It was a wonderful opportunity to challenge Mother Nature. The current was very strong, so fighting against it to reach those mountainous waves demanded some muscle power. 

It was not long after reaching about half a mile out to sea to join my friends that I saw a wave approaching. It was the ideal wave for me to put my surfing skills to the test. I was well positioned for what I considered to be a wonderful ride. It was not very long after I caught the wave that I suddenly lost my balance and like a shot out of a high-powered rifle, I was catapulted downwards into a watery grave – at least that is how it felt. I was horrified and in desperation fought to reach the surface amidst the thick foam and strong currents. By the time I reached the surface, I had taken in plenty of water and almost drowned in the process. 

As I reflect, my surfing experience has taught me never to challenge Mother Nature. More importantly, it has taught me to always try to maintain a healthy balance in life, especially in my marriage, because of its importance to my family and society on a whole. This is good counsel for all husbands and wives because losing our marriage balance may be fatal to our families. With the many distractions in this life, losing our balance in the crosscurrents of living is very possible.

There are four common external body parts that God has given women and men in pairs: eyes, ears, hands and feet. Losing marital balance in any of these areas may result in major potential danger for family. The opposite can also be true in causing marriages to be extremely beautiful. Let us examine these four areas:

1. Your eyes are like the windows to your mind and therefore must be constantly in balancing mode when determining what you allow to gain entry into the marriage relation and what you reject. There are people and things that look very attractive, and the temptation may be there to take more than a cursory glance at them.

Every spouse must learn to see those distractions, admire them, and leave them alone because of the potential danger they contain to topple the marriage. Deciding to maintain full and sharply focused eyes on your partner and admiring him or her daily can prevent you from yielding to any distraction with which you may be faced.  

2. Your ears have two major roles: to hear and to maintain our body balance. Many marriages that I know of have toppled and suffered severe damage because of the couple not listening to each other. In some marriages there may be one spouse who may be giving a greater listening ear to a third party and consequently creating a dangerous flip within their union. The key to maintaining an excellent balance is for each spouse to listen to the other’s verbal and non-verbal expressions and together make decisions that are in the best interest of the family.

3. The correct use of the hands is like medicine to your marriage.  When your partner is hurting or deeply stressed, a gentle, compassionate touch or embrace can assist in bringing back much needed balance to those unsettled emotions.

Tenderly touching your partner on a regular basis without necessarily having the goal of sex in view releases positive signals of bonding and gives a sense of belonging, care and security. Striking your partner with your hands should never be done because such abuse will destroy the pillars of love on which a balanced and beautiful family relationship depends.  

4. Feet are designed not only to take us places but also to keep us well balanced as we take strides. Your feet should not only be used to take you to work, church, exercise and other places that satisfy you, but also to spice up your marriage relationship.

Marital balance can be created when you decide to get out of the familiar walls of your house and walk the beach together with your spouse; go to some social events together; play together; or just watch the beauty of nature with tangled feet.

Many years ago a senior man told me of a boxing match that took place in Trinidad between a Trinidadian and a non-national. The Trinidadian was the favourite and from all indications, the non-national’s chances of winning were very slim. My friend, who was following the fight, recounted that the Trinidadian was landing some solid punches to his opponent and the crowd went wild. In his excitement, however, the Trinidadian briefly glanced at the crowd and his opponent quickly landed a knockout punch to his jaw. The Trinidadian lost not only his balance but also the fight.    

Losing your marriage balance is possible as you ride the treacherous waves of life. If you fall, however, never stay down as painful as it may be for you and your spouse. Work hard and diligently towards winning your spouse’s and family’s confidence. Learn from the experience; with your spouse’s help you can put some solid structures in place to avoid a recurrence of the same blunder. 

Maintaining your marriage balance is a challenge, but with God’s help you can be very victorious.

• Reverend Haynesley Griffith is a marriage and family life consultant.