I heard a marriage counselor state that most people learn how to “not talk to each other” by getting married. He went on to say, walk into any restaurant and you can immediately tell who most of the married couples are. They are the ones sitting there silently or eating and not paying any attention to each other.
On the fire ground communication is critical.
Without good communication, someone’s life may be lost. The same goes for our marriage, without good communication and the willingness to talk to each other (lovingly) we are already headed for a disaster.
Take the time to talk with your spouse. Listen emphatically. This means that you really care what he/she is saying, and be engaged which in my case means: put down the phone, stop doing what you are doing, and listen to your spouse by looking at them directly.
My purpose in writing this is not to offend or hurt anyone but to help. A firefighter who transmits a MAYDAY sends out information based on the LUNAR acronym. It provides those who are coming to save them with critical information. Calling your LUNAR in a Marriage MAYDAY could be seen as this:
My location in my marriage has become uncertain and I need RIT (Redemption Intervention Team) I will submit and follow my GPS (God’s Plan for Salvation). I will humble myself and ask for help because my family is more important
than my pride.
Verbalizing to your spouse that you understand the seriousness of the situation. Confess your brokenness, take ownership of your part of the relationship, and in true humility show your spouse that your greatest concern is for the restoration and renewal of your marriage.
Name your problem: Look at your situation and take a step back.
Where did your troubles really begin?
What was the “slow fade” that caused your relationship to crumble?
True reconciliation will only occur if you understand what brought you to this point in the first place.
You now know the seriousness of your situation, you have admitted you have a problem, you have named it, and now it’s time to take action. Step forward in faith with your spouse and begin working on the problem(s). This will be uncomfortable but necessary.
The goal in calling the marriage MAYDAY is not to rescue you from your current circumstances but to reconcile your hurts, wrongs, and lack of trust so that your marriage can begin a new as Christ has redeemed you. Let Christ dwell in your heart and focus on His will. His Holy Spirit will guide, teach, and admonish you along the way.
Please understand that this can be a slow and long process.
Your relationship, most likely, did not fall apart over night so don’t expect your spouse to jump right into the relationship like nothing happened.
Something did happen!
Now, take this set of difficult circumstances and use it to make your relationship stronger. But remember, you must take each step slowly. Your spouse needs to trust you again and their trust has to be earned.
The Next Step
I see a tremendous need in our profession for marriage ministry and counseling daily. If you are as aware of this as I am, I challenge you to do something truly heroic: Be there for your brother/sister, listen to them, guide them, and don’t let them travel down a road that could lead to harm.
You swore an oath to protect lives and property. This oath should begin by protecting your family and your co-workers around you. Don’t turn a blind eye to their problem and use their plight as gossip material later.
Step up to the challenge and show those around you that you truly care. Let’s save ourselves so we can continue the greatest tradition the fire service has to offer which is that of sacrifice:
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13).
Sacrifice your time, your energy, your pride and help one another.
Stay Safe and God Bless