The number of Americans who can remember the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor is lessening as citizens would have to be in their late 70s or older to recall the event. My grandmother was barely a teenager when this tragedy occurred and hurled the United States into World War II.
When I was reviewing facts about the event, this one statement stood out to me: “The Japanese specifically chose to attack on a Sunday because they believed Americans would be more relaxed and thus less alert on a weekend.” – Jennifer Rosenberg
It seems that most attacks happen when we are relaxed and not on high alert. But, we can never be fully prepared for what life brings our way. It is impossible to sleep with one eye open at all times and unhealthy to be fear-focused – constantly worried about what might go wrong. We should prepare as best we can and move forward with purpose and joy.
When attacks do fall on our relationships, they can either rip us apart or be stepping stones towards growth. Here are a few statements to remember the next time your relationship experiences a surprise attack:
- Remember, You Both Are on the Same Team. Whether you are enduring the grief of a tragedy, dealing with a loss of trust, or struggling with an intense financial situation, you and your sweetie are on the same team. As long as you decide to be in the relationship, you are a collective force. When we view our significant other as a competitor or the enemy, we work against ourselves. If you both want the relationship to continue, the first change to make is in your thinking. “We are on the same team and we have the same ultimate goal.”
- Take Time to Regroup. When a trial comes along which knocks you off your feet, it is completely normal to need a little time to digest the situation. If you and your sweetie need a few days apart to think, or you need to see a counselor, do it. If you are married, be careful to save times of separation for extreme circumstances… as the longer you are separated, the easier it is to get divorced.
- Seek a Third Party if Necessary. There is no shame in getting help. (None whatsoever!) Some of life’s circumstances are too big to handle alone and we were not meant to take life’s journey by ourselves. We have relatives, friends, co-workers, and even cashiers at the grocery store. We are surrounded by people and it is no mistake. When dealing with a loss, a major setback, or the pain of infidelity, it is wise to have an objective, empathetic person involved to help you think through the situation, heal, and move forward. When you are reeling from an attack on your relationship, it is no time to let pride talk you out of reaching for a helping hand.
- Constantly Remind Yourself of Your Blessings. It will be extra critical to keep negativity out and pump positivity in during this season of change and rebuilding. Watch positive TV. Talk to uplifting friends. Listen to praise music and an audio Bible. Keep truth flowing into your life like oxygen!
- Plug Into the Ultimate Power Source. In times like these, God also shows Himself to be faithful. We do not see Him working out the details, but He is. He loves His children. (cf. Romans 8:28; Isaiah 55:8-9). He was not surprised when Pearl Harbor was attacked and neither is He shocked when our lives are bombed. He is there and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
- Take it a Day at a Time. Tomorrow is not here yet, and yesterday has passed. Baby step your way through today. Make today count. There is no need to rush.
- Set Your Eyes on Eternity. Remember the ultimate goal. This is not the end for those who love God and have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. For those whose hearts have been given new life, this is but a small trial on the road to everlasting life.
After Pearl Harbor was attacked, we immediately went to war. We did not sit around and hope the “situation” would blow over. We went on the offensive and quickly – one day after the attack.
If you are blindsided, do not bury your head in the sand and hope your relationship will get better. Take the bull by the horns and start fighting for each other (not against each other) – that is, if you want to continue seeing each other and building a future together.
Is your relationship worth fighting for… worth getting a little dirty? (That is a sincere question.) If you are married, fight for it. If you are dating, do some soul searching and praying before you decide. Not all dating relationships should be saved.
All quality relationships which last more than a few months will endure something difficult together. It is important to lock arms, look the stressor square in the face, and declare war. “You will not destroy us!” There is much power in unity!
How have you and your sweetie fought back against attacks on your relationship?