Sunday, January 9, 2011

Six Principles to Reset Your Marriage

I love all the bible studies and small group activities that David and I have participated in over the last couple of years from the Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, AL, Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, GA, and Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, GA. One thing I wanted to try to do this year is to organize all this wonderful information that we have received on how to enrich our marriage. I thought that posting some of the highlights on here would be not only a great reference for me, but an opportunity to share the information with any of my readers that might be interested. We'll see how this goes :)

This morning in class we discussed the benefit of pressing the "reset button" in your marriage instead of running in the other direction. On average, 50% of ALL married couples end in divorce today and that statistic is beyond disgusting to me.

Society also degrades marriage on a regular basis. For instance, they make these shirts and people actually wear them in public ...

On a serious note, I believe that marriage isn't about deserving a perfect spouse (physically, spiritually, emotionally, and sexually) or finding someone "perfectly compatible" with yourself. Christ didn't deserve to die on the cross to forgive all of our sins, so why do so many people believe that they deserve a perfect spouse? Marriage is about compromise, love (what women really need), and respect (what men really need). I love what Barrett (our class leader) has said several times, "People don't just fall into a perfect marriage, they have really worked on it to make it that way".

I truly believe that God has placed given us the gift of marriage to teach how to have successful relationships with not only our spouses, but everyone that crosses our paths. If marriages were easy, we wouldn't have learned any skills to use in our other relationships.

Let's move onto the content, shall we?

Six Principles to Reset Your Marriage

Acceptance - Romans 15:7
Accepting one another and their entire being. Not trying to change that your spouse doesn't like to cook, doesn't like to hold your hand in public, or that they throw their dirty clothes in the middle of the floor is easier said than done. We are called to accept how our spouses are different than us, not try to change them. Also, acknowledging that they do not have these habits merely to irritate the heck out of us!

Attention - 1 Peter 1:22
Both parties need to be focused on one another. Each person needs to wake up and say to themselves "what can I do for my spouse today to make them feel special?". Here are a few examples ...

For men, a sweet note on a post-it that you place in your wives lunch or planner that she's taking to work will get you serious brownie points! Forget spending money on flowers or other gifts, a short note or text to let your wives know you are thinking about them will make their hearts melt!

For women, stop what you are doing when your spouses come home from work (or when you come home from work) and pay attention to your spouse. Give hubby a time to de-compress of course before you start into any serious conversations, but let him know that you are present and appreciate him.

Adjustment - Ephesians 5:21
You need to adjust your spouse YOURSELF to meet your spouses needs. It's not about having the perfect spouse, it's about being the perfect spouse!

Amnesty - Ephesians 4:32
Amnesty is a step beyond forgiveness. Amnesty is to completely forget it ever happened. This one is much easier for men to do. Women tend to remember some every thing, so we should pray that God would help us keep things of the past in the past.

Appreciation - I Thessalonians 5:11
Encourage each other and build each other up. Both men and women need to feel appreciated. It's human nature. If you do a good job it would be nice for it to be noticed, right? Well, it's our job to build up our spouses with our words.

The power of our words that we use with our significant others hold a lot more value that we think. Derogatory words from the person that is closest to you can really tear you apart. This really stands true for men. Women should never speak down to or make fun of their spouses in front of other people, even if they see them laughing about it. Men really have a fragile ego and depend on their spouse to build them up, because they are the person that means the most. This is actually one of the leading causes for infidelity in relationships. If men aren't receiving positive reinforcements at home, but have someone at work telling them how great of a job they are doing then men are going to gravitate towards that person.

Affection - I Corinthians 7:3
Of course this means sexual satisfaction, but not only for men! Women do have the responsibility to meet their spouses sexual needs, but men have a responsibility also. Men need to intentionally provide non-sexual touch to their wives. If a woman is only being touched in a sexual manner, then she is only going to think he wants her for physical reasons. While we know that men are not wired for non-sexual touching, this is really important to women.

Interesting factoid from Mark Gungor's "Laugh your Way to a Better Marriage" regarding sex is that men show their spouses that they love them by having sex, but when women show their love with words and actions. So next time hubby wants to play "BINGO", before you turn him away, remember he wants to show you how much he loves you!

I pray that each of you reading this have fulfilling relationships and marriages. May the Lord bless each and every one of you!