Archive for April, 2012

Loving your spouse the way they need to be loved

Posted: April 30, 2012 by Troy in marriage
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Once upon a time a long time ago I fell in love with a very pretty young lady, I loved her with all my heart and wanted to be near her. I gave to her my time, my money, my love and I thought that was all there was to marriage. I wasn’t ALL wrong but where I WAS wrong is that I gave her the love I wanted to give her and thought that was good enough. I gave her what I had to give and thought that should be it. I couldn’t possibly give to her any more than I had to give right?

Well fast forward quite a few years and a few bumps in the road and it turns out I could give her more. I could love her the way SHE needed to be loved. Wow, what a concept to try and live out. I wish I could take credit for coming up with that idea all by myself but I can’t. It was through reading lots of books written by folks who had “been there, done that” Marriage seminars and even some counseling. It took some time (read days, months, years) to actualy impliment the idea into our marriage even after it was shown to us in several different ways. Boy was it worth it!

Its a very simple idea that at first is REALLY hard to do. But as time goes by and you start seeing the results of putting this idea to work in your marriage it will become easier and easier. I actually find it exciting and look for new ways to surprise her these days. After all, it’s God’s plan for us to be all that we can be in these things.

To love your spouse as they need to be loved, is a concept that works. What that meant to me is that I had to quit loving my wife the way I wanted to love her and start loving her the way she wanted and needed to be loved. At first that meant a pretty big change for us both. We had to be willing to discuss with each other the areas that we felt we were lacking in our marriage (and be willing to change). I had to become a student of my spouse. Really paying attention to the little things that made her feel loved, those are the easy things that have huge rewards. Also begin working on the “big rocks” you know needs to be chipped away, those won’t happen overnight but without a doubt, it will over time.

Our marriage is not perfect and we will continue to make mistakes (at least I will). The difference now is the anger is gone, the fears aren’t there. We have learned to truly communicate with one another at every level and that makes a recovery from a disagreement SO much quicker and easier to do.

About the book we are giving away –

The 5 love languages played a huge part in our lives and how we came to be were we are today. Dr Chapman has had years of counseling experience with all sorts of folks. He was able to capture how we react as humans in a relationship and what our needs are as individuals and put that into 5 different categories. Its pretty amazing in the 5 categories we all have something we can relate to and actually need in our lives to feel loved. If you have never heard of the concept please take a few minutes to vist the website http://www.5lovelanguages.com They even have an online test that does a very good job at figuring you out, but you have to be honest with yourself when you take the test. Be aware that your love language can change over time and the things you feel you need today may not be the same 5 years down the road. Who would have thought our hearts would be a moving target? I would have never guessed that.
Take the test yourself here http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/love/

We will be giving away one free copy of “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Comment below to be entered into the drawing and please share about the giveaway with your friends and family! Contest ends midnight April 30, 2012. Drawing will be held on May 1st 2012.

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Incline, Recline or Decline!

Posted: April 17, 2012 by Kara in marriage

We attended some leadership training a while back and the speaker spoke on the three phases of leadership. I thought it reflected the phases of marriage pretty well.

Phase 1 – Incline!

This is where we should strive to be in our marriages.  In the incline phase you are having steady progress in your marriage. You are excited and are in a forward motion. You love learning new things about your spouse, you love doing things with and for your spouse. You are looking for ways to show your love to them. You are communicating well with your spouse or you are trying to at least.

 

Phase 2 – Recline!

Recline is not terrible and I think most of our marriages hit the recline phase a lot. In this phase we have hit a comfort zone. We are okay with where we are at and we can relax.  But when you relax you let tiredness control you instead of passion. The joy you used to find in your mate is declining.  You’re not sharing as much with your spouse as you used too. When we relax for too long the chance of boredom sets into our lives. And boredom is a very dangerous spot. Boredom is a route to decline in your marriage. If you think boredom or complacency is setting in, then it’s time to get up and start putting some action into your marriage so that you can head back to incline. I know it’s easy to get stuck in recline and go through life in a comfort zone but God has so much more for our marriages. Our spouses deserve more than comfort, they deserve the best.

 

Phase 3 – Decline!

This phase can be very dangerous. You start looking for all the negative things in your mate; you see all they are not doing. You just don’t care anymore. It’s more about you and not at all about loving your spouse anymore. Watching that ball game or going shopping is way more important than spending some quality time with your spouse.  Communication is not really in the equation at all or at least not the way it should be for a good marriage. In this zone, you begin to wonder if you even like your spouse anymore.  Some counseling and Godly advice should be sought during this time.

 

Take a look at these phases. Do you see your marriage in one of them? What is a step you have taken to put your marriage on the incline?  We would love to hear some insight and ideas you might have to get marriages to Phase 1.

I will start! Daily Devotions are great on keeping you communicating and sharing in each other’s lives. Those that pray together stay together!

 

We will be giving away one free copy of “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Comment below to be entered into the drawing and please share about the giveaway with your friends and family! Contest ends midnight April 30, 2012.  Drawing will be held on May 1st 2012.

Guarding your heart

Posted: April 9, 2012 by Troy in marriage

You have probably heard that before. But guarding your heart is one of the things you have to do to keep you’re marriage safe and you out of trouble. Not guarding it often times lead to an affair or divorce.

When you let someone of the opposite sex get to close to you or discuss things or problems that should only be talked about by them and their spouse or someone of the same sex (or a counselor) thats when things can go wrong. You try to identify with them and often times that will open things up for you to tell them about your marriage. When you are able to find that common bond that is when you both become susceptible to the wrong thing happening.

For the most part we just want to help people. That’s a good thing, but this is one area that gets a lot of folks in trouble. Books have been written about it, it is a repeatable pattern that really no one is exempt from.

Guarding your heart starts with putting God first and your spouse second and also watching who you talk to and the content of the conversation. Being observant and knowing the types of people that are able to get inside your “circle” and staying away from them will keep your heart from ever feeling that tug towards them. These types of people are the ones that you know you like to talk to, they give you a certain feeling when you talk to them, maybe even igniting a small spark when you talk, you may even think about your future conversations and what you might say.

Guarding your heart is something that you must do in your marriage. If you aren’t careful no matter who you are or what your background is you can find yourself in a situation that could lead you to a point of failure without you even realizing how far you are into the situation.

Keep your eyes on what God has in store for you and your marriage. He will never lead you or your heart somewhere it shouldn’t be.

Keep and guard your heart with all
vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow
the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23 AMP)