Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Marriage Mantra - Part 1

Josh and I had the privilege of going on the couple's retreat with our church a couple of weekends ago.  We were one of 12 couples that took the plunge to put everything else aside for a weekend to get to know our spouses on another level.  We were under great teaching from our Pastor and his wife, Beverly.

Nothing they shared was earth shattering.  They didn't claimed to have all the answers, but with all the crumbling marriages they see walk through their counseling doors, they had a lot of godly wisdom and insight to bestow.  Not to mention their own wonderful marriage to exemplify for us.

I thought I'd share a few of the main points I jotted down from the weekend.

My favorite part of the weekend was when we broke off into couples after each session, to apply what we had just learned from the Carroll's, to make it applicable in our own relationship.  It was a safe place to share frustrations.  It was a wide open door for healthy, constructive criticism, to help keep our marriage on track.

I think Josh and I have a wonderful marriage, but if I think, even for a second, that we have it all together and we don't have anything to work on, then I better be ready for a wave to knock us down, because a wave will come, when you least expect it!
 We should always be looking for ways to make our marriage better, which ironically, begins with ourselves.  Our hearts...Our motives...Our selfishness...Our demands...Our wants...Our expectations

Oh yeah, back to the things I jotted down...ahem...

The book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts was referenced quite a bit.  I have this book.  I've read this book.  I've re-read this book.  I highly recommend this book!

The first session was ABOUT MEN.
Not necessarily for men, but for wives to know about their men:)

MEN:  (now don't start huffing and puffing if these are not all applicable to your man, these are generalizations...so relax!)
  • need of a battle to fight
  • are risk takers
  • need an adventure to live
  • want to feel like they can rescue or make us feel rescued
MEN NEED:
  • to be admired and respected -we were warned not to begin expecting instead of appreciating.  Like when Josh cleans the dishes at night.  I should never take his help for granted by just expecting it every night.  We were also encouraged to praise our husbands in public.
  • sexual fulfillment - do I really need to elaborate on this one?  No?  Well, just because you said that, I think I will:)  For real, though, we all know that men need sexual fulfillment.  The temptation to find this fulfillment outside the marriage covenant grows exponentially when sex is withheld from our husbands.
  • for their homes to be a refuge - I truly feel like I have created safe haven for my husband to come home to.  But like I mentioned earlier, I can always find ways to improve.  Jimmy and Beverly spoke about how they always greet each other when they come home.  I realized that I didn't really do this that often.  A lot of times I'm in the middle of finishing up a task in the office, or cooking dinner, or referreeing Cai and Zeke's new contact sport, that I neglect to even stop and look in my husbands eyes.  Or give him a welcome home kiss. Or even acknoledge that he just walked in the door.  My actions are saying that my task, or dinner, or whatever, is more important.  Is that the first thing I want my husband to feel when he walks in the door?
"Seek first to understand and then be understand"

The next session was ABOUT LADIES.
*take notes fellas!*

LADIES:
  • want to be romanced - they want someone to fight for her and rescue her
  • want to have a role in a great adventure - we need to feel significant
  • need a "beauty" to unveil - we have a desire to unveil something beyond the ordinary
LADIES NEED:
  • to be adored - showed affection, adoration value, honor.  To feel special.
  • conversation - men use an average of 15,000 words a day while women use an average of 30,000.  And Josh knows as soon as he walks in the door if I've spoken to anyone else besides the kids all day or not, ha!
  • security - our home is our refuge.  We find safety in knowing our man is fighting for us.  As a man, you need to just love the fear of insecurity right out of us!
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And this concludes Part 1 of Marriage Mantra.  Make sure you come back for Part 2 tomorrow.
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