There’s a certain comfort level that comes from being in a
relationship with someone for a while.You get in a steady groove and you begin to anticipate the other’s habits,
nuances and innuendos.However, with
that comfort level also comes a tendency to take one another for granted.Because you know that she always washes the
laundry on Saturdays or because you know he will keep your car maintenance
up-to-date, there becomes a level of familiarity and expectation.While it is certainly comforting to know
that our mates will take care of certain things for us, it is vitally important
that we show our appreciation for what they’re doing even if we do expect it. Everyone likes to know that they are
appreciated for their efforts, although it's something that they do on the
regular.This is what I want to offer to
and “Thank You” can go a long, long way.Not only does it convey your gratitude, but it encourages your Honey to
keep on keeping on.So the next time he
takes your car for an oil change, tell him, “Thank You,” and add a little sugar on top. ☺‘Cause, after all, Marriage Ain’t for Wimps!
I think we can all agree that communicating in marriage can sometimes seem like the two of you are speaking in foreign tongues.You’re saying one thing, they’re saying another and you’re both trying to figure out how to get your point across.You may even hear a statement like, “You just don’t listen to me.”Or you may even be thinking, “He didn’t hear a word I just said.”Well, that may be partially true, but I’d like to offer a technique to help smooth the communication waters.I encourage you the hear what they’re not saying.Huh?Hear me out…
Sometimes when we’re attempting to get our point across, we have so much emotion behind it that, instead of effectively saying what needs to be said, we ramble on a bunch of emotion-filled words.Well, emotion incites emotion, so then our spouse begins to respond to our rant and you end up in a fruitless discussion and neither of your needs are being met.So you have to develop the art of hearing what they’re not saying.Learn to listen for “clues” to what they’re really trying to say. For example: Your spouse may say, “I thought you were going to be home when I got off from work and now I have to warm up my food in the microwave.”What they really might be saying is, “I missed seeing you when I got home and was looking forward to us having dinner together.”I know…you’re thinking, “I’m not a mind-reader!”And I’m not asking you to be.But I am suggesting that we have to dwell with our spouses “according to knowledge” (1 Pet. 3:7).Dwelling with them “according to knowledge” means that we should “study” our spouses and learn their habits, their moods and their innuendos.When we do that, we’ll be able to discern when their saying one thing, but mean another.And once we get that, we can respond with love and with the answer that they really want or need to hear.So in the above example you can respond, “I’m sorry, sweetie, that I wasn’t here for dinner when you got home.I enjoy our dinner time together, too.”Ha!Lay that on them and see what happens!
Is this technique easy?Nope!Is it worth it?You betcha!Communication is the oxygen to our relationships. Every skill that we can employ to perfect the art of communication should be high on our priority list.Because if we don’t, our relationships will be devoid of life and then we’ll start thinking about the “D” word and we are NOT having that!Marriage Ain’t for Wimps!
Happy Communicating!I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Proverbs 31:27 "She looks well to the ways of her household..." NIV
*This blog was inspired after hearing a beautiful Woman of God, Rhonda Irby, share about the importance of keeping the "intruders" out of our marriages.
There may be many times in your marriage where you feel as if you're in a war zone. It can seem that you and your honey are at odds over everything from the trash to the gas bill to the kids’ homework. Communication becomes a naughty word and you slip into attack mode. Well the reality is that your conflict may have very little to do with the "hot topic" for that day and more to do with the fact that you have probably allowed some "intruders" to come in and set up shop in your marriage.
Now an "intruder" may not necessarily be Jody from the office, but the "intruder" could be staring back at you in the mirror. Marriages don't self-maintain. You have to be committed to doing something every day in order to look well to the ways of your household. That may mean a back rub, a nice dinner or even just a listening and supportive ear. When you are looking well to the ways of your household, you are "standing guard." You are standing on the wall and being vigilant against anything that would seek to destroy your relationship--even if that person is you.
So I want to admonish you to be on the lookout for the "intruder." Be on the lookout for feelings of apathy toward your marriage. Be on the lookout for communication breakdowns. Be on the lookout for activities that snatch your time away from your spouse. It's time for us stand watch over our marriages--nurture and care for them as the precious jewels that they are. It's time for us to Get on the Wall and defend against the intruders because, guess what? Marriage Aint for Wimps!
Today my husband and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. We met as young, ambitious individuals back in 1993. We were optimistic, in-love and CLUELESS. We knew that we loved each other, but over the past 18 years, we’ve realized that love is simply not enough. We’re ever-learning how to dwell with one another according to knowledge, how to honor and respect each other’s differences and how to love one another in the way we want to be loved.
In the wake of a mass exodus of marriage, we are more committed than ever to, not only make our marriage work, but enjoy each other in the process. LOL! I am grateful for how we’ve grown as individuals and as a couple and look forward to this next phase in our lives as we enter into another decade together.
It is with much passion and commitment that I embarked on the journey of the Marriage Ain’t for Wimps! Ministry. I’ve come to know and want to share with others that marriage is, indeed, a commitment of wills. It is a covenant that should not be taken lightly and it definitely AIN’T FOR WIMPS!
Athletes participating in physically aggressive sports understand that injuries are a part of the game. They do the best they can to protect themselves, but know that they may get hurt. Those with the most competitive mindset understand that the game must go on, even if they’re injured. Most of them want to be a part of the game and understand that sometimes they’ve got to play while they’re hurt.
This same mindset can be applied to all relationships and marriage, in particular. Unfortunately offenses come as a part of our human experience with one another. Whether it’s intentional or not, those closest to us will offend or hurt us at some point. It’s inherent in the institution. And to try to avoid it would mean that we would have to stay isolated from human connection. It’s a risk we take when embracing the vulnerability necessary to have a meaningful relationship.
I think a fallacy in some marriages is that they expect to skip through the daisies without so much as a disagreement. That is not realistic and certainly not the reality of most couples. At the very least, we don’t expect to be hurt by our Honey. Unfortunately, though, there will be times of hurt and disappointment. However, you need to show up to play anyway. I’m not discounting transgressions but what I am saying is that your first line of defense shouldn’t be to retreat or wave the white flag. You should develop the attitude of an athlete and realize that marriage is a “contact sport” and you need to “go big or go home.” So talk it out, cry it out, get counseling, do whatever you need to do. But don’t give up, cave in or quit. Realize that sometimes you’ve got to play hurt because Marriage Ain’t for Wimps!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s no doubt that you know we are living in a Digital Age. We have laptops, Smart Phones, iPads, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Wii, Xbox, 2 million Cable channels, etcetera and so forth. And that’s just to name a few! Whew! It’s no wonder that we find it difficult to concentrate on much of anything, much less our spouses. I’ll admit, I’m just as guilty as the next person. I personally have just about every gadget that has been developed and I love every one of them. The point is that we need to know when to say when.
These digital devices and social media outlets were created for our convenience…and leisure, but they must not take the place of quality time with our mates. Sure, it’s cute to send a love text or tweet, but at the end of the day, nothing replaces face-to-face quality time and interaction. You know the sad reality is that we’re so used to “Digital Love” that we are finding it difficult to relate in “Real Time.” Here are some tips to help you get your groove back in real life:
1. Turn it off!
I’ll admit this is kind of a hard one for me. Much of what I do is linked to some gadget or another and I really have to discipline myself to step away from them. Having said that, we need to re-learn how to be together apart from digital distractions and social media mayhem.
2. Set a limit
It’s probably pretty unrealistic to tell you to ditch your Blackberry all together. But consider setting a time limit on your device when it’s “couple time.” For example, if you get an urgent text, allow yourself to respond to it (quickly) and then commit the rest of your time to your mate.
3. Kick it Old-School
Remember Scrabble & Monopoly? No, not on your phone; the actual board game? Remember when you used to be the Spades or Dominoes Queen? No one could touch you. How about setting up a date night with your Honey where you turn everything off and kick it old-school?
Trust me, I know separating from digital gadgets and social media can be a challenge. So much of it is integrated into our everyday lives. But the reality is that we were created to form real, human, emotional bonds with others. Not knowing how to relate interpersonally, not only makes you socially inept, but it also puts a hurtin’ on your marriage. So, do you and your Honey a favor and give your relationship the full attention it deserves, because, contrary to popular opinion, Love and Facebook don’t mix. Remember, this is a grown-up sport. Marriage Ain’t for Wimps!
Saturday, February 12, 2011, Latrina "SAM" Johnson & I will be hosting a forum to dish on love and marriage from a single & married woman's perspective. The response has been great & we're expecting to have a blast. Expect the low-down on all the happenings. And if you're in the Atlanta Area, feel free to join us. www.BeforeYouDo.Eventbrite.com