Our topic this time was 5 Keys to Healthy Marriage. I will give you a brief outline of what we talked about last night.
1. Identify, Accept and Celebrate Your Spouses Differences
Understanding how you are different and what makes your spouse tick is the goal here. The key is not to try to change your spouse.
We had fun with a survey we created to help bring home this point.
Put a circle around a number for you and a square around a number for your spouse
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Task Oriented People Oriented
Risk Taker Risk Adverse
Welcomes Change Resists Change
Strong Sexual Appetite Low Sexual Appetite
Take Charge Laid Back
Each couple rated themselves and then rated their spouse in these 8 categories. This led to some fun interaction. The point was well made, most husbands and wives are very different. Understanding this helps us know how to best relate to our spouse.
2. Settle Difficult Decisions Early, Then Manage Them
We talked about what it looks like to make key decisions in our spiritual, personal, and marital life. Living our life based on what we feel instead of what we decide is living a roller coaster life. Key decisions will direct our actions. The most important decision you can ever make as it relates to your marriage is that divorce will never ever ever be an option. Difficult decisions in key areas direct our lives in the right direction.
3. Keep Your Sense Of Humor
Most of us take life way too seriously. The ability to laugh at yourself is a sign of emotional health. In addition, laughing together is a bonding experience. We talked about finding ways to laugh. Watch funny movies, videos, hang out with people who love to laugh!! We challenged our couples to make laughter a priority.
4. Avoid Coasting.... Coasting Leads to Corrosion
If we are settling we are slipping, Being intentional and not indifferent is the key here. We congratulated our couples who attended the workshop that they were doing just that.... being intentional to have a better marriage. One of our mantras continues to be, "marriage is hard work!"
5. Focus on "Strengths" More Than "Weaknesses"
This happens by disciplining our minds to focus on the good and not the bad. Philippians 4:8 tell us, "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." We can choose what we are going to focus on!
We ended the night by having each person come up with the 5 things they loved and appreciated about their spouse. Then we gave opportunity to share what some had written. I loved what happened in the room as one after another shared a quality they loved about their spouse. Something wonderful happens when we give "verbal bouquets" to our spouse and it has even greater impact when it is shared publically.
It was a great evening. I know couples went away inspired to work harder on their marriages. Stay tuned for our 2014 Hope Filled Marriage Workshop dates. Hope we see you there!!!