Those are some amazingly strong words! Nothing will part us until death takes one of us home. Sit and marinate on that for a moment. Married or not, are you ready for that kind of a commitment?
Tis the season for weddings! Love is in the air! Bells are ringing! Meet me at the chapel! All little quotes to make a bride-to-be get all nervous in the tummy and a groom-to-be’s feet get cold and clammy! Why do we get so nervous? Is it the plans leading up to the marriage….or is it the marriage itself? And let me ask…where do we learn to ‘be married’? Well obviously the most logical answer is our parents. But in today’s society where over 50% of marriages end in divorce…roughly 2.4 million divorces in 2012 alone….where would a child learn to ‘be married’ when over half of them live in a household where there is not a marriage going on? Sad to say, but television is probably the closest thing for a child to see a marriage example. Stop and think….how many people are married on television anymore? Sorry for the drab statistics but it is reality. That is why we LOVE LIFE LEADERSHIP! Let me explain why!
When my husband and I first got together I had been divorced for over 15 years! I had been on my own and had no serious relationships for the most part. I was very independent! He came to the table with a box of clothes and a bible….homeless, car-less and jobless. But he was a DREAMER! And I had not ever been a dreamer my whole life. Needless to say our outlook on life was very different, but the fact that he had a vision and was going after it with everything he had, made me extremely attracted to him!
I had run things my way for so long that some ‘man’ wasn’t coming into my life saying I had “screwed up everything” and “how have I survived without him all these years” HA HA HA! We had a serious problem lying ahead. I wasn’t going to submit to him or respect him, and he certainly wasn’t going to love me the way I deserved to be loved. I was DONE! I had been alone all those years and I certainly could remain that way! Besides, I had found God and He certainly couldn’t have chosen this person for me and my future…..could He?
A few years into our marriage we were introduced to LIFE LEADERSHIP. We were still together but only because he was gone to work almost 20 hours per day which didn’t give us a whole lot of time to argue. After we started listening to some of the materials from LIFE and starting to apply the information (the important word there is APPLY) we noticed we actually liked each other again. The first book I read was called Personality Plus (Florence Littauer) What an eye opener that was! What it taught me is that there are four personalities, Choleric/Sanguine/Melancholy/Phlegmatic. In a nutshell….Roy was Choleric/Sanguine and I am a Melancholy/Sanguine. (Some days I am a Sanguine/Melancholy….does that make be a split personality? OUCH!) Roy is a “my way or the highway, lets get this done now, and lets have fun doing it, as long as you are doing it the way I tell you!” I am one of those who want everything in order and a “why are we doing it this way, wait, wait I have to clean that section before I can put it there and hey WAIT….did you see that squirrel? Oh and what did you want me to do?” Needless to say it explained why we had issues getting along. But the great part is that once we knew our personalities we could start to understand each other and start to talk to each other in a way that we understood and everything was coming together. We also could learn our weaknesses of these personalities and work on those as well.
Then came book two…The Five Love Languages (Gary Chapman) WOW! I never knew I had a love language. Did you know EVERYONE has a love language? Sometimes two? Well it didn’t take long to figure out mine is ‘acts of service’. The easiest way to find out your love language is to look and see what you do to please others or make others feel good. For example, I always prepare my husbands plate, iron his shirts, make the bed, get him things throughout the day, etc. because I am ‘acts of service’. I just assume everyone else likes people to do things for them as well. I found out that this is not so true. My hubby’s is ‘quality time’ and ‘affirmation’. He loves for me to sit by him, even if we are just reading books, or watching a movie, and he loves, loves, loves to be told he is doing a great job…or looks good…or smells good. (I think we all like that to a point, but you will notice some people are very uncomfortable with it because it is not the norm for them) So no matter what you do in life…single, married, live-ins, etc, know the love language of not only the people you live with, but also with your family, the people you work with, go to church with, etc. It will make all the difference in the world how you relate to each other.
And the third book that set it off was “Love and Respect” by Dr Emerson Emmerichs. In the Bible, the true instruction book for all relationships, Ephesians 5:33 states this:
Well that was just not going to be that easy for me. Respect him for what? These days there is a lot of wives going to work while the hubby is home, unemployed, playing video games with the boys, while the kids are at school. Don’t get me wrong it really does work both ways, but in LIFE LEADERSHIP we are in a lot of homes and people share their hurts and there seems to be a lot of absent dads/husbands…and some of those men are ‘living’ in the home. ‘LOVE AND RESPECT’ refers to this as the ‘crazy cycle’. For more information you will have to read up on it. Basically it states that if you don’t respect your husband, he cannot bring himself to love you as you should be loved according to God. The same issue lies that as long as he is not loving you as you feel you deserve, it makes it hard to respect him. So guess what? One of you has to be the bigger person and step up and start to respect or love the other until you are both playing the roles that God created you to play.
In a nutshell here is the scoop…
Personality Plus, Five Love Languages, and Love and Respect have the information you need to turn any relationship around…whether married or not. It may be with your children, or a co-worker, or someone at church, or a neighbor. They tell you how to relate to people so that you can love everyone where they are at and how God created each of us as individuals…to compliment each other, not tear each other apart.
One more resource…an audio cd that we listened to by Chris and Terri Brady, LIFE Coaches with LIFE LEADERSHIP. It is entitled, “Cherish Your Marriage” (If you would like a copy drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can get that for you!) One question off of that cd stated this, “If every year on your anniversary you had the choice to choose to stay with your wife for another year would you choose her this year? And better yet, would she choose you?”. My husband claimed that one scared him just a little! (Thanks Chris and Terri!)
And I will leave you with this…WHEN TWO PEOPLE CHOOSE TO BECOME ONE, YOU BECOME SOMETHING EVEN GREATER THAN THAT IF YOU ASK GOD INTO THE CIRCLE, “FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE, FOR RICHER, FOR POORER”. BECAUSE WHEN TIMES ARE BETTER, GOD BLESSED YOU AND WHEN TIMES ARE WORSE, GOD WILL BLESS YOU EVEN MORE.
DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE GOD IN YOUR MARRIAGE…NOT JUST THE WEDDING!
If you are interested in acquiring any of the above mentioned resources please be sure to check out three tips we share that has strengthened our marriage at http://www.marriagemenu.com and while you are there be sure to check out our personal LIFE LEADERSHIP website. Without LIFE LEADERSHIP we would have been falling into the next statistic survey! PRAISE GOD for leading us to the rock of LIFE!
Because of Him…