“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
—Ruth Bell Graham
Marriage is the highest earthly relationship. Two people join together to become one. Unconditional love is at the heart of a thriving marriage. A happy marriage creates an energy that transforms the lives of the husband and wife. In order for a marriage to thrive certain ingredients must be interwoven into it. Let’s take a look at three ingredients.
Dialogue, Devotion, and Determination
1.) Dialogue: Discussion and dialogue between husband and wife is sometimes referred to as a 50/50 partnership. The fact is a thriving marriage is a 100/100 partnership with each spouse giving his or her all to make the marriage work, instead of waiting for the contribution of the other spouse and grumbling when that contribution is lacking. In marriage the spouse speaking should not simply initiate the communication; the spouse speaking is responsible for it being received in the desired way. Each spouse has to take full responsibility for the communication. Here are six things to devise communication that will effectively convey what is intended for your spouse.
- Know yourself.
- Know what you want to convey.
- Know the best way to convey your message to your spouse.
- Know what emotions you need to engage to get you two on the same page.
- Know which words ignite which emotions and which words snuff out which emotions.
- You must also consider which tone of voice, facial expressions, and hand motions to connect to the successful delivery of your message.
2.) Devotion: Devotion in loving each other with unconditional love makes possible a thriving marriage. Six things you should be devoted to do.
- Be devoted to know what the other spouse likes, dislikes and needs are.
- Concentrate on being the right partner who is faithful and true.
- Devote regular quality time together without distractions.
- Be devoted to put each other first so that you both will be first.
- Know your spouse’s strengths and weaknesses along with your own.
- Be determined to plan your lives together from this day forward.
3. Determination: In living in a thriving marriage it is necessary to not allow anything—including other people—to come between you. You must make up your mind to carry out the plans you make together in creating and maintaining a thriving marriage.
Contributed by Apostle Alexander McEntire
About Apostle McEntire
Thirteen years ago Alex and sweetheart Jean became husband and wife. At nearly the same time they formed a new church together called Word Alive. He says he wanted a church that emphasized God’s love and not one that sells fire insurance (former Baptist). Pastor McEntire is dedicated to helping relationships and offers—together with his wife—marriage consultations. He is also involved in several organizations: Boy Scouts of America, past president of Kiwanis Club and as a Board Member of C.A.I.N. (Churches Active in Northside). He is the father of two: Alexander III and Tonya, and the grandfather of five.
Building a better Marriage
often just a difference in meters and feet
The Mars lander crashed because of one simple problem. Some engineers measured in feet. But other engineers thought the numbers were in meters.
The same kind of problem can happen in marriage.
In marriages, the difference isn’t meters and feet. It’s usually husband and wife coming from two different familial outlooks on life. But like the NASA engineers, each partner doesn’t realize that the other is using a different thinking yardstick.
Usually such differences just create some friction which the positives of the marriage overcome. But sometimes the frictions add up to a damaged marriage.
My wife and I, when we married, recognized that we each came from a dysfunctional family. So we made it a point to see a competent counsellor whether we thought we needed to or not. We thought of the meetings as an opportunity to pull some weeds in our marriage before they caused any damage.
We went monthly for the first year, quarterly for several years. Then we graduated to once a year unless something drastic happened, like when my father-in-law died.
There were two times we went, even though we couldn’t think of any problems we needed to talk about. We discovered and pulled some really high weeds each of those two visits with the shrink.
I now encourage every couple to have a quality counsellor they can visit regularly. Think of it as preventive maintenance.
Who are good people to see?
The problem is, how do you find a counsellor who is a good fit for you? One way is to ask others for names of people they have had good experiences with. Then you go in for a session and determine how you feel about your experience.
Here are two traditional therapists whom I feel good about recommending:
Dr. Michael Landwehr 513 961 3344
Dr. Diane Herbert 513 407 2129
Another option is practitioners of the LIIFT healing process (Life Improving Internal Focus Technique) like me, who also have background with Transactional Analysis. My phone: 513 853 6180.
Whomever you choose to work with, my hope is that the only weeds you have are small and easy to dislodge, so your marriage can grow into something even more wonderful than you have now!
A general invitation from Pastor EastmanAny time you think that some one-on-one conversation might be useful in strengthening your marriage, contact me. We know many counselors and healers who provide great support to couples, and it is my pleasure to help you connect with someone who is a good fit to help you move forward in your loving and working relationship. Calling me usually gets a quicker response: 513 853 6180, but e-mail: Pastor@OurChaplain.com or text: 513 703 8196 will also work. —Pastor Brian Eastman