Committed to Setting the Captives Free, in the Fear of the Lord! (Luke 4:18, Is 49:8,9, Is 11:2)
For this reason a man shall leave his father and Mother
The following comes from many hours of counseling, married and single couples, the methods outlined here "work in real life, it is therefore not intended as a discussion based on theoretical opinions.
In life there are many teaching and training courses for all kinds of subjects, but isn't it amazing that 'a how to be married course' is not included as one of them?
We expect couples to get married and live happily ever after, with stars in their eyes. The whole thing is to be based upon some sort of Hollywood myth of falling 'in love' and that love being able to carry the couple for the rest of their lives.
Yet the divorce rate all over the world is climbing ever higher, with each year that passes. Something needs to change, because what we are doing at present, with regard to marriage is not working.
Most problems in relationships and in particular marriage, are caused by either a lack of communication, or a lack of understanding about the how to of communication
Learning the How to of communication
The first thing to understand is that there are two basic levels of communication 1st and second levels.
The first level is very superficial and consists of pleasantries, such as 'Hi how was your day', 'Have you been to?...' 'Did you remember to get?...', 'Where are my?...', 'What is for dinner?...'
It is not relating to one another, it is merely exchanging information, usually accompanied by gainsaying (who can get the last word in and one upmanship)
Amongst this first level are the killer topics, such as financial matters, likes and dislikes of each other and dissatisfaction with each others behaviour. An inability to relate at this first basic level leads to the following stages of distancing and separation
Stage 1. Indifference toward each other
Stage 2. Strong dislike of each others behaviour
Stage 3. Violence, physical or mental
Stage 4. A final and total breakdown in communication
Stage 5. An end to the marriage, with all the accompanying traumatic heart, lifelong rejection and mental and emotional scarring
To reverse this we must begin to understand that the first level of communication, does not build relationship, let alone any kind of intimacy
The second level of communication is a relationship building one, it consists of talking to each other, with eye constant contact about things that matter to both partners e.g. goals, dreams and any subject that involves doing things together. This is called having an intimate time together, or most couples call it I.T. time
The most important requirement for successful I.T. time is to set a portion of the day aside at a particular time for the meeting and stick to it. If for some reason the time cannot be adhered to, make another time, essentially the same day.
Initially set the duration of the meeting at 10-15 mins, if it begins to go well it can be extended, but only if the rules are being applied.
The aim is to build up to a time of around 30-40 mins
Here are some rules for I.T time
1. All talk of financial and decision making questions that do not involve doing things together are taboo
(decision making questions involve, 'What do we do about', Have you done the', where are we going to get', 'You are always buying', 'when are you going to sort out your child'.
2. Criticism of anything said by the other partner, if you disagree, stop the I.T. time and write it down to be discussed at a later time. As the I.T sessions progress you will begin to find that most of the disagreeable subjects, begin to be dealt with in intimacy.
3. Avoid 'I think', 'I will' and all kinds of subjects that include the 'I' subject
Most couples have relationship hurts, experienced in early childhood and carried through to adulthood. These hurts must be dealt with, for the relationship to grow. Begin to accept that the one most equipped to help you overcome these hurts, is your partner.
So begin by starting to talk to your partner about your past, discuss past family issues, problem Father, or Mother, family abuse, mental, emotional, or physical.
After a while I.T. time should begin to eat into normal time, so that once relationship starts, each time you see each other becomes an opportunity to be intimate.
As you gradually open up more and more, an amazing thing is happening, you are beginning to become vulnerable to one another, this is the foundation of the beginning of trust toward each other. Trust is the foundation of all successful relationship
Here is a checklist of ground rules for Intimate Times
1. Listen to each other, don't try to talk over or against one another. Stop and listen to your partner, even if you have another point of view
2. If your partner, when asked 'How are you' replies 'I'm ok' this is a severe warning sign that everything is not ok.
3. Honour and respect each others views
4. keep answers short, don't go on and on labouring points.
5. Include each other in the discussion as we i.e. 'Do you think that we...', avoid 'I think that...'
6. Don't let the sun go down on your anger. if you disagree, or argue, make sure you resolve and forgive before going to bed.
7. Deal with all issues together, not as isolated comments i.e. when you start a theme, continue with that theme, don't wander over many different subjects.
8. Once a commitment or agreement to do something positive has been established. Make sure each partner follows through. If they don't, do not remind them of it, write it down for the next I.T. session, for discussion not criticism. All discussion in I.T. time, must be positive and encouraging.
9. Avoid anger, stop the I.T. time at any hint of agitation, which could lead to anger. write the point down for discussion next time. many of these contentious issues will begin to disappear if I.T rules are adhered to and partners begin to come into agreement, through trust.
10. Ensure that I.T. time is continued until it automatically becomes incorporated into normal relationship. Don't stop, because you seem to be making progress, or things seem a little better, this is your most vulnerable time.
God,s desire for marriage is for two to be one
God has designed marriage in order to bring into union, two people with opposite likes and dislikes. He gives opportunity for each partner, to voluntarily die to themselves and their own desires. He then builds into each partner his personality, his desires, in relationship with him.
All relationship that has God as the centre and partners that are willing to receive what God is saying and do it, must and will succeed.
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