Marriage Counseling

As promised here are some thoughts about marriage. I do some marriage counseling and it has forced me to examine my marriage and work on my marriage as well. On May 27, 2007 my wife Vikki and I will celebrate 18 years together. It has gone fast and we have learned a lot. I have made so many mistakes in our relationship, but each time we work through the issue as best we can. I have to say that when I started being less selfish is when our relationship began to improve. I knew I had to change before our relationship could change.

Ever marriage will have some tough times. Some of those are brought on because we make bad decisions or are selfish. Other times it is out of our control, like a tragedy, sickness or accident. Part of life is facing the hard times, and as a married couple you do that together. God created marriage for us, to be a team; Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Becoming one flesh means you are a team, two people acting as one. You are still distinct individuals and have to make your own choices, but you are also connected to your spouse in a relationship like no other human relationship. It is like two pieces of paper coming together, the marriage is the glue that bonds the two together. Have you ever tried to separate two pieces of paper that are glued together? You can’t without ripping and tearing it apart.

Part of working together as a team means training. Many marriages start without any training, we fall “in love” and think that is all that matters. Wrong! Love is not all that matters feelings come and go, love is up and down. Some days I don’t feel like I am in love with my wife. It takes more than love to make a marriage work. That is why it is so important to put the work in before you get married. Couples that go through a mentoring program before they get married have a much lower divorce rate than those that do not. At NewPointe we require couples to go through mentoring before we will marry them. It has been very successful and we have received great feedback from the mentors and the mentee’s. Call me if you want to know more about premarital mentoring.

But what if we are already married and are having problems now? Well there is hope, I believe that nearly all troubled marriages can be saved and healed. God has given us the tools we need to develop strong solid marriages. It may take some time and some real work but it is doable. The greatest counselor in the world is God and HE is the one that can work a miracle in your marriage.

It all starts with your relationship with Jesus Christ. Can you sit down with your spouse or a friend and share your story of salvation? Can you share with them the exact moment in your life that you made the decision to believe and follow Jesus? If you can’t, then maybe you have not truly experienced salvation. That is step one for most people or at least beginning to explore who Jesus is and discover what He has for you. When your relationship with God is right, your heart begins to change as you become more like Christ. You treat people differently and your attitude is different because you have a new perspective on life, people and eternity.

If you are a born again Christian then working on your marriage is not an option, it is a requirement of marriage. Begin that process of talking with your spouse about how you can improve your relationship, maybe it is getting help from your pastor or a Christian counselor. Maybe it is committing to read a book on marriage together. Whatever it is start today. Even if your spouse does not want to work on it you can. You can begin to make changes in yourself and seek help for yourself.

Begin to pray for your spouse daily, not that he or she will change, but that you will change and that your spouse will grow spiritually and emotionally. Pray for God to give them wisdom and courage and that God will bring the right people along to influence and encourage both of you along the way. Then start praying together, as a couple and a family.

Next time I will talk about the five love languages and the love bank and how you can win back your spouse before its too late.

Marriage

Lately I have talking with quite a few people about marriage problems and relationship problems. That is part of what I do at NewPointe and I really enjoy working with couples or individuals that want to work on their relationships.

I have been married myself for almost 18 years and I have had my share of very difficult times. Vikki and I have had to work on a lot of stuff and continue to do so. As I think about marriage, I am reminded that God created marriage. He designed it to be for a lifetime and for our enjoyment. Of course we messed all that up with our “hard hearts”. All relationships are difficult at times, but the marriage relationship is unlike any other. Our spouse is the closest we will be with any other human being. When you are that close to someone there will be problems.

Most of us tend to be selfish and look out for ourselves and our wants and needs. As soon as you lose sight that a marriage is a team and you begin to oppose each other instead work together you are in trouble.

Over the next several weeks I will be blogging about marriage. I will attempt to share some of the things I have been learning and some of the things I tell couples when I meet with them to counsel them.

If you are experiencing problems in your marriage, don’t give up. Start working on yourself by getting some help. If you don’t know where to start give me a call and hopefully I can point you in the right direction.

Many of you are going to Married Life Live on Saturday. That is a great investment in your marriage, but don’t stop there. Keep learning and growing by studying about relationships and how you can better serve your spouse.

More to come

Group Link

Many of you have heard about Group Link. We do this event four times a year to help people connect in community. On Saturday night I went to Group Link as a small group leader(I am starting a new men’s group). It was a great experience for me and I think for the others attending as well. There were around 50 people there and we had a lot of fun. John Bunn and Celeste Honigford did a great job hosting. As I talked with the folks there I realized how much people desire to get connected and build friendships. I am reminded how much small groups have helped me in my spiritual journey. I have been in several men’s groups over the years and have made some great long lasting friendships. I am excited about the new friendships I will be developing this year with other men and other couples. I look forward to Sunday nights of hanging out with my couples group. We laugh a lot and eat together. We share stories about our lives, children, pets and jobs. It is so easy to get distracted and busy with our lives and forget about building community with other people. Some times it is difficult to have community within our own families. The question to ask is what is making us busy? We make time for what is important to us, and I have discovered that community is vitally important. When we isolate ourselves we tend to not grow. We also miss out on incredible ministry opportunities. It is amazing how God uses community to minister and care for people. That encouraging word, knowing someone cares and will listen and having people on your side is a tremendous advantage in this world we live in.
So if you have been thinking about getting connected in a small group I encourage you to take the risk, take the plunge and see how God will work in your life.