Marital Work Ethic

Posted in Happiness, Marriage, Relationships, Weekend Reflections by PCraig on February 26, 2014

Those who are married all worked to get there.  Why is it after we’re married many of us stop working?  Sometimes it’s because we start working on something else:  kids, the office, golf game, working out, or decorating a house.  Too often, we forget to work on the foundation of our marriage.

Marriage may not be the easiest thing to be good at, but I think it can become the greatest thing this side of heaven.  It’s funny how we can get up have the coffee, rush to work, look as good as we can, make the calls, take initiative, bag the clients and that all takes work.  What if you took that same energy and effort and put it into your marriage?  Many of us would get fired if we treated the work site like we do our home life.

Here’s some things to work on to improve your marriage:

  • Your relationship with God.  The Holy Spirit can do wonders on us to bring about the necessary change we need.
  • Read the Bible.  God’s Word is an incredible marriage manual.  (Proverbs, Song of Songs, Ephesians 5 & 6 are some favorites)
  • Pray for your spouse.  There is power in prayer and it’s hard to stay mad at someone you’re praying for.
  • Read marriage books.  Like Shaunti Feldhahn’s books that was our guest just last Sunday.
  • Work at being a good listener.  Put down the phone, iPad, and whatever else and give your undivided attention to your mate.
  • Love your mate as they desire to be loved, not using your love language.   (See Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman for more on this)
  • Guard your thoughts and keep them positive about your spouse.  (Use Philippians 4:8 as a guide)

That’s a great “to-do” list.  I wish I could say I’ve got all these down, but I will say, I am still working on them and for nearly 30 years it’s worked for us!

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Married People Secrets

Posted in Friendship, Marriage, Relationships by PCraig on February 20, 2014

When Rachelle and I got married, the best thing about our relationship was that we were best friends – and we still are today.  There’s a beautiful verse from Song of Solomon 5:16: “This is my beloved and this is my friend.”  This describes a husband and wife stealing time together, away from the craziness of life.

Shaunti Feldhahn, our guest for this coming weekend writes, “most of us probably have had no idea that prioritizing hanging out and doing things together has the power to be such a good protective force around both the love and the friendship in our marriages. But Yes! couples and wise counselors agree.  It really does.”  Shaunti reveals that 83% of very happy couples spend time alone with each other talking, or sharing in an activity.

We’ve had our ups and downs along the way, but nothing has helped our marriage more than a date night.  Having the opportunity to talk, share and have fun together has gone a long way in preserving our closeness.  I look forward to each one of these evenings.

This is just one of the little “secrets” that we will be discussing this weekend.  I really hope you’ll do everything you can to be in one of our services and invite others to join you.
Guest: Shaunti Feldhahn – Sunday, February 23, 9 & 10:45 a.m.  (Author of For Women Only & For Men Only)
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Surprising Research

Posted in Attitude, Choice, Happiness, Marriage, Relationships by PCraig on February 13, 2014

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Shaunti Feldhaun’s recent book, Highly Happy Marriages and can’t wait to talk with her about it when she is our guest on February 23.  As a researcher, Shaunti working with more than a dozen analysts over the course of three years, interviewed more than two thousand married men and women.  Here’s what she wanted to know: Why do marriages turn good?

Especially if a so-so union became wonderful, she wanted to know what made the difference.  I bet you would like to know also!  Well, her insightful research is captured in the book with interesting surprises.  The best news is that none of the things she discovered are too difficult for anyone to do.  In other words, anyone could have a potentially positive impact on their relationship if they would just put some principles into practice.

One of my favorites in the book is that happy couples keep score.  Now, I have told many engaged and newlywed couples not to keep score.  But, the difference that Shaunti discovered is that happy couples keep score of all the positive things their mate is doing.  They things like, “he’s been working hard lately”, or “she’s really got a lot on her plate right now.”  By noticing these things, the person then sets about to reward or “pay back” their mate for doing so much.

This is the opposite in struggling couples.  They keep score of all the good things THEY do and all the things their PARTNER does or doesn’t do.  So, happy couples keep a positive score of their mate with the intent to help.  Unhappy couples keep a negative score with the thought of revenge: “You don’t help out, so I’m not going to either.”

Just this one principle could change your relationship, and there are several more that we’ll explore on the weekend of February 23.  And, don’t just come alone, bring someone with you, it’s going to be powerful!

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Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Posted in Friendship, Happiness, Marriage, Relationships by PCraig on February 6, 2014

I remember the song with those lyrics, recorded by War back in the 70’s.  It was a catchy, funky tune, but has a lot of true implications, especially when it comes to marriage.

Too many couples go start out like The Bachelor and end up like Survivor.  Why does that happen?  Of course there are many reasons, but a common one is people stop being friends and friendly with each other.  How does it happen?  Maybe someone pulls out the heavy artillery when an argument begins, leaving a pile of devastation.

During the next four weekends, we are going to look at modern research and what has been learned from couples that remain happy.  We will also take a look at the ancient Scriptures and see what advice it renders.  After all, most issues are not anything new; its just humans don’t seem to be quick to learn.  Many just repeat the pain and agony of mistakes others have made before them.

How can you keep yourself from making those mistakes?  What can you do to avoid the landmines that can destroy relationships?  What secrets are there that any couple could implement that would begin improving their relationship?

Join us this weekend for the launch of Mr. & Mrs. Betterhalf.  And, if you’re single, divorced, widowed or whatever you will still benefit from this series.  All of us need relationships and the principles will work for anyone.

*Also:  Shaunti Feldhaun, author of For Men Only & For Women Only, will be our guest on Feb 23.  Invite someone to join you!

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