As I mentioned in a blog two weeks ago, I was reflecting upon a 4-hour teaching seminar Cindy and I gave for a local church’s Weekend Marriage Retreat.
So, as I was praying about what direction to take my blogs for 2012 and the goal of helping you achieve the marriage of your dreams, I felt impressed to loosely follow the outline we used for our talk.
As I mentioned before, over the next few months or more, I will be systematically going through what I shared with that group.
In a nutshell, as I see it, the pathway to the marriage of your dreams goes through four distinct areas:
1. First, You Must Know Your True Needs & Desires.
2. Second, You Must Be Able to Express Well Those Needs & Desires to Your Spouse.
3. Third, Both Partners Must Be Willing to Meet the Other Spouse’s Needs & Desires.
4. Finally, You Must Create a Plan to Ensure that the Steps You Take to Meet Those Needs & Desires Will Last a Lifetime.
Over the years, I’ve used this general overview (with slight modifications) with a wide range of clients, from people recovering from affairs to couples just needing a mild tune-up. Across the board, the process has been highly effective.
As we proceed over this coming year, I have felt impressed to use a two-part weekly plan. First, on Mondays, I will be sending you a Growth Assignment that you might find helpful as you seek to grow in your relationship with your spouse. The Growth Assignment will range in the amount of time it will take to complete it. Do whatever you can do, remembering that the more you put into the it, the more you will get out of it.
Second, on Thursdays, I will reflect upon the assignment I gave on Monday and give a theological, research, or practical reason why doing this assignment would benefit your relationship. That way, if you are not convinced on Monday that doing this assignment would be helpful to you, you may change your mind (and still have time to do it over the weekend) as a result of Thursday’s blog.
As we start this year, remind yourself that the information you receive in this blog will only be beneficial to you to the degree you actually put it into practice in your own life. For the most part in marriages, information is only meaningful to the degree it is used to bring transformation!
In my next blog, I will be giving you a Growth Assignment to help you identify your needs in your relationship. It has amazed me the number of people I have met over the years who could not verbalize, in the beginning, what they felt would make their marriage a truly satisfying one. Think about it — it is almost impossible for your spouse to meet your needs if you don’t know (and don’t verbalize) those needs to him/her. The truth is that we get so busy with meeting financial demands and caring for our families that our marriage needs get shoved to the BACK of the bus. However, if you want a truly satisfying relationship, your needs and desires need to move to the FRONT of the bus.
So, look for my blog on Monday — in the meantime — roll up your sleeves, and get motivated (by reading my previous blogs if you haven’t already done so) and let’s get moving up that mountain to a mountaintop marriage !
PS: Sorry for the delay in this week’s blog ~ life at the Minnich ranch was just too crazy ~ ever feel that way? Hopefully, I will be able to stick to a Monday/Thursday schedule for most of the year!
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