Shirley shared her thoughts yesterday on marriage and tools for your toolbox. Today I’ll recap insight I gained from the book “ 7 Secrets To An Awesome Marriage” by Kim Kimberling, PHD. In this book, we look at several successful tips as how God has designed marriage along with the many blessings it offers.
While Shirley writes and allows it to flow beautifully, I am more of a direct and to the point person. Bullet points or numbers help me get my point across. Therefore, allow me to share in that format below on the seven secrets that are revealed in this book:
1. Stop -The Insanities That Hold Us Back
No matter what your marriage circumstances are, ALL couples face challenges together! Many times it is stemmed from your upbringing or your past mistakes that haunt you and hinder your connection or communication with your spouse or perhaps you have unhealthy or unrealistic expectations. It is very hard to face your baggage and change yourself. Some may choose not. Some people back up get help, take a long look at themselves, and reinvent what it takes to have a successful marriage.
2. Start -The Practice of Putting GOD First, Spouse Second.
One Best way to practice this is to Pray together. It doesn’t matter how you do it or how long. Many time we forget to go to God for our marriages but why when he designed marriage. God is in the business of changing hearts long term. Letting him change your heart is a 3-step process. Step 1, Admitting that you have been selfish and have put your wants and desires above God. Step 2, Making a commitment to put God first in EVERYTHING and seeking His help in doing this.
3. Connect -The Art of Listening and Being Present.
There will always be distractions and things that will pull your focus away from each other. Often times couples resort to the old “silent treatment” instead to connecting and only creates and unhealthy stressful atmosphere for a marriage of confusion and uncertainly. This yields to allowing the enemy the opportunity to step in. Stop, Look, Listen. Ok this phrase in the book hit home because I am an Elvis fan and this was one of his songs titles. When connecting it is important to focus on every work. Stop and turn off any distraction, Look at them, and actively listen with compassion and empathy.
4. Engage- How to Fight Right.
If you have never tied this, Pick out something you are struggling with and simply say,” God, I am giving this to you”. Now comes the hard part Leave it with God. That on is very hard I know by experience that I struggled with, but God will not let you down! When you and your spouse have disagreements or quarrels, and you will; try to agree on this strategy; 1. Pray that God will guide you both, 2. Agree on the problem with each taking responsibility for their part of the problem, 3. Discuss possible solutions, 4. Agree to a time to revisit if needed,5. Celebrate your success!
5. Balance- Scheduling for a Better Marriage.
Use time management skills to talk, touch, have fun, and make it a priority to better your marriage.
6. Mingle-Sex as the Mingling of the Souls.
Sex is purely a gift from God. When you put God first, do other steps 1-5, sex will not only be a physical experience between each other but a spiritual element of mingling of the souls, or dod (Greek meaning). Having this this personal relationship with God along with a committed intimate relationship with your spouse amplifies the benefits to be amazing.
7. Fight -The Power of Fighting Together on the Same Team. All Couples must realize that no matter what the issue or outcome, when they are fighting together, their marriage must always win. In other words they are on the same team and their marriage always is the goal.
While I have recapped, I do encourage you to buy the book from Family Christian to soak in Dr. Kimberling’s words that are certainly more eloquently put than mine. I do hope you were able to gain something from what Shirley shared yesterday and my words today.
Here’s to improving and saving marriages!!
~This blog post was written by Shirley’s husband, Dusty!~