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The Highly Healthy Marriage

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  1. The Highly Healthy Marriage

  2. I) Thou Shalt Not Be Selfish

  3. Thou Shalt Not Be Selfish • The number one problem in marriage = “Self-itis”. • William Harley - Marriage Counselor: Beliefs that encourage self-centeredness destroy marriage.

  4. Thou Shalt Not Be Selfish • The number one problem in marriage = “Self-itis”. • Symptoms of “Self-ITIS”: • I = Immaturity • T = Time Choices • I = Insensitivity • S = Stubbornness

  5. Thou Shalt Not Be Selfish • Treatment of “Self-itis”: • Get some “PEP” in your relationship! • P = Priorities (get on the same page) • E = Expectations (define expectations) • P = Patterns (get lifestyle patterns together) Understand love temperaments! Understand love languages!

  6. Thou Shalt Not Be Selfish The Five Love Languages • Verbal affirmation. • Quality time. • Touch (affectionate touches and hugs). • Service. • Gifts.

  7. Thou Shalt Not Be Selfish • Reflecting: • In what specific areas of your relationship with your spouse do you find yourself behaving or thinking selfishly? • What specific symptoms of self-itis can you identify in yourself? • What kind of expectations do you have for your marriage and your spouse? How can you begin communicating those expectations? • Do you know your and your spouse’s temperament and love language?

  8. II) Thou Shalt Cut the Apron strings

  9. Thou Shalt Cut the Apron strings • Cleave to your spouse: • Like glue. • Like boats on a lake. • Cleave to a covenant. • Leave parents – Cut the Apron strings • Cut the “Counseling Strings.” • Cut the “Economic Strings.” • Leave past people, past problems, past places.

  10. Thou Shalt Cut the Apron strings • Reflecting: • On whom did you depend most before you were married? • How has that prior relationship affected your marriage? • Describe the greatest bond between you and your spouse. • What strings need to be cut and how? • What in your past needs to be left behind?

  11. III) Thou Shalt Continually Communicate

  12. Thou Shalt Continually Communicate • Hindrances to Good Communication • Schedules • Children • Television • Fear of Conflict If a husband and wife never have any conflicts, one or both of them is dead OR they are not communicating.

  13. Thou Shalt Continually Communicate • Levels of Good Communication • Clichés • Just the Facts • Opinions and Convictions • Feelings • Communicating Needs • You are married to a foreigner (someone who thinks and talks differently and who is from a different culture).

  14. Thou Shalt Continually Communicate • Reflecting: • On a scale of 1 to 10, rate the communication in your marriage. • How are you and your spouse at communicating your feelings and needs to one another? • Describe some hindrances to communication in your marriage.

  15. IV) Thou Shalt Make Conflict Thy Ally

  16. Thou Shalt Make Conflict Thy Ally • Marital myths • Good marriages do not have problems. • Conflict hurts good marriages.

  17. Thou Shalt Make Conflict Thy Ally • Do’s of Good Communication • Try to utilize your faith (pray, meditate, read Scripture). • Live with your spouse in an understanding way. • Listen to your spouse. • Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. • Make confession and forgiveness a priority.

  18. Thou Shalt Make Conflict Thy Ally • Reflecting • How has conflict resulted in strengthening a weak point in your relationship? • How did your parents handle conflict when you were growing up, and how has that pattern affected you? • Were they peacemakers or prizefighters? What about you? • How do you need to change to make conflict an ally rather than an enemy?

  19. V) Thou Shalt Avoid the Quicksand of Debt

  20. Thou Shalt Avoid the Quicksand of Debt Over half of all family breakups in America stem from money – too much, not enough, poor management, big bills, interest, credit problems, bankruptcy, etc., etc., etc.

  21. Thou Shalt Avoid the Quicksand of Debt • 10-20-70 budget • First subtract taxes and tithe. • Second, place 10% in savings, retirement or investment (pay yourself), • Third, use 20% for debt reduction, • Then, use the remaining 70% for operating expenses.

  22. Thou Shalt Avoid the Quicksand of Debt • 10-20-70 budget • How to overcome greed • Learn the secret of admiring without desiring. • Learn the secret of giving stuff away. • Learn the secret of being generous.

  23. Thou Shalt Avoid the Quicksand of Debt • Reflecting: • What is the driving force of debt in your family? • What purchase are you currently considering that would increase your debt? Why do you need it? • What percentage of your income are you giving to your faith community? • How much is your current credit card debt? Non credit card debt? What steps are you taking to get out of debt?

  24. VI) Thou Shalt Flee Sexual Temptation – Online and Otherwise

  25. Thou Shalt Flee Sexual Temptation • There is a divine design for sex. • Treat sexual temptation like a deadly disease. • Run, don’t walk, from sexual temptation • Stay off the “online” roof top. • Intimacy takes time, good timing, and time away together.

  26. Thou Shalt Flee Sexual Temptation • Reflecting: • Discuss your definition of sex? Is your definition more “designer sex” or “cultural sex”? • What “roof tops” tempt you the most? What is your “flight plan”? • What grade would you give the intimacy (sexual, emotional and spiritual) of your marriage? What would improve things?

  27. VII) Thou Shalt Forgive Thy Spouse – 490 Times and More

  28. Thou Shalt Forgive Thy Spouse • Harmful responses to wrongs • Retaliation, rebellion, accommodation • Healthy response to wrongs • Forgiveness • Establishing healthy boundaries

  29. Thou Shalt Forgive Thy Spouse • F = Forgiving is highly healthy • O = Organize Your Thoughts by Writing • R = Review Your Experience • G = Give the Boot to Anger and Regret • I = Invest in Removing Resentment • V = Victory Comes in Forgiving Others • I = Increase Your Gratitude for Past Pain • N = Navigate to Inner Peace • G = Give Comfort to Others

  30. Thou Shalt Forgive Thy Spouse • Reflecting: • In what specific areas of marriage do you have the most trouble forgiving “seventy times seven” times? • What usually blocks your willingness to forgive? • Are you willing to walk through the F-O-R-G-I-V-N-E-S-S acrostic with me?

  31. VIII) Thou Shalt Keep the Home Fires Burning

  32. Thou Shalt Keep the Home Fires Burning • Stages of marriage: • Honeymoon Stage. • “The Party’s Over” Stage. • “The Best is Yet to Be” Stage. • This stage requires looking for and working for mature love.

  33. Thou Shalt Not Be Selfish • 1 Corinthians 14:4-8 • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

  34. Thou Shalt Not Be Selfish • Mature Love is: • Patient. I put up with the imperfections of my mate. • Kind. I perform acts of kindness for my spouse. • Joyful with truth. My love grows out of a base of honesty and integrity. • Trusting. I believe the best from my spouse. • Full of hope. I hope for the best from and for my spouse. • Enduring. My love lasts through even the toughest of times.

  35. Thou Shalt Not Be Selfish • Mature Love is not: • Jealous. Instead, it rests secure. • Boastful. Instead, it refrains from building itself up. • Arrogant. Instead, it humbles itself. • Self-seeking. Instead, it puts a spouse’s needs and desires first. • Angry. Instead, it refrains from rash outbursts. • Looking for paybacks. Instead, mature love forgives, even when treated wrongly.

  36. Thou Shalt Not Be Selfish • Mature Love: • But, most of all, love never fails! • Instead, I’m always there to support my spouse. • Oprah interviewed Billy Graham: • Oprah: “What’s the secret to your wonderful marriage to Ruth (of 56 years)?” • Dr. Graham: “We are happily incompatible.”

  37. Thou Shalt Keep the Home Fires Burning • Working toward a mature love: • Speak blessings • Open up and confess • Change yourself and not your mate

  38. Thou Shalt Keep the Home Fires Burning • Reflecting: • How important is it to you to “work” in making your marriage a happy, passionate, loving one? • In what stage of marriage are you today? What steps do you need to take to move on to the next stage? • Take the “love test” of 1 Corinthians 13. • In what areas of love are you strong? Explain. Where are you weak and what can you do about it, starting today?

  39. IX) Thou Shalt Begin Again and Again

  40. Thou Shalt Begin Again and Again • What’s the secret to marriage survival? • Thou shalt begin again and again. There are 6 steps to beginning again: • Acceptance • Attention • Adjustment • Amnesty • Appreciation • Affection

  41. Thou Shalt Begin Again and Again • Reflecting: • What three things would you do differently if you could start your marriage over? • Which of the six steps to “beginning again” does your marriage need the most? Explain. • Would you consider your marriage warm and loving, hot and cold, or dry and barren? In what ways? • Have you hugged your spouse today?

  42. X) Thou Shalt Build a Winning Team

  43. Thou Shalt Build a Winning Team • Components for winning teams: • Deciding to build • Building the team • A competent architect • The right coach • The players • The intangibles • Fan support • Determination and commitment

  44. Thou Shalt Build a Winning Team • Reflecting: • If your marriage were a college football team, where would it be ranked? • In what areas does your mate need some coaching? What about you? • How do your family and friends provide fan support for your marriage? • What is the greatest strength of your marriage time?

  45. 10 Essentials of a Highly Healthy Marriage • Thou Shalt Not Be Selfish • Thou Shalt Cut the Apron Strings • Thou Shalt Continually Communicate • Thou Shalt Make Conflict Thy Ally • Thou Shalt Avoid the Quicksand of Debt

  46. 10 Essentials of a Highly Healthy Marriage • Thou Shalt Flee Sexual Temptation – Online and Otherwise • Thou Shalt Forgive Thy Spouse – 490 Times and More • Thou Shalt Keep the Home Fires Burning • Thou Shalt Begin Again and Again • Thou Shalt Build a Winning Team