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Love and Respect–Building Blocks of a Good Marriage

Imagine having a marriage in which both husband and wife love and respect each other, have unity in their goals, and commonality in their belief system. This structure is a win/win for both husband and wife.

Two important building blocks to a good marriage are “love” and “respect”. These two words mean different things to different people, and often differ from males to females. Therefore, a discussion is needed to clarify the meaning.

Activity:

As a couple, define “love” and “respect”.

As a couple, agree on the differences between the two words.

As a couple, discuss and give examples of behaviors that would make each other feel “unloved” and “disrespected”.

Words of wisdom:

Be generous with your words of appreciation

Spend quality time with each other

Be quick to forgive and forget

Seek to understand your differences

Be honest and gentle when giving feedback

Be open and honest regarding finances

Always appreciate their best qualities

Pray together often

Practice physical touch

Surround yourself with other Christian families/couples

Attend a bible based congregation that provides Christian fellowship

Pray for your spouse, for when God blesses them, he blesses you

Laugh and enjoy each other’s personality

Diane Reed, LPCC

Create a sacred space in your home. Display pictures and objects that link you with your inner self. Listen to music that motivates you to think of the world and your unique place in it.

Join a prayer or study group at your place of worship.

Immerse yourself in inspiring spiritual or religious books. It’s a wonderful way to peacefully start or end your day.

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God of mercy, we confess that we tend toward selfishness and pride over selflessness and humility. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. Have mercy on us and forgive us; restore us and enable us to live more fully for you.

(adapted from The Book of Common Prayer)

prayer114My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end … But I believe the desire to please you does in fact please you. I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

– Thomas Merton, from Thoughts in Solitude

  1. Pray without ceasing.
  2. Spend 10 minutes everyday reading in the book of Psalms.
  3. Begin each day with 5 minutes of deep, relaxed breathing.
  4. Cut out all non-prescribed stimulants and depressants, especially alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.
  5. Drastically reduce sugar intake.
  6. Exercise 20 minutes every day.
  7. Increase water intake.
  8. Practice “early to bed, early to rise.”
  9. Maintain close bonds with caring people.
  10. Positively recalling difficulties overcome in the past can help encourage feelings of competence and achievement over feelings of helplessness and distress. But do not make it sound as if overcoming trauma is simple.

May this weekend be one of rest and recentering, refreshment and rejuvenation, and most importantly, refocusing on you. Give me eyes to see where you are leading, ears to hear what you are saying, and a heart that follows wherever you may go. Amen.

Traumatic events either have or will impact all of our lives. Traumas come in many forms and impact all of us with a myriad of symptoms. Traumas are any of life’s events that have the potential to overwhelm us without the assistance from others. The death of a spouse, the death of a child, sudden job loss, rape, sexual abuse, threat of loss of health, disability, abandonment, betrayal or loss of trust, devastation due to storms or fires, divorce systemic loss (child leaves home for college), loss of one of primary senses, and imagined loss or trauma. These are but a few of life’s traumas that can suddenly change our lives, creating an overwhelming presence too difficult with which to cope.

On the evening before Jesus Christ was crucified, he went to a garden to pray. He was accompanied by three of his disciples. He simply asked them to be present while he prayed. He became annoyed when he found that they had gone to sleep. He knew that he was facing a major trauma in his life, his death, and he just wanted them to be there for him. They could do nothing, but their presence was precious to him. On the other hand, in the trials and traumas faced by Job, his three friends offered advice that was not very helpful. The scriptures reveal that God was not happy with the three friends and their words of encouragement. Since there are not sufficient healers in our areas, it is important for all interested parties to know what to do as well as what not to do when trying to assist someone who has been traumatized. Here are a few “do’s and don’ts” to keep in mind when assisting those who have been bewildered by traumatic events.

Do’s

  • Build a relationship that offers hope.
  • Listen without being judgmental.
  • Help them to understand that it is normal to feel the way they do at this time.
  • Affirm their need for crying as normal and healthy.
  • Ask questions that allow their story to be told. Telling the story of the traumatic event relieves the stress of the trauma.
  • Value their story by telling how much that you appreciate them telling you.
  • Make eye contact with the person while they share their story with you. Good eye contact conveys a message without words.
  • Encourage the sharing of thoughts and feelings. Explain how sharing of both aids in their healing.
  • It is ok to ask, “What was the worst part about the event for you?”
  • Be patient!
  • Listen to their story repeatedly if they feel the need to tell it again. Each time the story is told, the hurt is minimized.
  • Tell abut the trauma in a group if it happened to a specific group of people. If done this way, encourage others to be accepting of the one telling their story by listening, words of encouragement, and appropriate touch by those sitting closest to the one telling their story.
  • Remind the story tellers that what is spoken will remain conficdential.

Don’ts

  • Never ask “why” they feel the way they do.
  • Avoid needless challenges of their stories.
  • Avoid, “I know just how you feel,” when in fact you do not.
  • Do not attempt to solve a problem, just listen.
  • Avoid needless questioning for details of your own curiosity when asking questions that encourage them to tell their story.
  • Avoid being judgmental about their expressions. They may tell you who they hate or that they are angry with God.
  • Do not push them to feel something that they are not ready to feel. Avoid telling them how they ought to feel. Avoid statements of “you should” or “you ought to”.
  • Never lecture, just listen. They do not need to hear you, but they need to be heard.
  • Avoid telling your own war stories. They provide less comfort than you may think.
  • Avoid sharing information that has been shared with you by someone else. It diminishes trust and may inhibit others from sharing as openly as needed.
  • Avoid generalizations or statements that may minimize their feelings. Their feelings are their feelings.
  • Avoid needless interruptions or distractions while listening, which may be interpreted as uncaring or lack of interest.



This prayer is attributed to Mother Theresa; it was carved into the wall of her home for children in Calcutta.

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.

  • Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.

  • Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true friends.

  • Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.

  • Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building someone could destroy over night.

  • Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous.

  • Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will forget tomorrow.

  • Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.

  • Give the world the best you have anyway.                                                    Amen.



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  • Learning how not to do for others what they can learn to do for themselves is one of the golden rules of adult maturity. 2 years ago
  • In an effort to avoid the feeling of failing people often don't put forth effort.By doing this they will not experience their full potential 3 years ago
  • The ability to successfully handle conflict is more important than the amount of conflict in a marriage. 3 years ago
  • Weekend challenge: Tell your spouse something you love about them and expect nothing in return. 3 years ago
  • Word Wed:Don't be anxious about anything,but in every situation,by prayer and petition,with thanksgiving,present your requests to God.Phil4 3 years ago

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