Monday, 21 March 2011

Do's and Don'ts

In a recent blog Dr. Dana Fillmore offered some helpful advice to couples who are feeling disconnected. As I’ve said on previous occasions I usually find Dr. Fillmore’s advice worthwhile except for the absence of God. She starts out by asking some serious questions:

“Do you treat each other like polite (or not so polite) strangers? Does it feel as if there is a wall between you? Are you wondering if it’s even possible to reconnect with the person you once loved so much?”

She goes on to offer some “Do’s” and “Don’ts” that she believes will create positive change.

Her first don’t is don’t blame. “In fact, blaming is one of the most common mistakes that couples make when “working” on their marriage. They focus primarily on what the other person is doing wrong and take little to no responsibility for their part in the couples’ problems or issues. Focusing on blame only drives you and your spouse further apart. Instead, look for solutions: new behaviors and positive choices.” More specifically if you are the husband you need to ask, “Do I love my wife as much as I love myself? Do I love her the way she wants to be loved? Is she becoming more radiant?” If you are the wife you need to ask yourself “Do I respect and reverence my husband; do I notice him, regard him, honor him, prefer him, venerate him, and esteem him; do I defer to him, praise him, and love and admire him exceedingly?” This is what Scripture tells us to do.

Her second don’t is don’t nag. Why would anyone in their right mind think that nagging is an effective way to communicate? Can you hear the husband driving home from work saying “boy I hope my wife nags me the minute I get in the door. I love to feel demeaned and stupid, knowing I don’t live up to her expectations”. Or perhaps you’re the wife you can’t wait for her husband to come home and nag her about her inability to discipline the kids, keep the house clean, or prepare a decent dinner.

She says do have loving discussions, “… and by that I do not mean, holding hands and singing “Kum-by- yah” together – instead, I mean: be honest, open and (gulp), vulnerable.” First off we all know guys like nothing better than to be open and vulnerable - not. Secondly we are assuming the couple is not connecting. How likely is it that they will have this break through moment? I would suggest first going to the Lord in prayer. Tell the Lord that you have not been the spouse that He has called you to be. Then go and ask your husband/wife to forgive you for being less than what God has called you to be.

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