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Thursday, December 20, 2007

10 Essentials of a Highly Healthy Marriage

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About a month ago we attended the Global Health Missions Conference, one of the breakout sessions was entitled Ten Essentials of Highly Healthy Marriages by Walt Larimore, based off of Ed Young's book The Ten Commandments of Marriage. Here are the 10 Essentials and what I took away from them.
  1. Thou Shalt Not Be a Selfish Pig

Don't get a case of Self-ITIS. Self-ITIS comes from Immaturity, how you make your Time choices, Insensitivity to your spouse, Stubbornness vs. Submission.  This really struck a cord with me and how selfish I can be at different/most times! The cure for Self-ITIS is putting PEP back in your marriage - Priorities, making sure you are on the same page - Expectations, define and understand each others - Patterns, what are good lifestyle patterns. He also suggested reading The Five Love Languages and His Brain, Her Brain: How Divinely Designed Differences Can Strengthen Your Marriage.

  1. Thou Shalt Cut the Apron Strings

Cleave to your Spouse - Cleave to a Covenant (not a contract) - Leave your Parents (counseling and economic are the 2 big ones) - Leave the Past behind.  Genesis says that you will leave your mother and father and the 2 shall become 1. Jesus actually quotes it in Matthew 19:4-6, adding that no one should split what God has put together. I like the idea of this one, but it can be a little tricky to find the balance, especially with family.

  1. Thou Shalt Continually Communicate

This is a no brainer! Communication keeps any relationship healthy and happy.  Unfortunately, in married life there is a lot that can hinder it including schedules, kids, TV, fear of conflict and much more. I would say that the biggest hindrance in our communication is our schedules and self-ITIS. 

  1. Thou Shalt Make Conflict Thy Ally

This is a tricky one as well, because not many people really embrace or desire conflict.  It needs to be resolved at some point and the sooner the better.  I didn't have good conflict resolution role-models so this isn't a strong suit of mine either.  Dr Walt says that we should Utilize our Faith - Understand our Spouse - Understand Self - Don't let the sun go down on anger.  Seems simple enough right? Making Confession and Forgiveness a priority is something that I struggle with a lot.

  1. Thou Shalt Avoid the Quicksand of Debt

Over 50% of divorces stem from money problems.  Some of this can be overcome by talking about money, budgeting, and holding each other accountable. He suggested that after subtracting taxes and tithes you should operate on 70%, save 10% and use 20% for debt reduction.

  1. Thou Shalt Flee Sexual Temptation Online and Otherwise

God has a design for sex, but sexual temptation should be treated as a disease (outside of marriage).  I really like this quote: "Intimacy takes time, good timing, and time away together."

  1. Thou Shalt Forgive Thy Spouse 490 Times and More

Due to time constraints he didn't finish going through his presentation, but I went back and looked at a copy of it and gleaned this information. FORGIVING

                • Forgiving is highly healthy
                • Organize your thoughts by writing
                • Review your experience
                • Give the boot to anger and regret
                • Invest in removing resentment
                • Victory comes in forgiving others
                • Increase your gratitude for past pain
                • Navigate to Inner peace
                • Give comfort to others
  1. Thou Shalt Keep the Home Fires Burning

Dr. Walt describes three stages of marriage:

1) Honeymoon Stage - this is where we are still! Everything is perfect!

2) The Party's Over Stage - Resigning to the fact of married life, just getting through

3) The Best is Yet to Be Stage - forward looking, working on mature love.

He talked a lot about mature love, using 1 Corinthian 13:4-8 as the model. He said MATURE love should be Motivated, Attentive, Tender, Understanding, Respectful, and Excited.

  1. Thou Shalt Begin Again and Again

This is his secret to marriage survival, being willing to start over, time after time.  Using the 6 A's of Acceptance, Attention, Adjustment, Amnesty, Appreciation, and Affection to go through the process.

  1. Thou Shalt Build a Winning Team

We have built a winning team called TEAM CROSS! we have built that team with a competent architect (God), the right coach (we are still searching for a good coach), the players (we are the right ones!), the intangibles (we've got lots of those too!), fan support (we are blessed with loving friends and family), and finally determination and commitment (we've got that too!).


A full copy of his presentation is available at the CDMA website (scroll down to Walt Larimore and click on Marriage (ppt)).


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1 comment:

Tia Lynn said...

Great tips!