Tuesday, May 26, 2009
It’s wedding season and I love weddings. I also really hate to see marriages break up, even in couples I’ve never met.
Last week, I tried unsuccessfully to e-mail Jon and Kate—parents featured on TLC’s reality show Jon and Kate Plus Eight. Recently, the media has feasted on rumors of their marital problems, yet before that, it was disheartening to see their ways of relating on the show. It was the classic “crazy cycle” discussed in the Love and Respect DVD series. That seven hour series by Emerson Eggerichs (www.loveand respect.com) discusses how women often become critical, the man responds by being unloving and the downward spiral continues to feed itself in this warped fashion. The series goes on to teach the biblical way of relating with lots of practical help. I wanted to encourage them see the DVD series, which is like a marriage conference in the privacy of your own home. It also comes in book form, I recommend it to everyone, and bought the DVDs to share.
My husband and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary this summer. Here are some other marriage resources that have helped us along this journey:
1) The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book talks about how individuals express (and expect to receive love) in five main ways including: gifts, acts of service, physical touch, quality time, and words of affirmation. The book explains how to better express love to your spouse by showing love according to their preferred love language.
2) The movie Fireproof and its book Love Dare. Fireproof is about a couple on the brink of divorce. It is a powerful and thought provoking movie with a Christian perspective. The husband in the movie decided to complete a love dare and change his actions toward his wife. The book is a practical exercise in agape (unconditional) love.
3) Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas. The premise of this book is that God’s goal for our marriage is not for our happiness, but for our holiness. Yes, this is in total contrast to the world’s thinking! God uses the trials in marriage to refine us and draw us toward Him. Marriage is a spiritual discipline, growing and testing us, and causing us to rely on God. The book is not a formula for perfect marital bliss and happiness, it’s a realistic view that we are created for paradise, yet we live in a fallen world, and so the journey isn’t guaranteed to be wonderful or pain free.
This year, I planned ice breakers and games for our church’s moms group. One of our lessons was on marriage and I was a little stumped in planning a game to correspond with this theme, but had a voice in my head saying, “call Chris.” I called Chris, who told me she had been in the process of calling me, too. (At this point, I knew it was a God thing!). She had the game idea—having everyone draw a question and share positively about their husbands. I’m attaching the list in case anyone else can use it.
What is your spouse especially good at?
What did you do on your 1st date with your husband?
What is the 1st movie you watched together with your husband?
What did you eat on your first date with your husband?
What did you wear on your first date with your husband?
What initially attracted you to your husband?
Describe the first time you decided you really liked your husband—was it love at first sight?
What is your husband’s favorite dessert?
What is your husband’s favorite food item to order at a restaurant?
What is your favorite date to go on with your husband?
What song was sung at your wedding?
What type of flowers did you have at your wedding?
What was your wedding color/the color of your bridesmaids’ dresses?
Describe your bridal gown
What was the most embarrassing thing that happened at your wedding?
What were your new, old, borrowed or blue items (that you can recall)?
How did your husband propose to you?
Did you ever read a book together? Which one?
What TV show(s) do you like to watch together?
What is your husband’s favorite food?
What is your husband’s favorite restaurant?
Would your husband prefer chocolate chip cookies or brownies?
What is your husband’s favorite pie flavor?
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
What is your husband’s favorite thing to cook?
What is the most romantic thing your husband has ever done for you?
What was your favorite vacation with your husband?
What do you like to do together with your husband for fun?
What is your husband’s love language (words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service or physical touch)
What is your husband’s favorite hobby?
What is your husband’s favorite style of music or favorite group/artist?
What is your husband’s dream job?
What is your husband’s favorite "comfort food"?
What is your husband's favorite color?
What was the last book your husband read?