Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dr. Roz and Kil: What are the three Ingredients for a successful Marriage?

Photos by Tusamba Carter
Kil’s Three Ingredients to make a marriage work!

#1 God: Do I really need to say more? I believe everyone needs to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to have a fruitful marriage as well as a fruitful life. I believe God is the 1st and last line of defense in a marriage and without that GOD, you leave a HUGE hole in your defense against Satan's attacks on your marriage. If you watch basketball, you always hear every year that defense wins championships. Most teams want a center that guards the point. Dwight Howard is a good example of this kind of player. So, if a player gets past the initial defender, and then gets past the helpside defender (another player coming over to help) he now has to get past Dwight Howard in the paint. (Which is not an easy feat).

I think a lot of times, when a temptation comes a man's way (usually another woman), he may think "I can't cheat on my wife because of my kids. If I get caught this would ruin my family." But then you rationalize it by saying "well, even if I get caught and we get a divorce, I'll still be in my kid's life". So satan has just gotten past your first line of defense, your kids/family. Then you may think, "I can't do this I love my wife too much". But truth be told, if the AVERAGE married man is thinking of cheating, him and his wife probably aren't in a good place, so the wife is probably the weakest line of defense you have. So satan has gotten past your 1st, and 2nd line of defense BUT if you're a believer satan has one more obstacle to get past, and that's God. And I'm not trying to imply that if you know God or are a Christian that your husband won't cheat. I just believe that with God, you have a better chance of protecting your marriage and family.

#2 Communication + Change: You'd be shocked at how many couples don't talk about their issues/problems/concerns in their marriage with their spouse. And it's hard for someone to change their behavior when they don't even know they're doing something wrong in the first place! Then there are couples who communicate their issues/problems/concerns with their spouse, but then that spouse does nothing to change his or her behavior. So, one spouse feels like "I communicated what I was feeling (and for some people that's a HUGE step) and my spouse didn't do anything to make things better." So, now that spouse figures, why communicate because nothing got better so now they shut down. This is one of the MANY reasons I feel like we should treat marriage like we do our occupation. If your supervisor tells you his or her concerns with you before you've left their office, you've already started to formulate a plan on how you can change some of the things your supervisor was complaining about. But why can't we do the same for our marriage?

#3 An Accountabilty Partner/Couple: When my wife & I were members of Mt. Pleasant Church in B'more, MD our men's ministry was called "Operation Timothy". The premise was that men would have accountabilty partners similar to how Barnabus was the old head, Paul was the middle dude and Timothy was the young cat and that each man could help each other. So it wouldn't just be the old head always schooling the young cat but there could be some things the young cat could school the old head on. And marriages need the same thing.

The problem is there aren't enough older or middle couples to mentor all these younger couples who are getting married everyday and most people don't want to be 100% honest about what they're dealing with individually and in their marriage with someone else. This is an issue we have to get past as a people. We think in marriages that we're the only couple in the world going through a particular issue when in reality we're just one of 100's dealing with the EXACT same issue! But until we learn to share with one another, it will just prolong the issues you and your spouse are going through. If someone has directions to get where you want to go, why wouldn't you accept the directions and just choose to continue to go in circles? I wouldn't be half of the husband I am with my mentor as well as some of my closest crew of men who I call "The God Squad". If you don't have an accountability couple, friend or crew, pray for one because it will definitely make you a better husband and wife and also strengthen your marriage.

Dr. Roz’s three ingredients to make a marriage work

1) I certainly agree with Kil that God or whoever your higher being is must be in the midst of your marriage. It’s almost like that saying “No God, No Peace, Know God, Know Peace”, as much as we want to run away from it, we know that there is truth in that statement! Also, become knowledgeable about what the word says about marriage and apply it to your life. It’s one thing to know it and another thing to implement. Not that it’s easy, but we have already been giving instructions, why keep spinning your wheels making up your own rules! Pretty soon someone is going to get tired and will bow out gracefully, whether it’s physically or emotionally, someone will need a break in an out of control situation!

2) Emotional maturity- So many couples end up in divorce court because they allow their inability or stubbornness of truly expressing their emotions get in the way. If you are hurt say you are hurt, if you are mad say you are mad! We have to stop holding on to that emotion, as it will interfere with some part of your life, whether it’s work, your relationship, school, or play, EMOTIONS are meant to be expressed, so let it out ( in an appropriate manner)! Holding on to emotions leads to resentment, which in turn leads to two bitter people. In the end, is it worth it? As a partner in the relationship, you must validate your spouse’s emotions regardless if you feel they play the victim role or not. The truth is, if you aren’t validating their emotions, there is someone else who will! We all know that emotions are uncomfortable, but that is a part of the vulnerability that creates intimacy in a relationship! You start ignoring your spouse’s emotions, pretty soon they will become emotionally detached from you! Emotions do not leave people, we may suppress them, but they are still there, so deal with it in the moment to decrease not meeting each other’s emotional needs. And brothers, you are just as emotional, you may express it physically, but that is still an emotion! Bottom line, become aware of what you are feeling and create a comfortable space where you and your partner can discuss those emotions and validate each other!

3) Understanding each other’s differences! Just because we do things differently does not mean that there is a right or wrong, it just means that there is a difference. So many times you hear, he or she did not love me the way that I needed them to! Here is the thing, if you didn’t express it , you can’t expect for someone to read your mind! We have to be more open in accepting our differences and willing to implement a compromise in which you are both happy with. People rush into relationships and they do not assess the differences in a person’s upbringing and before long, you are in love and you tell yourself that you can tolerate this or that, but it’s those little details of difference that send most people to divorce court! Celebrate your differences and stop comparing whether it’s right or wrong and develop a compromise that will now become a new tradition or way of doing things in your relationship!


Rachel said...

I agree without question that God is a main ingredient for a successful marriage. If both people have a strong sense of spirituality before coming together, it will be easier to improve and grow spiritually as a couple. Undoubtedly you will need to call on God when you what to reach out and touch your spouse (and not in that 'I love you baby' sort of way).

Communication is so important because it connects to emotional maturity and understanding of each others' differences. You have to be able to handle what your spouse shares with you and when it takes time for your spouse to understand your differences. It's immature to ignore your spouse's concerns, throw your hands up or share your concerns with someone else (other than a professional counselor/therapist). Discussing your relationship with an "accountability partner/couple" that you both have not agreed to talk to could create problems. I might not agree that my spouse should be sharing anything about our relationship with someone else that I wouldn't talk to myself and vice versa. The accountable parties in a marriage are the two people in the relationship. Having someone else in your ear who doesn't have the couple's best interest at heart may cause more problems than the couple had in the first place.

Kil said...

Thanks for your comments Rachel! Of course I would never suggest that a couple talk to a someone else about their marriage without both people agreeing to it. I think that marriage is SO hard and that's why so many people are failing at it. I believe that if you have a mentor couple (the same way we have mentors in the workplace, in life, etc.) who you can trust and are able to build with that it will help your marriage grow. Like I said earlier about my men's bible study, the whole concept would be to have a couple who's been married 20 yrs, a couple that's been married 10 yrs and a newlywed couple so that all 3 couple can share their challenges and successes with marriage with each other. And keep in mind this is a biblical prinicpal which is why I said if you don't have a mentor in your life to pray for one so that God can send the right person that will give you biblical and sound advice and not sabotage your marriage! Again, thanks for the comments!

Anonymous said...

This is a great article and some good common sense advice. I hope married couples and soon to be married couple read this article very carefully.

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