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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Big Ideas, Volume 4 - Marriage

1. Think COVENANT, not CONTRACT ...

Think unlimited responsibility, not limited liability.
Think unconditional love, not conditional "like".
Think commitment, not convenience.
Think selfless, not selfish.
Think forever, not until the expiration of your satisfaction.
2. Know the story. Your spouse's past will influence the future of your marriage. Couples who take the time to learn about each other's lives (both the good and the bad) reap rewards of harmony and longevity in their relationship.
3. Learn the language of love. What says "I love you" to your spouse ...

... acts of service?
... physical touch and intimacy?
... quality time?
... affirmation?
... gifts?

Learn your spouse's love language, and speak it fluently.
4. The Power of Two. Honesty, trust, and mutual submission begat agreement, which is the prime source of power in a marriage. Remember that, in marriage, 1 + 1 = 1, and 1 * 1 = 2.

5. Nurture the gift. Your spouse has an independent purpose on this earth that will complement and supplement yours. Encourage and allow them the freedom to develop their gifts. Work in synergy, and watch it allow you both to accomplish what neither of you could do alone. Then together, you can reap the rich rewards of your common destiny.
6. Freedom of speech ... is tempered by the responsibility to be careful of what you say and how you say it. Value dialogue more than victory, and value listening more than talking.

7. Forgiveness erases, but suppression leaves traces. You can heal whatever you are willing to feel. Confrontation with gentle and loving intent makes real peace, while staying silent to keep peace ultimately declares war.
8. Make love, not war. Sex and intimacy are about far more than the culminating acts of pleasure. Speaking the language of love takes on many forms and facets, all of which will strengthen and deepen your bond.

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