Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Habit of A Great Marriage

Dr. Scott Stanley and Dr. Howard Markman have discovered three essential forms of commitment that enable a great marriage. They are:

1. Safety in the connection. Feeling emotionally safe, feeling that you will be supported and accepted. It allows you, for example, to talk openly and well about key issues.

2. Personal safety. Feeling safe from physical or emotional harm or intimidation.

3. Safety in commitment. Feeling secure that you mutually support each other, work as a team, and have a clear future together.

Exercise Your Commitment
How safe do you feel in your marriage or relationship regarding the commitment you and your partner have made to each other?

If you feel anxious about the commitment, think about what makes you feel that way and ask your partner to do the same. Then discuss what you would both need to do to strengthen the feeling of safety in your relationship.

Commitment is expressed primarily in two forms in a marriage. One is 'dedication', and it implies an internal state of devotion to a person or project. It signals the sense of a forward-moving, motivating force, one based on thoughtful decisions you have made to give your best effort.

The second form is 'constraint', and it entails a sense of obligation. It refers to factors that would be costs if the present course were abandoned. Whereas dedication is a force drawing you forward, constraint is a force pushing you from behind.

When both factors are present, the relationship experiences synergy, adventure and excitement. When only constraint is present, the couple can be said to 'married, but not engaged'. This is the 'passionless' marriage that plagues many couples, even those who are Christ followers.

Are you dedicated in your marriage? Or just constained? Decide to deepen your dedication in marriage and ask your partner to do the same. Give your relationship your all!

Your Marriage Makeover Begins with You!

There is nothing more admirable than two people who see eye-to-eyekeeping house as man and wife, confounding their enemies, and delightingtheir friends. Homer, 9th century BC


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