Friday night, Hubby & I had a date night. Mark Gungor, author of “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” came to Fort Bragg to do a free show for the military. He had spent the week traveling to a few different Army posts and we were his last stop. If you have not heard Mark Gungor, let me introduce you to him. He is hilarious!
Watch this 5 minute clip as he describes the differences between men’s brains and women’s brains. He is right on!
Rob & I were first introduced to Mark’s series when we watched a DVD at a marriage retreat where we also received a copy of his book. We really enjoy reading it to each other, and it opens the door for some great communication as we are constantly seeking to better understand each other and make our marriage stronger as a result.
One of the things I really like about Mark’s presentations is that he’s a down to earth guy that makes himself relatable to all the guys in the audience. He is a Christian preacher, but his presentations are not preachy in any way. I feel like that allows the audience to let their guard down and really listen as he describes the differences between men and women. We aren’t created to be the same, yet so many marriages struggle because the wife wants a husband to be just like her best girl friend, or the husband expects his wife to be just like his guy buddies.
There are many, many verses in the Bible about understanding, but I want to share one in particular with you.
“Folly brings joy to one who has no sense, but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course. Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” ~ Proverbs 15:21-22
This says that if you have no sense, you will find happiness in your folly, but one who has understanding keeps a straight course. The straight path leads us to God, so we first need understanding. The better we understand our spouse, the better our marriage will be. If I really try to understand my husband AND I am seeking to please God by loving my husband, then I will want to love him the way HE needs to be loved….which I can only do if I first UNDERSTAND him.
The second part of that verse refers to getting counsel. That doesn’t necessarily mean going to a counselor – although if you need one, they can be an incredible resource. It means getting advice from people who know what you are going through because they have knowledge and experience. Seeking wise counsel (from someone with the same values, faith & beliefs as you), will allow you to gain a new perspective and give you tools that you can use to make it work.
Learning more about your marriage doesn’t mean your marriage is broken. Seeking wise counsel about how to have a successful marriage doesn’t mean you have problems. It means you are being proactive and trying to create a situation that will best allow you to succeed. Don’t be too proud to seek advice and wisdom from people who have a successful marriage. Seeking ways to make your marriage better means you are STRONG, not weak.
If you were going to build a house, or renovate your home, you would seek counsel from someone who had done it before, wouldn’t you? (I hope so!) If you were going to start a cake decorating business, you would first take a class to learn how. If I wanted to change the oil on my car, I would read a book, watch a video, or ask someone how to do it. I’ve watched many a video on YouTube to learn sewing skills, or to follow a recipe.
Why not apply the same reasoning to our marriage?
From the first year of our marriage, Rob and I made a commitment to attend a marriage retreat, seminar, class, etc. at least once a year. If we couldn’t attend one for some reason, we will go through a marriage book together. Something each year to help us keep our equipping skills sharp, to help us learn more about each other (and ourselves) and foster our communication.
We have learned so much over the years and have adapted our communication styles as we learn new things or as we grow and change. We are committed to doing this right – the first time, so we must stay on top of it.
Above all else, put God first in your marriage. If you are each individually seeking to grow closer to the Lord, you will automatically grow closer to each other.
Let God be that third strand of the rope that holds you two together.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12