Sunday, March 11, 2007

On Love and Relationships

My wife and I are blessed to have financial supporters who enable us to work in ministry. To keep them updated on the work we do, we send out a monthly newsletters... I really liked our last one from February (Valentine's Day) and thought I'd share it here. Hope you enjoy it!

In honor of this celebration of love, we’re dedicating this newsletter to love and relationships.

We really have a heart to minister to couples, particularly newlywed or engaged couples. God has opened doors for us to minister to several different couples at various relationship stages. We have thoroughly enjoyed it, and it has been very fruitful. One of the pastors in our ministry has also been talking with us about taking this further so we can help more people.

Although we’ve only been married for three years, we’ve learned a lot in that time and have had a lot of outside input into our relationship from people with great wisdom and years of experience. We’d love to pass along whatever we can to others.

Some of the recurring themes that have come up as we talk with couples are:

EXPECTATIONS: In any relationship, you have expectations about the relationship and how the other person should act. Many times, particularly with young couples, those expectations are not communicated. They may even be subconscious, based on things you’ve seen in your parents’ relationship. If the other person doesn’t know your expectations, how can they meet them? For example, the husband may expect some “down time” when he gets home from work, but the wife doesn’t realize this and tries to engage him. Conflict arises. This leads to the second theme:

COMMUNICATION: Communication is absolutely key…whether discussing expectations you have of one another, resolving conflicts you’ve fallen into, or telling each other how you feel about things. Getting things “out on the table“ is extremely important for a healthy relationship. We discovered very early in our relationship that our communication styles were completely opposite. Luke talked a lot while Corinne listened a lot and asked questions to get more information. This led to one-sided conversations. Luke has since learned to talk less and ask more questions to engage the other person. Corinne has learned to voice her thoughts.

MEN VS. WOMEN: As the saying goes, “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.” We are just wired differently from one another. The things that most women think are “givens” in a relationship, most men are oblivious to….and vice versa. We have to recognize that, figure out what those differences are and communicate with one another in light of those differences.

LOVE LANGUAGES: Everyone has their own love language, the thing that best communicates love to them and that they use to show love to others: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service or physical touch. Learn your spouse’s primary love language and show your love to him/her in that language. Be aware of your own love language and communicate to your spouse how he/she can best express love to you.

Thank you for loving us through your prayers and support!

No comments: