Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage

I read Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage this past spring. I typed up five pages of notes. I thought it was (mostly) fantastic. I do believe that marriage takes a lot of time, work and intentionality in order to thrive. I believe we need to become experts on our spouse and choose to love and respect them because of who they are (who God created them to be) not because of what they do. I do not believe any of this can be accomplished on our own. We cannot--in our own power--love, serve, forgive, sacrifice, and respect as Christ calls us to. It is the One who created man and woman, the one who created the covenant of marriage, who gives us the strength and fortitude and eternal perspective to love...to honor our commitment...to suffereth long...to put their needs before your own...to run the race set before us. It is only through and because of what God has already done for us, that we are able to love as Christ has first loved us.  

The following are a few quotes from the book:

"Relationships seldom die because they suddenly have no life left in them. They wither slowly, either because people do not understand how much or what kind of upkeep, time, work, love and caring they require or because people are too lazy or afraid to try.” (this quote attributed to 
David Viscott)

"Your heart follows whatever you focus on (or pay attention to). If your focus on is on God and the Kingdom of God, His desires will become yours. When we take each other for granted, we lose the desire to work out our differences when they arise. The reason many relationships die is simply that no attention is given to them and desire is washed away."

"
Why doesn't God have a special person just for you? Because He knows that His principles of love, acceptance, patience, and forgiveness work, and they work all the time, every time—no matter to whom you are married. That is why the apostle Paul never told us to find that ‘special someone’ but rather to make sure we find someone who truly believes and lives by the principles of love, acceptance, patience and forgiveness. He referred to such a person as a believer.
Now here’s an honest question: if being a believer is the key, then why do so many marriages fail, even with people of faith? Simply because many people of faith fail to live out these principles. The apostle James touched on this problem when he said, “Faith without works is dead.” In other words, if you don’t actually do the right thing, believing the right thing won’t do you any good. In fact, he teaches that our lack of action can nullify the very faith we claim to have. It doesn't matter how spiritual or holy you think you are, if you are an impatient, demanding, whining unforgiving person, your marriage will suffer."

"Dare to believe marriage is good, that the one you are in is good. Dare to ask God to help you treasure it, appreciate it, and stay committed to it, even though there are times you feel a little shaken up and buck naked with your needs going unmet."

"The truth is, a successful marriage is not the result of marrying the right person, feeling the right emotions, thinking the right thoughts, or even praying the right prayers. It’s about doing the right things—period."


"Today, many believe marriage is like a sprint, that the start is what is criticial. I never cease to be amazed at how many struggling couples point to the start as the reson for their struggles:  “We were too young.” “We didn't know each other for very long.” “We didn't have enough money.” They are convinced that the poor start is the reason for their troubles, but they are wrong. Marriage is not a sprint; it is a marathon. It is not the start that leads to a failed marriage, but the unwillingness to endure the race. 

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