The Foundations of a Healthy Marriage

The Biggest Challenges

There is no such thing as a relationship without challenges. Some of these are brought on by worldly expectations and some simply because the relationship involves two imperfect people. Bob Davis, Certified Relationship Specialist and a Master Trainer in the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, begins this post by teaching that identifying the biggest challenges to your marriage will help you struggle less when they do surface.

What are your biggest relationship challenges? How do the two of you normally deal with these issues?
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What cultural or worldly expectations have affected you two concerning your marriage?
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How has God shaped your expectations for one another based on His truth and by helping you to show godly love to one another?
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How to Kiss

Husbands and wives kiss, and we often do so frequently that we don't even think about it. Bob teaches that types of kissing are worth thinking about it and worth intentionally engaging for the sake of loving our spouses well. He explains the importance of the types of kissing and uses a k.i.s.s. acronym to help us focus on what's most important in our marriages.

In what parts of your marriage do you need to keep it simple? Where have outside influences made things more complicated than they need to be, and how will you simplify these areas for the good of your marriage?
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1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)

4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Pray through this passage from 1 Corinthians. Which of these things do you and your spouse do very well for one another? In which areas do you need the most work?
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Communication Danger Signs

People facing marriage problems consistently list communication issues as one of the primary problems in their relationship. In this last video, Bob addresses some of the most common problems concerning communication and makes a few suggestions for healthy, positive communication. 

There are three bad communication habits that you need to avoid
  • Escalation
  • Negative Interpretation
  • Withdraw

One strategy that Bob suggested is the timeout. Following his advice, what rules can you make now regarding your timeout so that you can employ it in a healthy way the next time a fight begins to escalate?
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Bob also noted that couples need to improve their communication skills to avoid these negatives. What parts of your communication do you most need to improve? How will you discuss these deficiencies with your spouse, and how will you both commit to improving in these areas?
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The covenant of marriage that we make with our spouses and before the Lord requires that we take that relationship very seriously. Yes marriage can challenge us, but with God's help it is very, very good.