Monday, February 27, 2012

Top Ten Things I learned from Marriage Workshop

My husband and I attended a marriage workshop last weekend and enjoyed the time away to reflect on our marriage and our parenting.  We told our kids we were going to a marriage class and when we came home they wanted to know what we had learned.  Good question, huh?

1. Avoid the Time Trap.
Don't fall into the habit of being so busy doing life that you lose focus on your life.  I know families that have their kids into so many activities that they never have time to just live. Discipline is inevitable - you either have the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. 

2. Out-love your spouse.
Focus not on what your marriage can do you for you but what you can do for your marriage.  Every day be sure to wake up thinking what you can do to show your love to your partner and your family. 

3.  Minimize every day. 
There are simple everyday actions that you can do every day that make a difference in your marriage.  For me the most important action was to minimize anything your spouse does that annoys you.  Really, is it THAT big a deal if they (or I) don't change out the toilet paper when the roll is empty?

If you and your partner are "one" then if you wound your spouses heart you are really wounding your own heart at the same time.  Your heart should intertwined with that of your spouse.  Conversly, if you enhance your spouse's heart then you are enhancing your own.

My husband and I talked to our kids about this and expanded it to our family being combined in one heart.  If our kids are disrespectful to us then they are really hurting our whole family.  My husband and I were also reminded how to build up our kids with words and enhance our family.

5.  Consider the AWE Factor.
Ensure that there is adequate Affection, Warmth and Encouragement in your marriage and your family.  Beware of the affection deficit by placing a daily deposit of warmth and affirmation in your spouse's and child's life.  Affection is a daily blessing you can give another person for free.

6.  Be a party-time parent.
One of the speaker's spoke about how his mother was known for being the "party-time" mom because she was always hospitable in her home.  As an adult he realized that her life was full of strife and conflict but that as a child he was never aware of it because his Mom utilized STRENGTH and DISCIPLINE to be warm and loving in her home.  I pray that I can do the same.

7.  Admit Anger.
Everyone gets angry.  Be sure to have a method of conflict resolution that works for your marriage and for our home.  When we arrived home from this conference we sat down with our kids and had a "lesson" on how to manage anger.  Count to 10.  Pray.  Ask yourself what you are mad about.  Beg

8.  Pray
Realize that you can not do all things on your own but with the spirit of God you can do the impossible.  So, pray daily for God to intervene in your marriage, your life and your parenting.

9.  Manage your own time. 
My favorite quote from the whole weekend:  Say no to a lot of things so that you can say "yes" to the most important things.

10.  Talk to your spouse. 
With a 6 and 8 year old girls who are chatty and social, my husband and I often find that we are not speaking to each other more than a few minutes a day.  Make sure that you make time for your spouse by listening without multi-tasking and/or having a weekly meeting with intentional conversation about your life, schedules and marriage.

For more information check out the Homeword website.

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