I’m so excited about tonight! My husband, Pat and I are hosting a marriage event. It’s not your ordinary marriage event where you have to drag your spouse along. No! They want to come because it’s all about fun! Okay, there’s a pinch of biblical substance added to the mix. If you want a long lasting, loving marriage centered on Christ, you have to share His theology. Besides, He did event marriage.
The event is called, The Speed Date Challenge. No, that doesn’t mean you go home with another spouse. That activity falls under a different name. Ahem…
Anyway, the evening goes like this. Couples sit at long tables across from another couple. The host, (Pat and me) proposes a question such as, “What attracted you to your spouse?” A funny movie clip is shown to jog the memory and get the conversations going after the question is stated. The couples then have 15 minutes to discuss and/or share their answers. After 15 minutes of discussion, the bell sounds ending this round.
Speed dating also provides a great opportunity for couples to meet others as well. After the bell rings, one side of the table moves to the right while the other side remains seated. Now, each couple is sitting in front of a new couple and it’s time for the second question. This process continues through five questions. Afterwards, we share desert and fellowship.
Sound like fun? Others thought so too. We’re sold out!
Some of what we’ll discuss is…
Expectations: When you were first married, did you have expectations? Of course you did! I did too. I expected my spouse to make me happy and fulfill my every need. He expected GREAT sex. We were both disappointed. We quickly learned that we had some real and some unreal expectations about marriage. Talking them through enabled us to determine what expectations we kept and which ones we tossed out.
What about differences—can you believe how different your man is from youself? Sometimes I wonder how on earth my spouse and I ever got together. But the truth is, those differences that annoy me now are the qualities that first attracted me to my husband. Why—because the traits that attracted me to him were the traits that I lacked—and vice versa.
Tom Cruise may have thought he coined the phrase, “you complete me,” but actually, God did. God uses our difference to complete us. He brought me and my spouse together to balance us out—to fill in the gaps—to sharpen us and make us better than we were before.
Finally, we can’t forget about fighting. Every couple does it. But how do you fight? Are you a “fight to win” person who wins at all cost! A fight to win person dominates. They take no prisoners. Or, are you a withdrawer? Withdrawer’s avoid discomfort. They practice the silent treatment. Or perhaps you’re a Yielder. A Yielder goes along with the other person’s demand. To you a safe felling is more important. Basically, you’re a weak kneed yellow belly.
No matter how you fight, the goal is to reach a loving resolve. That requires a special attitude—one of humility. Loving resolve seeks to place the relationship at a higher priority than the conflict itself. That requires forgiveness. Or, you can take my husband’s advice. He thinks if the wife fights naked, the husband would give in every time. (This technique has yet to be tested in my house.)
Now that you’ve read God’s principles for a great marriage, you’re stuck. You only have two choices. You can remain the way you are or you can practice these principles and build a long lasting, loving, Christ centered marriage! …and when you succeed, then you can celebrate with GREAT sex!