May 30, 2016

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Hearts at Home #6- How to make a great marriage

How to make a great marriage

Are you ready to hear some more great insight? The first workshop I attended on Saturday was called How to make a great marriage – The simple things that make a big difference. It was led by Shaunti Feldhahn. I have always appreciated Shaunti’s insight and research so I was very excited to see her live. The three main points I gleaned from this workshop were: Believe the best of your spouse’s intentions-even when you are hurt, Do the 5 little day to day things each day to tell your man “I care” and Boss your feelings around.

Believe the best of your spouse’s intentions-even when you are hurt

Shaunti has written a book called Highly Happy Marriages. She spent years researching and studying couples that were happy. Shaunti explains the research process in her book. After completing this research, Shaunti narrowed it down to 12 secrets of a highly happy marriage. These secrets are the little things that make a big difference. She began her workshop with Secret #1 which is to believe the best of your spouse’s intentions- even when you are hurt.

She encouraged us to retrain our brains. Basically, we need to tell ourselves “I know he loves me, I know he cares about me, if he knew this would hurt me he wouldn’t say it.”  This point really challenged me. I realize that I get too wrapped up in my hurt and that clouds how I see things. I need to believe the best about Jonathan and remember he is not out to hurt me. Since coming home from the conference, I have been working on this habit. It has been so good for me! When Jonathan comes home late from work, I believe the best. Instead of attacking him with my words questioning why he was late, I instead believe there is an explanation. I focus on how tired and worn out he is from his full work day and spend time encouraging instead of questioning. I choose to believe the best. It has been so life-giving for me. I know I need to keep on working on this habit but I have seen progress.

Do the 5 little day to day things each day to tell your man “I care”

The second secret that Shaunti shared was to “Do the 5 little day to day things each day that tell your man “I care.” In her research, Shaunti has found that men ask the questions “Am I able? Adequate? Good at what I do? Worthy of love for who I am on the inside?” As wives, we need to answer these questions in a way that speaks to our men. We need to believe, trust and respect our husband. Our husbands need this in our words and actions. One simple phrase we can use each day that means so much is “Thank you.” We need to study our husbands and know what actions and/or words communicate “I care” to them. This secret really challenged me. I want Jonathan to know he is able, adequate and good at what he does. I commit to learning how to better communicate this to Jonathan in a way that is meaningful to him.

Boss your feelings around

My final take away from this workshop was one of the other secrets that Shaunti shared. We need to learn to boss our feelings. It sounds so simple, right? But in reality, it is tough to do. It’s extremely important for us to learn how to boss our feelings around. If we don’t do this, our feelings will boss us around. Shaunti shared anytime we have a negative train of thought, we need to get stop it and replace it with a positive. We can talk ourselves out of being mad. Our feelings will follow our actions. Shaunti encouraged us to think on what is worthy of praise, look for what is worthy of praise, and focus on the good. It’s also important to talk about what is worthy of praise. This secret was very challenging for me. I know I need to work on this not only in marriage but in parenting and life in general.

Habits

This workshop was amazing! I would have sat for several more hours and listened to Shaunti. I highly recommend reading her book! Shaunti encouraged us to work on one habit for several weeks and then move on to a new one. I have already started to work on believing the best of my spouse’s intentions even when I am hurt. The next habit I have started to work on is to do five little day to day things each day that tell my man that “I care.” Next, I will work on bossing my feelings around. These habits will take time and work. But, I know it is well worth it. My marriage is the most important earthly relationship and I commit to doing what I can to make it stronger.

How about you? What did you think of these secrets to a highly happy marriage? Do you believe the best of your spouse’s intentions? Do you communicate to your husband that you care? Are your feelings bossing you around? I hope this post has challenged and encouraged you to grow in your marriage.

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