John and I just had our annual "Weekend To Remember" marriage conference at the Gaylord. It was an invigorating time with a lot of lessons re-learned. God definitely prepared my heart by using a 30 day encouragement challenge before the conference. I didn't learn any new epiphanies, just gentle reminders of truths I already knew but need to apply! It was so much fun to relax, refresh, and remember God's plan for marriage and family. Here are a few lessons I learned during the 30 day challenge, and had reaffirmed at the Family Life Marriage Conference:
- Words are Powerful – they can speak life and death into my husband! Only use words to build up, never to tear down. When confronting problems, always speak the truth in love. The Bible even says that I will stand before God and be accountable for every word that comes out of my mouth - ouch! (James 3:5-12, Matthew 12:36)
- 5:1 Ratio – to maintain healthy communication, give 5 positive experiences (words, appreciation, touch, smiles) for every gentle criticism. This was discovered in Gottman’s 1988 study which states a " ratio of positive interactions to negative interactions strongly predicts divorce. Couples who maintain a ratio of 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction are likely to remain together. Couples who do not maintain this 5:1 ratio are likely to get divorced."
- The Christian Marriage reflects to the world who God is, so act like it
- My daily attitude needs to be one of unconditional respect. My husband is God’s gift to me, he comes with a blessing from God.
- 50+50=100 (nope!) – I must give 100% each day, regardless of what my spouse is contributing. The 50/50 plan is conditional and destined to fail. God’s plan is that I give 100% regardless of how I feel.
- My physical/mental health affects my family – that was a nice gentle reminder that I need to loose the extra 10 pounds from my last pregnancy by eating healthier, cutting sugars, and exercising.
Now, I am anxious to hear how all of you did with the 30 day challenge, just send me an e-mail! I really struggled mid month with using my words to only build up , it also corresponded with my cycle…. Hmmm. Do you know that a habit takes 21 days to create! I think I’m going to take this challenge again for June and focus more intently on creating good habbits, the focus and accountability each day kept my mind on track and my mouth in check!