STEPS TO HEALING A MARRIAGE
John H. Stoll, Th.M., Ph.D.
I. FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT:
Willingly make a re-commitment to each other. This means a new reservoir of TRUST. The initial trust you brought to your wedding has been depleted. To place new trust in your mate is not easy, but ask God to give it to you. It means---
- A WILL to unselfishly give to my mate.
- A cutting off of all past negative situations and relationships that have been detrimental to our marriage.
- Commencing a positive re-building relationship with my mate.
II. WILLFULLY DEVELOP AGAPE LOVE: This love depends on the will, not the feelings.
- This is a willful selfless love, not a selfish one. It is not, what will you do for me, but what I will do for you. It is a will to give, not to get.
- Acceptance of each other at face value.
- Develop a wellspring to TRUST through daily positive reinforcement.
- Exercise the following: Honesty, Openness, Understanding, Encouragement, and Helps to the one I love. See I Corinthians 13.
- Refrain from criticism, and develop the positive aspect of marriage.
---DO NOT CAST UP THE PAST---
- Never take each other for granted.
- Remember: (a) Agape love never arrives, it is always in the process of arriving. (b) the two loves of feeling, that is, companionship and sex, will return when agape love is willfully exercised.
III. CONTINUALLY WORKING ON THE FOUR C'S OF MARRIAGE
- A daily continuing COMMITMENT to the one to whom I originally committed myself at our wedding.
- Develop an open COMMUNICATION. This takes time and effort. It means accepting each other's thoughts and feelings without attacking.
- Provide for loving CONFRONTATION. See Proverbs 15:1.
- A willingness to COMPROMISE. God never intended for us to think alike. We may have differences of opinion, but we need to be of the same mind only in loving each other.
IV. Read Dr. Ed Wheat's book, LOVE LIFE.
V. PRAY---Daily, that I may be sensitive to meeting my beloved's needs.
Ground Rules of commitment for Husband & Wife
in Order to Build Communication & Relationship
I COMMIT MYSELF TO:
- Love you, because I need you, and I commit myself to build you up, not tear you down in our relationship.
- Open up to you and let it all hang out, without fear of being attacked, and I will not attack you, even though we may not agree. Also, casting up the past will not become a part of our discussion. That is past and gone.
- Allow you to explain to me your perception of things, and then you allow me to do the same to you. Then together we shall seek resolution to the issue, without attacking each other, and with a willingness to compromise. Furthermore, I am willing to consider your point of view as being equal with mine.
- Pray for and with you to give us wisdom for resolution of our situation, in a way that the conclusion to which we come is that with which we both can live.
- Being open with you to be: Trusting, Trustworthy, Truthful, Honest, Encouraging, Helpful, Wholeheartedly accepting of you, and to continually affirm my love for you, and need of you.