Friday, June 23, 2017

Lean On Me

A few days ago I was trying to lift a box of books up onto a shelf at work. The weight of the box was something I could handle, but my back was turned, all my energy was invested, and my arms felt the full effort needed to hoist the load up and accomplish my task.

Then someone offered to help. They lifted the other side of the box, and what was difficult for me, became something reasonably do-able now! The shared feeling of small accomplishment (lifting a box isn't really a great success, although it may have needed to be done) was shared as well. The sense that I didn't have to do it alone, although not central to the task being accomplished, really created a different level of comradery.

What I could do alone, I didn't have to.  Usually I pride myself in working hard and not shying away from doing things like moving furniture myself, or lifting several bags in from the car after grocery shopping, or hauling my own lawn chairs from the shed to the deck, although I can barely carry them. I have always said "Where there is a will, there is a way". BUT, I also have had to realize that even though I CAN do these things, it is not always wise to do them alone. And I also have had to realize that some things I truly CAN'T do alone.

Here is where our next question comes in . Ask your spouse "What is Heavy on Your Shoulders Right Now, and How Can I Help?"

When you are asked, swallow your pride and tell your partner exactly how you feel burdened and truly what would help from them.

As I thought about this question I thought of another song.  Read the lyrics, sing it as you go about your day, and the next time you and your spouse talk, find out how you can be leaned upon.

Lean on Me

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on
Please swallow your pride
If I have faith you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won't let show
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on
Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on

Friday, June 16, 2017

Foundational Questions

The last question in the Religious/Spiritual category is a Yes/No answer type question. Easy, you may think! Give this one some thought and give some explanation to your spouse with your yes, or no.

"Should children have a religious or spiritual foundation?"

The topic of children brings about different reactions and responses than general questions about your one-on-one relationship.  Whether we like it or not, our relationship is not an "island".  Our union, especially in marriage, joins us to another group of people , and some people yet to be.

The roles and responsibilities beyond ourselves and our own issues leads us to be wise to talk about children, and how we will raise them, guide them, model to them.

Think carefully and answer and then you may need to act.

NEXT series of questions :  Emotional    : Stay tuned!! 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Want to Make A Statement?

Ask yourself and your spouse this question :
"What spiritual beliefs / principles guide you?"

Most companies have a mission statement that gives people an idea of the overall goals for the organization. They are often written and re-written until they are clear and concise. The statement is often printed, distributed, posted and looked to for guidance as decisions are made. Before constructing the goals, often the organization has to determine the qualities that they will strive to have as well. A law office may want to be "honest". A hospital may want to be "compassionate". A contractor may want to be "dependable".  The qualities will govern the goals to some extent. And people inside and outside the company will begin to be influenced by spoken or unspoken beliefs/principles held by those in leadership.

You and I may not construct our own personal mission statements ( although once several years ago I was challenged to do that, and I did).  But our beliefs and principles will be revealed by the way we do things, the way we approach life : how we navigate thought, behavior and conviction in our daily lives.

Think about your own , ask your spouse about theirs. Consider creating a personal mission statement or constructing one as a couple.  Make a statement as you live your life. Determine as a couple to make that statement together!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

What Does God Look Like to You?

Asking your spouse "How do you imagine God , when / if you pray?" can help you understand some of the spiritual dynamic of your relationship.  The answer may be theological, in the sense that your partner sees God as a personal, relational being who can be known.  Or they may see god as one of many, and distant and separate from our experience.

Your partner may answer that they imagine God as a "daddy", loving and there to meet their every need. Or you may hear that the picture they get is one of traffic cop just waiting to see if they mess up and then ready to serve them a ticket and dish out punishment.

Your ideas and the ideas of your spouse are important to know in the spiritual realm. Find out and pursue learning more about God as a couple.

Monday, May 29, 2017



Traditions ......Roles, Religion, Rituals. Fill in the blanks:
My religious tradition is ________________. 
Mine is  _____________.

Your faith may be the same as your forefathers or it may be different. In the opening number for the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof, the main character, the father, explains the roles of all the people in the town. The religious and non-religious members of the community are mentioned as well as the family members and what is expected of them within the thought of religious tradition.

The villagers and leaders face the challenge we all do , when the world around us changes, amidst our strongly held beliefs.

Talk about how you grew up and if you valued church or prayer in your home. Talk about how you view it now. Consider how you want to grow spiritually now and how you can take steps to grow as a couple together. My husband and I have placed a high value on our beliefs about God and our growth as Christians, both individually and together as a couple.

When we see something in our church that bothers us, we talk about it. When we see something we learned as children that doesn't seem to present God in the right light or in a honest frame, we question and work through our understanding of our faith.  We pray together, we wrestle with God together, we rejoice together when we see His hand in our lives.

Our traditions are not the same as our families of origin. They were good to understand though, to learn how we viewed the roles we assumed as husband and wife. Together we have sought God, grown in our faith in Him, sharpened each other in the pursuit of knowing our Creator.

So as you ask about past traditions and beliefs, think about where you are heading together in your faith journey. Commit to making some of your own traditions around your faith. Pursue truth, belief and faith. And as the world changes around you, your faith tradition will give you a anchor of your own!

Faith Foundation

How Have your Views about God Changed Throughout your Life?

In a rock-solid relationship, two people often come together around shared values and goals for their life together. Often these are ideals that extend beyond themselves individually or as a couple.

Our beliefs about God and his relationship to us and the world can greatly influence the way we see the world and our partner and our role and responsibility in our partnership with our spouse.  Our faith, or set of beliefs can be a rock to stand on. It can be a light to guide us. Sometimes it can loom large in our vision, and at other times we may only be able to grasp it like a mustard seed between our fingers. But it shapes us and our relationships!

I believe to talk about our convictions of who God is, or isn’t and how he does or doesn’t relate to us as a couple, will give you some new insight about your partner. And maybe it will give you a new desire to know more about God, too. Knowing God, knowing yourself and knowing your spouse will help build a solid foundation you can stand on!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Stay Tuned : More questions coming !!

     More questions coming SOON!  The series of "faith" questions is NEXT! Stay Tuned!!!