You have probably been asked the question, “What is the book that has most influenced your life?” Although this sounds like a Sunday School answer, the Bible for me has literally changed my life and changed my marriage. I’m so thankful when I cried out to the Lord, He was there. Another book and course that had a huge impact was Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Something we tell many of the couples we work with is, “You need to become other-centered.” Humbly value others above yourself. Christ put our needs ahead of His. Like the Bible, Carnegie’s book encourages us to show genuine concern for others. It tells us to ask others about themselves – their hobbies, their vacations, their pets. Or, just say, “Tell me about yourself.”
It amazes me that so few people do this well. But like the Bible, it can make a huge difference in your and other’s lives.
As part of our mentoring program, one of the first things we do is show couples the Five Love Languages video by Dr. Gary Chapman and have them take the profile. Then, at our last mentoring session, we show them the video segment on the “In Love” Experience and ask them to put boundaries around their marriage. It amazes us how many discount this part and tell us that they will never let this happen to them. We wish this was the case. No one sets out to be unfaithful. But once a marriage starts to drift, the door to temptation is wide open. The couple never sees it coming. They never thought it could happen to them. They all felt it was completely against their own morals, beliefs and values. See they never had a plan in place to prevent this from happening. So we want to encourage you, if you have not yet set up some boundaries to protect your marriage, please do so NOW! What rules and guidelines will prevent you from becoming drawn to someone else? Just saying, “It won’t happen to us,” is what countless others have said that later found themselves in this most miserable situation. Details could include allowing your spouse access to all emails, social media, cell phone records, financial accounts, etc. The more detailed you are, the greater likelihood of your success.
At our church recently one of our pastors interviewed Shaunti Feldhahn about her latest book, The Kindness Challenge.
David and I found it fascinating. We all know we should be kind, but do we really know how? Feldhahn revealed three simple steps that have proven to make any interaction better and any relationship thrive. They are:
- Say nothing negative about that person – either to them or about them.
- Each day, find one positive thing to praise or affirm about that person. Then tell them and tell someone else.
- Each day, do one small act of kindness or generosity for them.
Here are some interesting facts from those who took the 30-Day Kindness Challenge:
Percentage of spouses who said they were happy in marriage:
Well we are up to the challenge. In fact, our Coupletime group which consists of three other couples, is going to read the book and take the 30-day challenge. David and I are already seeing some great results. For example, I received a note this morning thanking me for the act of kindness I did for him yesterday. David and I both agree that if couples would sincerely do this, it could transform relationships in such a positive way.
So are you up for the challenge?
If so, here is a link you can go to find out more: http://www.jointhekindnesschallenge.com