Marriage...the two become one flesh, it’s such a mystery. This week at KI, we were graced with the presence of some Godly men and women (Lamar Trieschmann, Gary Oliver, Dr. Dick Monline, Gary Smalley, Joe White, Keith Chancy, and two couples) who shed some light on the subject.
The first few days we learned that emotional intelligence (knowing your own state of emotions, being able to handle them correctly and sensing the emotions of others and knowing how to respond to them) is so important in relationships. I want to grow more in emotional intelligence and implement this in my future marriage. To be able to stop myself and understand what I’m currently feeling, why, and where to go from there is vital, as well as understanding that of others and helping them process their emotions. Emotions are real and if not correctly dealt with can bring destruction to any relationship (with God, a friend, a spouse, a parents, etc.). Another powerful truth I learned this week about emotions is that no one can make us feel a certain way without our consent. We choose how we respond. We need to take responsibility for our emotions and how we react to others. This is something I really needed to hear. I believe this truth will bring much freedom to my life. I am a very sensitive person and if I’m not careful to control my emotions, I allow myself to get hurt very often. With this new truth in my mind and heart and with the Holy Spirit’s help, I can take my thoughts captive, speak truth to myself and overlook the offenses of others. (Now I am not saying conflict resolution or rebuking in love is unnecessary) Our mind is powerful and with God’s help I will be able to take my emotions captive to His glory. I strongly believe this has a huge affect on marriages today and I want to put this into practice in my future marriage, and am currently practicing this in my current relationships, especially my relationship with Mark.
We also took a spiritual gifts test and a personality test. It was neat to learn more about myself, Mark, and my many friends here at the Institute. According to my scores, my spiritual gifts are showing mercy and service. God gently reminded me this week that He Himself has given us these gifts to be used to edify others, and that I should not covet other’s gifts but use and strengthen the ones He’s graciously given me. I often look at others around me and ask myself “Don’t they see a need here? Why aren’t they serving?” (and yes we are all called to serve) but the reality is that not everyone has the gift of service; therefore, it does not come naturally to fulfill a need. This is something I am currently trying to practice in my relationship with Mark and being thankful for the gifts God’s given him of teaching and administration. He and I are very different. We’ve always known that, but seeing it on paper this week was such a good reminder and a spiritual reality of God’s creativeness in making us unique.
Something that surprised me this week is the fact that 70% of communication is miscommunication. I have heard so many people tell me communication is key in a relationship, and my mom since my high school days has wisely told me, “Marry someone you can communicate with.” I learned this week that along with communication, understanding is also very important. What does good communication look like? Talking. In marriage? Two people talking daily striving to understand one another. Yes, I could go deeper about what that could or should look like, but if a couple’s goal is to communicate open daily through understanding, I believe their bond will grow stronger and stronger. The two become one flesh.
Marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ and the church. It’s a covenant and Christ is the glue that ultimately holds marriages together. Wisely stated by Mike and Lisa Button, “A healthy marriage is the best gift you can give your kids.” The purpose of my life is to glorify God in the process of sanctification. If marriage is in God’s will for my life (and I hope it is), I will be signing up for...you guessed it, sanctification. I desire for God to chip away everything in me that doesn’t look like His Son. God only visits the humble; He resist the proud. Oh, that He would humble me and open my eyes to see my sin in all my relationships and daily in my future marriage one day.