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02/10/2021-How to strengthen the marriages around you?

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SLS
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02/10/2021-How to strengthen the marriages around you?

Post by SLS »

Over the last few years after getting out of grad school, getting jobs, and settling down we have been able to become a part of a network of married couples. Some are younger, most are our age or older.

There is one particular couple I am thinking of that we have been friends with for a while now. They are currently going through similar challenges that DW and I have faced in the past. We have been trying to be a source of love and encouragement for them. I know DW and I benefited a lot from having solid help from friends and family (hers, not mine unfortunately) during the rougher years and we want to pass that on.

What tips do y'all have about how to strengthen the marriages of those around you? What positive impacts can one married couple have on another's marriage?
Last edited by SeekingChange on Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Made sticky
Happily married to Serafina for over 6.5 years. She is my Venus. ::luv2


END FIRST POST

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newwifenewlife
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Re: 02/10/2021-How to strengthen the marriages around you?

Post by newwifenewlife »

Discipleship modeled by Jesus demonstrates intentionally doing life with people. Meals, activities, studies, etc.

DW & I look at it in similar fashion. We are making intentional choices to do life with some people: meals, activities, game nights, small group studies, conversation about how to navigate life. We have some people we call who have gone before us in blending a family and second marriage route and we have others we're building relationships with that we can encourage.

One of the goals we're working towards at church is having regular events (formal & informal) for couples to connect. We're using our small group as the foundational group to serve the church in this area of ministry. This year our goal is to help host a BLENDED & BLESSED satellite event and to host an VERTICAL MARRIAGE 6 hour event. Then to have some shared meal opportunities for people to connect. Part of the problem I see is that people feel isolated and Covid hasn't helped that so when a couple is at odds, they feel alone, even like they're the only ones who struggle with "this issue". While it can be unique, the struggle isn't new to couples or families so if we can build relationships between people, maybe people will feel comfortable to reach out and ask for insight or help to navigate their situation.

To answer your last question specifically, share the message, "You're not alone!"
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SeekingChange
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Re: 02/10/2021-How to strengthen the marriages around you?

Post by SeekingChange »

Be an example. People have to see something they want in you, before they will want what you have to share/give.

A huge influence on me was this lady at my Bible study, who became a friend, who radiated her love for her husband and even for sex. I saw the difference in her, and her relationship, and it made me want something different. Not a different husband, but to make changes to create a different marriage....and so we did tear down the old and built a new marriage 17+ years in.


Be intentional. Though it is great just to befriend someone, to take things deeper, where a bigger impact can happen, often takes intentionality of being vulnerable.

How open somene goes, will often depend on how open the perceived leader will go. That takes being real, not hiding your struggles or fears so that you can appear "more ideal".

Be genuinely interested. Don't look at others as a grand project of "making marriages better", but be genuinely interested on who they are and in their life.

Everyone has a desire to be known.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years... and then she did something new.
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Re: 02/10/2021-How to strengthen the marriages around you?

Post by Oldbear »

SeekingChange wrote: Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:52 am Be an example. People have to see something they want in you, before they will want what you have to share/give.

The Oldbears’ thoughts:
Our parents modeled God-honoring marriage. Perfect? No! Covenantal? Yes! They were married till death bid them part, over 100 years combined. Loving? Yes!

Be intentional. Though it is great just to befriend someone, to take things deeper, where a bigger impact can happen, often takes intentionality of being vulnerable.

The Oldbears’ thoughts:
Our priority is our children. For example, I commuted (weekly) for 4 1/2 years of our marriage. Every week, upon returning home, I brought a fresh single rose to Mrs. Youngbear. That rose sat in a vase all week long as a symbol of our love and my presence in our family. Our three grown children cherish that intentional act of love for mom.

Be genuinely interested. Don't look at others as a grand project of "making marriages better", but be genuinely interested on who they are and in their life.

The Oldbears’ thoughts:
We are quite often asked for advice. We are all in when that happens. We listen, understand, appreciate, and humbly offer suggestions and advice. This is particularly true for our children and their marriages and family.
Thanks, SC, for your three phrase theme - excellent! Here’s our comments for each theme.
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newwifenewlife
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Re: 02/10/2021-How to strengthen the marriages around you?

Post by newwifenewlife »

SeekingChange wrote: Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:52 am Be an example. People have to see something they want in you, before they will want what you have to share/give.

Be intentional.

Be genuinely interested.


Coupling with what SC said, be available. . We have to be available. We can either be so busy that people don't want to be a bother or we can have space in doing life that we have space to see and seize the opportunities by being intentional and attractional (example) in nature.
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Re: 02/10/2021-How to strengthen the marriages around you?

Post by SeekingChange »

newwifenewlife wrote: Wed Feb 10, 2021 7:48 am Coupling with what SC said, be available.
That's a really good one!
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years... and then she did something new.
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Re: 02/10/2021-How to strengthen the marriages around you?

Post by Irnmyk »

Sometimes you can be proactive.

A couple in our church married well into their '30's. DW and I married as older adults, but not quite that late. DW and I are both in the same "birth order" place of large families - a place that makes getting along together difficult at best (we both say). Suffice it to say that we were pretty well set in our own ways when we married.

The couple in question came to our home one evening on some other type of benign mission - it was just to pick something up, not even a social call/visit since we weren't in the same peer groups.

As they were about to leave, in the presence of DW, I said "hold it for a minute - let me describe you guys to you".

Then, using us as the subject material, I related - with much help and input from DW - "our story", and what we had had to do to work through it.

They were stunned. The statement that they kept repeating was that they thought that they were the only ones that were experiencing that. By that time, we had a stable marriage, a house full of really good kids and they knew us well in that realm, so they could see a result.

We've seen them randomly over the years, (this being about 30 years ago with relocations on both of our parts), and they still remind us that we saved their marriage. They confessed to us that night that they were at the point of considering terminating it.

None of that would have happened if we had waited for them to ask for help. They probably never would have. It took seeing and acting on what I/we perceived/felt to intervene in their lives.

Now, so that I don't break my arm patting myself on the back, I believe in the Holy Spirit's role in our lives, and as far as I am concerned, I just went where the Spirit led me and used the words that HE/IT gave me on that occasion. On my own, I'm probably not capable of pulling something like that off. It's just a joy to know that you are known by God and used by His Spirit when needed.

Listen for the call.....
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Re: 02/10/2021-How to strengthen the marriages around you?

Post by Brynna »

I would not be comfortable enough yet to sit down with a couple as couple to couple. I am very comfortable discussing sex and marriage, but I still have too many hangups to do so face to face with a couple. I find I am slowly starting to veer conversations that way with my friends. I had an interesting conversation recently with our pastor's wife. So for me, it is not even so much about reaching out, as being available. Someone told me that they only ever saw the highest regard DH had for me. I think that does a lot. And if people know that we are open and not afraid to say how we feel. Or if some wife brings up sex, it's almsot as easy to talk about as cooking is. Another lady told me how she admired my principles. Lol I didn't ask her which principles, but I sure hope people can tell by looking at us, if nothing else, that we are happily married.
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Re: 02/10/2021-How to strengthen the marriages around you?

Post by 4strongmarriage »

I like to go out with other couples. We share ideas and issues. We used to help out with marriage preparation but life got too busy and then the church wanted younger couples. I also like to pray for others.
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Re: 02/10/2021-How to strengthen the marriages around you?

Post by LuckyInLove »

On the practical side, offer to babysit so that a couple with kids can have some alone time to reconnect. Such a boost!
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