The following is direct from a trusted resource called Hitting Home with Dr. Raymond Force. He is a pastor, speaker, counselor, and coach who is passionate about helping people enjoy healthy relationships. I found the following to “hit home” with me because I’m an avid learner with special interest in personal development and human behavior. I agree very much with what he shares about his own experience, and am convicted to do a better job at sharing what I learn with my spouse as part of my leadership responsibility at home. I trust you will find encouragement from Dr. Force’s message as I have.
Consumers Consume Themselves – Dr. Force
Lately, I have been analyzing my own marriage. I have been looking at key components that have enabled us to connect at a very high level for the last 26 years.
One of those components involves a spirit of learning that has been present at almost every stage of our marriage.
The scriptures tell us “with all thy getting get understanding”. (Proverbs 4:7) In short, we are to be a people that covet and yearn after knowledge more than anything else in life.
By God’s grace, I believe my wife and I have been learners rather than feelers in life. This is important because when spouses are just feeling their way through life, they only tend to change once the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.
There have been many couples that I have coached and counseled that are feelers instead of learners. One of my main goals with these couples has been to encourage a spirit of learning in their homes.
Some of these very same couples, however, proved to be slow at moving from a feelings-dominated approach to a principled-driven approach to living. Consequently, I was often left with one option with these couples: Provide listening support and wait for the pain of staying the same to become greater than the pain of change once their unlearned ways bore the fruit of bad feeling and disunity. Once this occurred, they would often change, but only after their poor choices would evoke difficult feelings in their lives.
Afterwards, these very same spouses would often admit that they should have listened to our original advice. However, since they were feelers instead of learners, the blueness of the wound was often required to cleanse away evil.
Trial and error may work, but it is often time consuming, unnecessary, and heart-wrenching.
My Wife and I
My wife and I read, listen, and watch people all the time. We try to be aware of 10 things happening around us at all times.
Upon seeing each other, we will often start a conversation by stating something that we read or noticed about other people or ourselves that day. Quite simply, we can often be found hashing out wisdom with one another, and this has proved to provide a number of pleasant unintended consequences for us:
1. It raises our marriage to a level outside of ourselves.
You will never be a part of something great unless you operate outside of yourself. We are mortals created to operate in an immortal atmosphere. If all you do is follow your flesh and the passions thereof, you will never quite function at optimum capacity.
2. It takes the focus off of our mistakes.
I say it all the time. If my wife and I wanted to, we could bring plenty of case files to our little emotional skirmishes that we have from time to time. However, setting our minds and conversations on things above (Colossians 3) has a way of making even our mistakes toward one another seem a little smaller.
3. It provides an incredible point of connection.
I feel so sorry for couples that are not learners. Without a spirit of learning in a marriage, couples are left to trying to find unity in merely mutual hobbies, exciting forms of entertainment, or fun activities. Though I am not against any of the previously mentioned bonding points, there must be something more than these in order for couples to connect at a deeper level.
A Charge to Men
I am a firm believer than most men need to shut the door on the man cave and go back to the study. Read, talk about what you are learning, and promote teachable moments in your home.
A family that only consumes will eventually consume itself.
Promote a spirit of learning in your home and you will be surprised at all the areas that are positively affected.
The word amuse literally means not to think. Though I am okay with vegging from time to time, I find that thinking in my free time yields incredible results, especially in marriage.
If you want to feel good about one another, start thinking a little more. It’s commanded. It’s needful. It’s more than beneficial.
– Dr. Force