Category Archives: Love

Relationship Priorities (Part I): They Go Beyond Your Happiness

priorities

Being aware of your emotional state and choosing your behaviors is one method to restore some peace in the relationship. Some of the other methods include the following.

 Don’t make happiness (a feeling) the ultimate goal in your marriage.

It sounds contrary to what you hear; everyone says, “I just want to be happy in my marriage.” Your desire should be to seek that deeper contentment known as joy. Emotionally we can be like a rollercoaster depending on what the day might bring. Happiness tends not to be consistent whereas the deeper sense of contentment or satisfaction (joy) remains constant regardless of what’s going on around us. True contentment is based on selflessness with a distinct priority system made up of three elements.

1. Model Christ in your life and in your relationships. The example Jesus sets in Scripture is the one we should follow while interacting with others. Christ’s example is demonstrated in the following passage:

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…  -Philippians 2:1-5

Has the goal of “happiness” been an issue in your relationship(s)? How realistic is it to expect others to make you happy? How effective are YOU at making others happy? Do your relationships experience much emotional turmoil?

Modeling Jesus in our lives transcends personal happiness. When we strive to emulate him it produces in us a sense of inner contentment that those around us will only benefit from.

In my next post I will reveal the second priority in creating stability in our relationships and in our lives.

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Behavior, Emotions, Love, Priorities, Role Modeling, Selfishness

What’s Real About Romance?

masks

The idea of romantic love has been expressed in an infinite number of venues. When speaking of romantic love I am not talking about being romantic in your relationship; these are two different things. Let’s differentiate. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a great literary example of two star-crossed lovers whose family feuding prevents them from being together, leading to their ultimate ends. This is wonderfully romantic stuff. The movies are obsessed with the idea of romantic love and that our love for one another will conquer any adversity.

During dating and courtship, it is hard to find any flaws in the “most beautiful person on the face of this planet.” Well, we tend to ignore the flaws. It’s the whole “rose-colored glasses” syndrome. Romantic love certainly has a place in the development of relationships. One of the problems with romantic love is that it tends not to be very realistic. Romantic love typically does not allow for imperfections. This is not to say that people in romantic love are perfect, it’s just that many times neither party is willing to assess or address imperfections in the other person. We allow the relationship to run the course, believing (unrealistically) that things will get better in time. They don’t get better, and they often get much worse as your mate becomes more comfortable with you. However, since you never addressed the issue to begin with, they are baffled by your frustration with the behavior now. After all, they have been consistent.

In your opinion, what do you think is a key element in reducing surprises based on denying flaws? What reasons might you give for not opening the door to communication in dealing with some of the “red flags” in your relationship? What fears do you think drive the response to the previous question?

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted

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Filed under Behavior, Emotions, Expectations, Love

Marriage Defined – Part II

affection-age

Marriage is an opportunity to learn how to love another. For many, this is no small task. Depending on our background and upbringing, we may not have had love demonstrated to us. This can make it very difficult when we try to show someone the love that we never received. It becomes important to understand and accept that God loves us unconditionally. There is nothing we can do to earn it. God’s love is a free gift, no strings attached.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Can you possibly imagine sacrificing your child for the good of another? This wonderfully summarizes how much God has done for us and how much he truly loves his creation. Love is a fundamental element in growing and nurturing our relationships.

If affection is a sore spot for you because of past sexual trauma, I want to encourage you to take the steps necessary to get the healing you deserve. There are many great Christian counselors in your area who want to help you bring your BEST self into your relationship. To obtain information or seek a counselor in your area go to the AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors) website @  http://www.aacc.net

How are you at demonstrations of affection? How was affection show in the family in which you were raised? Do you think that displays of affection, not simply sex, are important to your mate? Talk to your spouse and assess how you are meeting each other’s love needs. Odds are you will find areas in which you can be more attentive.

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted

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Filed under Love, Marriage Defined, Sexual Abuse

There Should Be Freedom In Love

freedom in love 2

Sometimes we have behaved a certain way for so long that we are not even aware we are doing it. Even if we can’t see it, God can. Some common impediments to a fulfilling relationship may have developed over time, a byproduct of years of pain. These assumptions may also be a result of beliefs and lies about yourself, or marriage in general, stemming from your family of origin when growing up. They may involve control issues, where our own insecurity forces us to hold on tight to our mate, often to the point of strangling the love out of our relationship.

Remember, there should be freedom in love. The misconception that love should just happen (“If they loved me the behaviors would be effortless”) is simply that: a misconception. Another is the old mindreading game of “If they really loved me they should know.” Or how about “My spouse and I should be doing everything together. Our love should be enough. Why do we need others?” What about friends? What about God? Another common belief that trips us up is “If my mate doesn’t tell me they love me on a continual basis, they must not.” The real question is why do you need so much affirmation? Just something to consider. These are some examples of the thinking that goes into undermining marital relationships.

Do any of these misconceptions strike a chord with you? Can you identify the root of these misconceptions in your own life? How have they affected your relationships past/present? What steps might you take to reshape these faulty beliefs?

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

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Filed under Love, Misconceptions, Self-Talk

What Is Love?!

Love

The entire concept of love has been so twisted and warped by our society that many don’t know the difference between love and lust.  Merriam-Webster defines lust as “intense or unbridled sexual desire: lasciviousness.” Further defining lasciviousness we read “lewd, lustful.” The synonyms include bawdy, coarse, crude, filthy, indecent, and obscene to list a few. The antonyms include clean, decent, and wholesome. The same source definition of love states, “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties, attraction based on sexual desire: affection and tenderness.” Synonyms include “attachment, devotion, admiration, fondness and passion.”  Antonyms listed are “hate, hatred, and loathing.”

Love has become a “no strings attached proposition,” all about the momentary physical pleasure with little or no regard for the other(s) involved in the sex act. There is a distinct difference between “making love” and “having sex.” The difference involves what motivates those involved. The act of making love in a committed relationship involves respect, selflessness, and communication. For those who are unaware, I would encourage you and your spouse to sit down together and read through Song of Songs. You will discover one of the most beautiful stories of love and affirmation in all of Scripture. This book unfolds the story of a bride and her bridegroom exploring their love for one another and their love for God. Of course these are not the only scriptures that offer guidance as to the design for marriage, but they will certainly give a solid foundation to start.

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted

 

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Filed under Love, Sexuality