Lebanon Reporter

Columns

January 31, 2014

Use love to heal a marriage

In February, Susie and I will remember a young couple we knew 48 years ago. They were saying their wedding vows before two ministr-ies. This young couple was Susie and me.

Today we have two children and seven grandchildren, and a great-grandchild is due in March. Our two oldest grandsons are in the army.

After my mom died, I told my brother, “We are the family patriarchs. It is our responsibility to be healthy role models for our children.”I wish every couple could be as happily married as Susie and me. We are more in love today than 48 years ago. Truly, Susie and I are best friends. However, having spent five decades in the ministry, I realize this is not true for every couple. I have counseled far too many couples in hurtful, broken and cold relationships. Some couples should carry a sign saying, “Blizzard conditions with strong wind alerts.”It is one thing to dig out of several feet of snow. But, to defrost a frozen relationship is far more difficult.

Love has the power to heal any relationship. The letter “L” stands for listening. Pride makes a person feel that “I don’t have to listen to you. I’m always right.” This attitude is like a chunk of ice in the road. Truly listening to your mate is a powerful healing force. Listening is not calculating your rebuttal. Listening is really attempting to understand your mate’s position. Healthy communication involves more than talking. Healthy communication involves listening and talking. I often encourage a couple to go on a date where the only purpose is to communicate with each other. There is only one rule: no one can interrupt the other person.

Some have terrible listening skills. We learned this from our parents. We must reevaluate our listening skills. Most people think they have great listening skills and it is the other person with poor skills.

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