The study of values is called Axiology. We discovered this description of what Robert does every day in a text book our daughter was studying. (It was satisfying to have a word to describe his passion!)
What do values have to do with marriage?
What do values have to do with anything in life?
We hear and read quite a bit about values as they pertain to business – or businesses which have gone down a path of moral and ethical misbehavior. We also hear and read about so called “family” values. (Read more about that myth here.)
Values simply define
what is desirable
what is worth doing
what is worth supporting
what is worth arguing for
what is worth striving for
Values are a set of standards.
Robert and I were talking about the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22), and how they are all words which can be described as values, defining what is desirable, worth doing, supporting, arguing and striving for…
What about in your marriage? Which values would you consider important?
Which values would you consider desirable – worth striving for – doing and supporting?
I’m sure there are other values you could list, if you wanted to spend time thinking about them…
What about sincerity?
To be sincere. Does that sound old-fashioned? How could the value of sincerity be worth something in your marriage? (tweet this)
Consider the value of Sincerity:
open and genuine; not deceitful; earnestness.
Being open with your spouse.
Refusing to be deceitful – either in action or inaction.
An earnest heart – with intense conviction.
Where could you put the value of sincerity to work in your marriage?
First – sincerity needs to start with you.
You could be open, genuine, without deceit and convicting with yourself. (That can be a hard thing to do, we know.)
Here are some questions to ask yourself – on the way to adding sincerity to your marriage:
If you scored the strength of your marriage on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being low, 10 being high), how would it score? What would need to change to increase that number by +1?
What about you (yes, you!) do you think is most attractive to your spouse? What has he or she appreciated about you/complemented you on in the past? What’s holding you back from letting that shine more often?
Imagine the best scenario of what your marriage could look like in 3-years. Have you shared this vision with your spouse?
What are some ways you can encourage your spouse (and enhance your relationship) that truly comes from your heart?
How can the value of sincerity – being open and genuine – help improve your marriage?
This is a 3-block set I have on my fireplace mantle. I keep turning the blocks (there’s different words/scripture on each of the 4 sides) as the mood strikes me! It’s from…
Mary and Martha
Last year I found a company called Mary & Martha (then it was known as Blessings Unlimited) with products filled with words of encouragement. To add to our income, I thought I’d become a distributor… One of the items I fell in love with is the vintage block set. (I like versatile options.)
This 3-block set comes with lots of interchangeable options to display words of encouragement
– for you and those your love!
best yet… it’s available right now at a special price until January 31st!
If you’re interested in adding these encouraging words to your space:
click HERE (http://mymaryandmartha.com/LoriFerguson)
and when you reach that page, click on the “shop” box
Once you’ve clicked the “shop” button, you’ll see this page – enter 83728 into the search box
and then you’ll see the description for the vintage block set!
Grab them while they’re on sale!
I was excited to see the lowered price on these vintage block sets – I needed to share with you!
Do you have favorite ways to display words of encouragement?
Did you know there are over 100 synonyms for the word “Encourage“?
When I first became interested in how spouses encourage each other, I decided to do a search for all the words related to encouragement.
One of the synonyms of encourage is INVITE.
To ask in a friendly way – politely – to make a request – to welcome – to tempt.
When we first met our spouse, we may have accepted an invitation for a date, or a group gathering. Do you remember your first date with your spouse? Were there flutters – tingles – zings of attraction?
I imagine there wasn’t a feeling of obligation or duty when you first went out with your spouse… I can guess that you went on this first date with an open expectation for fun, even if it was suggested by parents or friends.
What do you feel when you receive an invitation from your spouse today?
An invitation could be simply to spend time together talking, or it could be arranging time to plan for your future, or it could be the opportunity to share some intimacy.
Is there hesitation to accept an invitation?
Are you even noticing when you’re being invited?
If an invitation is given and refused – many times – the one who is inviting may hesitate. Have you noticed your spouse is no longer giving invitations? Perhaps there’s been too many refusals… It hurts to be turned down.
It takes courage to invite, to make a request, to welcome an advance, and to tempt…
How does it feel when you invite – make an invitation?
Perhaps it’s your invitations that are being ignored. Remember, there’s no obligation to accept an invitation – there is always a chance we’ll be turned down – or away – or refused, discouraged, postponed and avoided.
How many chances do you give your spouse to accept your welcoming, friendly request – that temptation you’re providing? One chance? Two opportunities? Ten – or more?
One thing to remember…
We’ve all been given an invitation from the Bridegroom of our soul – Jesus. How many invitations from Him did it take for us to respond? And perhaps we’ve slipped and continued to ignore His call many times. Yet He still keeps giving an invitation. It’s an open invitation – to all. Always.
Should we do any less than what has been provided for us by Christ?
Being given an invitation is an honor – never lose sight of this fact. Accepting an invitation provides joy to the giver – don’t forget that feeling – and there’s always a benefit for the one who accepts the invitation.
Is it time to reach out and welcome with a friendly request – or accept an invitation? Give it some thought.
Let’s open our hearts – to provide & accept a few more invitations.
Welcome your spouse – tempt your spouse.
Make a request for your husband or wife’s time and attention – be tempting…
Have courage. Encourage your spouse with an invitation.
What can you INVITE your spouse to do with you today?
but let me quickly explain our current family dynamics.
We have three adult children living in our home for the last few months – our daughter who lives in the self-contained basement apartment because she’s gone back to school, and our son with his wife who are in the guest bedroom while they wait for their new house to finish the l-o-n-g process to close on a purchase.
This makes 5 adults living in one smallish house.
Fortunately, we like each other. And it’s only for a finite amount of time. And everyone is quite busy so we don’t really see a lot of each other.
It’s been a delight for Robert and me to see our son and his wife interact. They’ve been married two years, and we are thrilled to see their consistent positive and affirming behavior toward each other. (Face it – It’s gotta be stressful living with your in-laws!)
Anyway. Back to my point.
Alex and Alisane came home after I’d spent the day writing out 101 phrases to encourage your spouse. And, being the dutifully attentive kids that they are, they looked at what I wrote and began reading the phrases. Out loud.
All of a sudden these phrases came to life. There were smiles and giggles and laughter.
The next day they went to the studio and filmed. (the videos are at the end of this post – along with the blooper reel)
A curious thing has happened in our house…
Now we’re using these phrases all the time – sometimes a few phrases in tandem. When we realize what we’re doing there’s laughter. (Yes. I admit it – some of the phrases sound goofy – but that doesn’t stop the smiles…)
And… Alisane reported a curious effect following the taping. She said,
“Even though we were saying these words – reading them from the teleprompter – they gave me a warm feeling afterward. It felt so positive and it made me so happy to hear Alex saying those words. Even though I knew he was just reading them. It was weird.”
“Successful intimate relationships have a balance between positive and negative feelings and actions between partners. According to relationship researcher John Gottman, the magic ratio is 5 to 1.
What does this mean? This means that for every one negative feeling or interaction between partners, there must be five positive feelings or interactions. Stable and happy couples share more positive feelings and actions than negative ones.”
So this means that Alex and Alisane spent over an hour just saying positive things to each other – and laughing. (Sometimes laughing hysterically at the wording. Yes. I acknowledge some of the phrases are corny. Again, you’ve gotta spend some time looking at the out-takes!)
When you watch the out-takes, pay attention to their tone with each other on some of the phrases. It’s completely possible to turn the phrase into a negative experience… (ei – “I won’t do that again.”)