Connection Impact

7 Principles of a healthy marriage

“People who have great relationships, are willing to put in the work, they are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to build and sustain a relationship, and they are willing to give up ‘I’ for ‘We’. “                                                      Dr. LaWanda N. Evans When you’re in a relationship that has lasted for years, it’s easy to take one another for granted. After all, you most likely know everything there is to know about one another. This can easily lead to a mediocre relationship where you simply co-exist, without truly being connected. So, what can you do to transform your relationship from merely existing to one that is meaningful, exciting, and passionate? How can you get your relationship back to a level where you naturally smile every time you think of each other? I want to point out seven things that I think are important for a relationship to fall into the “great” category. This is by no means an all-inclusive list – there are many more guidelines for building and maintaining a meaningful relationship. Nevertheless, for me, these seven principles are critical. Also, keep in mind that this list focuses on things you can do as a couple as you navigate everyday life – it does not intend to address the spiritual aspects of your relationship. However, this doesn’t mean that the spiritual is less important; on the contrary, it is crucial that your relationship is built on spiritual principles, like praying together, and seeking guidance from the Lord as a couple. However, today, we’re focusing on the practicalities of your day-to-day interactions. 1. Listen to one another All of us have our reality, which is based on our personality, upbringing, experiences, and many more factors. When both of you give the other space and time to live their reality, you both feel more valued and that your reality matters to your partner. You do this by truly listening to each other. This means you silence your reality when your partner speaks – you have to tell your subconsciousness that you don’t want to be reminded of all the things you want to say back at your partner. It’s a conscious choice to focus only on your partner’s reality. It doesn’t mean you ignore your feelings. When the time comes, and it is your turn to speak, you can ask questions and make comments, because then your reality is at play. You won’t be able to listen to one another if you both think your reality is more important. Acknowledge that both your realities are important and treat them as such, then the listening will follow. 2. Trust and support each other. Trust means that you can share your deepest thoughts, fears, and concerns with your partner, knowing it’s a safe space. Ultimately you’re entrusting one another with your hearts – the most significant kind of trust of all – since a person’s heart is at the centre of who they are. By entrusting someone with your heart, you’re saying that you know they will look out for you and take care of you; they will be your safe haven in a world that is inherently self-centered. When you do this, you start to know each other deeply and intimately. As a result, you’ll be in a much better position to support each other in achieving your dreams and goals, as a couple and as individuals. 3. Treat each other with respect. Respect means you see, acknowledge, and accept your partner for who they are and give them the necessary space to be that person. In addition, you cheer them on to grow, and achieve their full potential to accomplish what they should. In other words, you don’t try to change them or belittle them or their dreams; you celebrate and support their uniqueness. By respecting your partner, you’re indirectly telling them that they’re valuable to you and that you want to protect them and who God made them to be.  4. Set boundaries. This hinges on the previous point. Boundaries are there to protect. This includes boundaries within your relationship, for example, saying that you’ll never raise your voices at one another when there is conflict. You must also have boundaries that protect your relationship from external influences. These boundaries keep other people and what they say and do out of the sacredness of your marriage relationship. When there are no boundaries in a relationship, it can cause havoc.   5. Apologise – and mean it. For many of us, apologies do not come easy. But this doesn’t give you the right to hold back an apology simply because you want to be right. When you’re in the wrong and you know that you’ve acted in a way that’s not supportive of your relationship, you must apologise and rectify your actions as necessary. But don’t do it begrudgingly – an apology has to be genuine. If you give an apology only to keep the peace or even to manipulate,  and nothing about your behaviour or actions change, it doesn’t mean anything.  6. Maintain balance. Life is busy. It’s a symptom of the time we live in. In juggling all the many demands, many couples fall into the trap of saying that, when there is enough time, energy, and money, then they will do something as a couple. The problem is that these three prerequisites seldom all line up at the same time. As a result, your life gets out of balance, and you both end up spending a lot more time and energy on other things – work, the kids, getting exercise – than on your relationship. In other words, your marriage drops to the bottom of your priority list. To achieve balance, you must establish what you must let go and what you need to take up, to invest in and grow your relationship.  Balance means your relationship will get the priority attention

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Easter and Marriage

“Easter is a beautiful reminder that no matter what seems dead (your marriage, your dreams or even your faith) God can give it new life!”                        Davewillis.org Following Jesus is not about obeying a set of rules – it’s about being in a committed, personal relationship with Him. In Jesus, we have the ultimate example of what our earthly relationships should be like. That is why it’s so important that Jesus is the foundation of your marriage. If He isn’t at the centre you can follow the best advice and use the greatest relationship tools that are available, but you will still struggle. What’s more, in the Bible Jesus is presented as the bridegroom, with all believers (i.e. the church) being the bride. If you believe and confess that He is your Lord and Saviour, then you are part of His bride.  In God’s abundant grace, He therefore gives us the ability to experience and ‘practise’ marriage in this life before stepping into a marriage with Him.  It’s almost like doing a dress rehearsal in order to be prepared for the marriage with the Lamb. Having a Godly marriage where Jesus is at the centre requires living by the principles He demonstrated as the bridegroom during His time on earth. Easter provides an excellent example of these principles. 1. Love unconditionally  On the cross, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for people who didn’t even know or love Him yet! In other words, He loved a bride who didn’t love Him; He loved us first. In the same way, He is asking you to love your spouse regardless. Your love should not be dependent on whether and how much he or she hurts, disappoints or frustrates you. You should love your spouse despite of,  not because of.  2. Have a servant heart As the Son of God and our Saviour, Jesus deserved to be served. Yet, He chose to serve others instead. No sacrifice was too great – not even His own life, which He willingly laid down for His bride. Having a servant heart in marriage means always putting your spouse’s needs and desires above your own. This doesn’t mean that you become a mere slave. The beauty of Jesus’s example is that, once we accept Him as our Saviour and get to know Him, we naturally start serving Him and putting Him first. In the same way, when both partners in a marriage relationship prioritise serving one another, you will both be fulfilled and loved.  3. Let God lead you Jesus illustrated His love for us the way God wanted Him to love us – not the way that He wanted to. Before He went to the cross, He begged His Father to let the cup of suffering pass Him by, if possible. However, God’s plan and purpose required Jesus to die and rise again. So, Jesus obeyed. In fact,  Jesus didn’t do anything without guidance from the Father. His complete dependence and obedience to God is a blueprint for how to conduct yourself in your marriage. Insisting on doing and seeing things your way can stand in the way of what God has planned for your marriage. Start every day by asking the Father to lead you in how you speak and interact with your partner. And then do what He tells you, even if it means that you would be drawing the short straw.  4. Never give up  Jesus kept His eyes on the end goal and didn’t give up. Even though the goal meant immense suffering and eventually death, He persevered. Despite what He was going through He focused on restoring the beauty and holiness of the bride, giving everything to reunite the bride with God. Accomplishing what you want both in and through your marriage will often come at a great price and involve many sacrifices. Be willing to pay that cost, no matter what. If you choose to live your marriage according to the principles Jesus demonstrated during Easter, your relationship will start radiating His glory and perfect love, drawing and directing others to the marriage between the Lamb and His bride.  Questions to think and talk about: 1. Is your marriage a reflection of the marriage between the Lamb and His bride? What are the reasons for your answer? 2. Which of the four principles mentioned should you be more intentional about? How can you go about this?  3. What other principles demonstrated by Easter do you think can serve as an example for your marriage? Author Kobus Pauw https://walkingthetext.com/good-friday-the-triumph/https://youtu.be/swO5s6adraI?si=TzhblOvANUKL9DHu

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Let God be God

“God is working on your problem. Stay calm. Stay sweet. Stay out of fear and keep on keeping on.”                                                                                                                 Joyce Meyer More often than not, we view and experience life from our frame of reference. Unknowingly, we allow our circumstances to predict the outcome, and we simply adjust accordingly so that we can absorb – as best we can – whatever curveballs life throws at us. The reality is that we feel inadequate to deal with the situation we’re facing,  whatever it relates to (e.g. marriage, family relationships, finances), and however big or small the obstacle may be. We become acutely aware of the fact that we don’t have the knowledge or the right capabilities to know and to do what must be done. We realise that we fall short. The result is that we become frustrated and disillusioned, and we start raging a war within us that can go on for a lifetime. Because no matter how hard we try, our abilities will never be able to carry us through. But what if the answer does not lie in our understanding and effort? What if our focus simply needs to shift? What if, instead of trying time and again and hitting the wall of our limitations, we surrender to a power and a Person who is much greater? In physical warfare, surrendering usually indicates losing. However, in the everyday battles of life, surrendering is the first step to victory. Crucially, you need to surrender to the right power. I’m talking about the power of a King like no other, who is so mighty that everything in the universe will bow the knee before Him: the one and only God. When you place your trust and hope for the future in Him as an individual and as a couple – the author of all that was, is, and will be – everything changes. You get a whole new outlook on life. You see the daily struggles and challenges from an eternal perspective and, as a result, you react to and experience these challenges in a completely different way. So, how does God see your situation and how does He expect you to see and navigate it? Let’s look at what His Word says. In Joshua 1: 9, the Word of God states: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  How many times a day do you get fearful of all the things that are beyond your control, whether it’s your personal life (e.g. a difficult season in your marriage, at work, or with your kids) or in the world around you (e.g. wars, politics, corruption)? God says that you do not have to be discouraged because He is with you wherever you go and whatever happens. In fact, you must not be discouraged – it’s an instruction. Things may look dismal and difficult on the surface, but you are not alone in the situation. You have the comfort of His presence. You can trust that He will make all things work out for good, even though it may not be in the way or timeframe you expected. He knows what’s best.  In Proverbs 3: 25 – 26, God gives a similar command and an equally comforting promise. He says “We do not have to be afraid of sudden terror and panic, nor the stormy blast or the storm and ruin of the wicked when it comes. For the Lord shall be our confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep our feet from being caught in a trap or some hidden danger.” Always remember that God knows about everything you’re facing. Your circumstances aren’t a surprise to Him; it didn’t catch Him off-guard. He knew the storm was coming, and unlike us, He is not moved by the storm. That is why your focus should be on Him and not yourself. Your strength and confidence to overcome whatever you’re facing must be solely rooted in Him. This is the opposite of what the world teaches us, namely that we must put ourselves first and trust no one else. The Word of God says that He is the only one we can trust and that He knows our weaknesses and the trials we face. Importantly, as Paul points out in the second letter to Corinthians, our weaknesses and shortcomings are good and necessary: “My grace (my favour and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me,”(2 Corinthians 12;9). You don’t need anything but God. All you need is to know Him and allow Him to be part of every single aspect of your life, including both the mundane frustrations and the serious struggles. Give over and surrender to Him. When you do, you allow Him to manifest His power and authority in and through your weaknesses. And any challenges you’re facing will shrink in comparison as they bow the knee to the King of kings. Questions to think and talk about: 1. How do you think the Lord sees you and your spouse today? 2. What part of your life and/or marriage have you not surrendered to Him? 3. What is keeping you from surrendering? 4. Read the following scriptures together. How do they apply to

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Before you get married

“A good marriage is one where each partner secretly suspects they got the better deal.”                                                                     Unknown Committing to sharing every aspect of life with someone else for the rest of your time on Earth is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Therefore, you must carefully consider whom you choose to share and build a life with. However, it’s equally important that you and your partner are aligned on your convictions about and your expectations of marriage. “But we love one another”, you might say. “Isn’t that enough to carry us through?” While love is obviously central to marriage, love alone won’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll have a happy, successful marriage. To ensure your relationship is solid enough to weather every storm and season of life, there are a few things you should consider and discuss before you make your way to the altar. I recently read an article on marriage.com about what couples should ask themselves and one another before getting married. Let’s look at some of the points mentioned in more detail.Do you understand what “unconditional” means? The first question to ask yourself is whether you and your partner understand the consequences of the vows that you’re going to exchange. When it comes to the commitment of marriage, there are no Ts and Cs written into the vows, no cool-down period or cancellation clause. You are promising to stand together, come what may, through the good and the bad. And it’s 100% certain that you’ll be confronted with the bad at some point in your marriage. That’s simply life. Whether it’s something that affects both of you directly (for example, your baby is born with a serious illness) or something that has a greater impact on one of you (for example, an old school friend of one of you passing away), the bad is real and you’ll need to find a way to deal with it effectively. Commitment to each other works through and with the bad. It does not ignore it.Do you communicate effectively? Good communication is crucial to any relationship, including marriage. Effective communication is a two-way street and is made up of many parts. These include not withholding or being dishonest about your true thoughts and feelings, always communicating from a place of respect and love, having the courage to have tough conversations, and active listening, to name only a few. How would you rate your communication with your partner? If you’re unsure, start paying close attention to your conversations and interactions so that you can identify where there is room for improvement or possible red flags.Are you willing to give up your desires and needs? To be married is an ongoing act of selflessness. It means that, for the rest of your life, you commit to serving someone else, putting them first. Do you and your partner understand the implications of selflessness, i.e. allowing your words and actions to be determined by what will make your partner feel happy, secure, and supported? Are you both willing to submit to this? During the tough times, putting your own needs aside can be even harder – yet, it’s often in those times that selflessness is more important than ever. Are you best friends? Things change. Life goes through different phases and seasons. People get older. True friendship will endure through all these things. That’s why friendship should be the foundation of marriage.  If you’re not best friends, your inherent differences will easily become obstacles, making you doubt whether you are compatible. Friendship makes room for your differences and for accepting each other’s uniqueness.Do you accept responsibility for your wholeness? Your partner is not there to complete you and you are not there to complete them. Becoming whole is a life-long process between you and your Creator.  Only He knows what you need to become the person He made you to be. You are responsible for becoming whole, in collaboration with God – not your partner. This does not mean that you should not keep your partner informed of your progress and discoveries. When you do that, they can support you in the process. But the responsibility remains yours. Growing and developing is an essential part of your journey as an individual and as a couple. It’s important to understand that this does not mean you can be selfish. As discussed above, selflessness is vital to a long and happy marriage. Selflessness means you are both focused on what the other one needs and wants, but it doesn’t mean you are responsible for their ultimate happiness and fulfillment. Selflessness is about serving your spouse in love, not trying to fix them. These are only some of the things that you need to consider before stepping into marriage.For more points to reflect on and discuss, I highly recommend reading the full article on marriage.com at https;//www.marriage.com/advice/marriage-preparation/importa…t Questions to think and talk about:1. What are your partner’s expectations of marriage? If you don’t know, what do you think they are based on your relationship?2. Describe what commitment means for you as a couple. In what ways are you growing and developing as a couple?3. What things can you do to make growth a habit?    

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It is holiday-What now?

It is that time of the year again. That time when everything slows down and when people can step away from the hustle and bustle of life. People start focusing more on the space at home and in the family. The concerns and pressure of work are forgotten for a week or two and it feels that you can breathe again. This is a time for reconnection, a space where you can make time for each other and family. The challenge however in most marriages and relationships is that the year has taken its toll, especially when it comes to the time that couples have with each other. This caused disconnection and made couples feel awkward with each other. They do not know what to talk about or what to do together. It could feel that they are in each other’s way. They could even feel that need to get to know each other again. The relationship can be compared to a couple who is in a long-distance relationship and who feels uncomfortable for the first day or two when they see each other physically after a long time apart.  The short times a couple does see each other during the year are just enough to make them aware that they are still in each other’s lives. These time intervals are however not long enough to work at and establish a deep emotional connection. They know they love one another, but they do not say it to each other regularly. They do not spend enough time together to look each other in the eye and make sure that they are connecting emotionally.  The result is emotional distance and disconnection, which are amplified during the holidays. What does a couple need to do to address this uncomfortable feeling in the space of their relationship? Be intentional about your relationship and each other. Choose each other daily and celebrate your relationship every day. See and experience how the space between the two of you starts to become safer until you realize that your heartbeats are in sync again. A few practical tips for reconnection: Enjoy each other’s company and make the most of every moment. Kobus Pauw There will be a Holiday Fun Challenge For Couples on Connection Impact’s Facebook and Instagram. We challenge couples to participate. Take a selfie when you do the activities and send it to  Hanneke at admin@connectionimpact.co.za or 082 752 7297. There will be a Date Night Voucher (only for couples living in the Western Cape) for the couple who share the most photos, showing us how you enjoy each other.  A total of 10 challenges will be sent from 18  December to 12 January. Remember to send your name and contact details with the photos.  Enjoy the Holiday.   Kobus PauwConnection Impact

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THE BENEFITS OF ACTIVE LISTENING

“Active listening in marriage means dedicating your undivided attention to your spouse, not just hearing their words but also grasping their emotions, desires, and concerns. It involves empathy, respect, and genuine interest.” Laure Adley Active listening, as defined above, can have a significant positive impact on your marriage. Here are four ways in which the habit of active listening can benefit your relationship: When you make active listening part of your conversations as a couple, it means that you understand that, whenever you communicate, two different realities are fighting to be heard. In the world that we’re living in, we’re taught that the focus should be on me, myself, and I. For many of us, it therefore doesn’t necessarily come naturally to consider other people’s realities, especially when these are directly opposed to our reality. By creating a space for both of your realities, you are indirectly saying to one another that your different experiences, emotions, and perceptions have value and that you are interested in getting to know and learning more about each other’s worlds. Showing interest in one another’s realities automatically leads to the second benefit of safety. The moment you show interest in one another’s realities and give one another space to express your thoughts and feelings, you create a safe space within which you can communicate. As a result, you’ll become more willing to share, more deeply and intimately than before. You’ll find it easier to be open and honest with one another and you’ll likely find that you no longer sometimes apply a filter when you communicate.  Knowing that you are heard and safe will, in turn, increase the level of trust in your relationship.  You’ll both have peace of mind that you have each other’s best interests at heart. This will encourage you to make yourself more vulnerable because you are assured of your spouse’s love and protection. Whereas your previous insecurities or even dishonesty might have erected walls between you that prevented you from growing in your relationship, you will now be in a better position to achieve your goals as a couple. Having a vision and hope for the future will inject new life into your marriage.  The fourth and last benefit is that by engaging in active listening. you will be more intentional in your conversations. There are several aspects to this. Firstly it means that you’ll carefully choose the time and place for having conversations about important issues, instead of discussing these at random times that may be inconvenient, compromising the quality of your discussion.  Secondly, it means you’ll allow one another to share without interruption. Thirdly, it means you won’t read between the lines and come to conclusions about what your spouse is saying without first checking with them what they mean if you’re unsure.  Fourthly, it means you’ll pay attention to more than your partner’s words – you’ll be sensitive to their body language, tone of voice, and emotions as well.  Like any other habit, active listening takes practice. It may take some time to make it a natural part of your communication as a couple.  However, it’s undoubtedly worth the effort. A whole new world will open up in your marriage, bringing new depth to your relationship. Questions to think and talk about: Kobus PauwConnection Impact

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PRAYING AS A COUPLE

If you haven’t experienced praying as a couple, these suggestions will help you get started. (Excerpt from Praying as a Couple by Janet Thomson) 2. Find a place where you can pray without interruption.  3. Determine a time that fits both  your schedules, and put it on your calendars. 4. If you choose morning, make it a pleasant time over a cup of coffee or tea. 5. If you choose evening, pray before you get into bed, because both of you probably will be exhausted at the end of the day and it will be hard to stay awake. 6. Take turns praying. If one of you is more comfortable than the other praying aloud, have that person start and the other spouse join in or say his or her own prayer. Or do conversational prayer, in which you alternate praying, just like talking to each other. 7. Start with short prayers until you get used to praying together. 8. Write down things you want to remember to pray about. It’s okay to pray with your eyes open so you can look at your notes. 9. Hold hands or embrace while you pray. 10. Remember that prayer is simply talking to God. You don’t have to use big theological terms or sound “spiritual”. Just pour out your heart to the only One who can really help. For the next 7 days, you will receive prayers to pray as a couple. Enjoy praying as a couple. Kobus PauwConnection Impact

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JY IS VIR MY SOOS N “EILAND”…

Eilandkommunikasie Die een ding wat diskonneksie by paartjies bring op ‘n baie gereelde basis, is die feit dat hulle mekaar nie hoor nie. Dit is asof die woorde tussen die twee persone op ‘n wonderbaarlike manier verander en baie keer skoon ander betekenis kry. As paartjies nie weet hoe om hierdie probleem- of laat ek eerder sê -uitdaging aan te spreek nie, dan kan so ‘n paartjie al verder van mekaar af dryf. Hoe gemaak? Die probleem kom baie keer in by die hele konsep van EEN. As ons die dag trou dan is ons bewus daarvan dat ons een raak. Die konsep van een is egter iets wat baie abstrak is en eintlik is dit ‘n uiters bedreigende nommer, want as ek een word met iemand anders, beteken dit dat daar dinge prysgegee moet word. Dit is soos die grappie wat die ou dominee vertel het waar hy gesê het: “Ja, ‘n huwelikspaartjie word een, en dan baklei hulle ‘n leeftyd lank oor watter een van die twee word hulle.” Dit klink na ‘n grappie en ons kan lekker daaroor lag, maar ongelukkig is dit ook die waarheid in baie huishoudings. Harville en Helen Hendricks wat die hele Imago konsep begin het, het egter aangedui dat ons word een, maar ons bly nooit op dieselfde eiland nie. Daar is egter ‘n bruggie wat die twee eilande verbind. So as my maat vir my sê dat hy of sy met my oor iets wil praat, dan stap ek oor die bruggie na sy of haar eiland toe. Dit is egter belangrik om te sê dat my en my maat se eilande heeltemal verskil. Op my eiland staan die palmbome in rye en die kokosneute val in hope. En dit werk vir my. Op my vrou se eiland staan die palmbome waar hulle wil en die kokosneute val waar hulle wil en so nou en dan is daar ook ‘n kokosneut of twee met vlerkies aan. Die uiteinde is dat ons twee eilande 100% verskil. Die gevolg hiervan is dat as my maat my versoek om oor te kom na haar eiland toe, dat ek heeltamal verward voel as ek daar kom. Die plek stres my heeltemal uit. Ek voel ongemaklik daar en wat ek sien maak net geensins vir my sin nie. My “default” is nou om terwyl sy met my praat haar palmbome in rye te begin plant en haar kokosneute in hope te begin stapel. Ek doen dit met die beste intensie in die wêreld, want volgens my is ek besig om haar te help en haar realiteit of eiland ‘n beter plek te maak. Sy ervaar egter niks van dit nie. Haar ervaring is dat ek met ‘n staatsgreep besig is. Sy voel al die volgende: onveilig, dat ek nie luister nie, dat ek nie waarde heg aan wat sy sê nie en op die lange duur, as ek met hierdie manier van optrede teenoor haar aanhou, sal sy ervaar dat sy nie vir my waarde het nie. Ek is dus ‘n bedreiging vir haar en die natuurlike reaksie van enige persoon wat bedreig word is om te verdedig. Dit kan aanval of onttrekking beteken, of in sommige gevalle beide. Die gevolg is egter dat my vrou op haar eiland mure en loopgrawe bou om haarself te beskerm. Ek is ‘n gevaar vir haar, want ek respekteer haar realiteit en eiland glad nie. Daar moet nou net gesê word dat as ek vir my maat oornooi na my eiland, dan gebeur dieselfde aan my kant. Die gevolg hiervan is dus dat paartjies net eenvoudig uit mekaar dryf, die see tussen die eilande word baie onstuimig en hulle voel glad nie meer veilig om oor die brug te stap na mekaar toe nie. Dan sit ‘n mens met ‘n situasie waar twee mense uiters alleen kan wees in ‘n huwelik. Daar moet ‘n manier wees hoe hierdie eilande tot ‘n paartjie se voordeel kan werk. Die eerste is om die ou Grieke se standpunt te verstaan in vergelyking met die Jode sin. Die ou Grieke het gesê: “To have knowledge is to have power”, met ander woorde as ek iets van jou weet of iets nuuts van jou uitvind, dan kan ek dit teen jou gebruik of jou manipuleer tot my eie voordeel. Die Jode het egter gesê: “To have knowledge is to stand in awe”. Wees dus net in verwondering van die nuwe wat jy uitvind of leer. Die geheim is dus om jou eie eiland en verstaan van die lewe op jou eie eiland te los as jou maat jou oornooi na syne of hare toe. As jy daar kom moet jy net in verwondering wees oor hoe anders die plek is. As ons in verwondering oor dinge is sal ons ook vrae vrae oor hoe dinge werk. Die belangrike is dat dit nie in hierdie porses gaan oor om saam te stem nie, maar om jou maat se realiteit of eiland beter te kan verstaan. Dus vra jy vrae oor wat jou maat aan jou kommunikeer, maak seker dat jy nie jou eie opinie en opmerkings saam met jou neem nie. Moet nie tussen die lyne begin lees nie. Maak seker dat jy jou maat reg hoor deur te vra: “Hoor ek jou reg, is dit wat jy vir my sê?” Dan ook: “Vertel my meer van wat jy sê.” Die belangrike is dat as jy op jou maat se eiland is, dan is dit wat daar aangaan aan die orde van die dag en stuur dit die gesprek. Soos wat jou maat dinge sê of dinge kwytraak wat jy nie verstaan nie, vra jy hom of haar om dit beter aan jou te verduidelik, sodat jy beter kan verstaan, nie om dit later teen jou maat te gebruik nie. As hierdie proses gevolg word, sal huweliksmaats voel dat hulle eie werklikheid en realiteit waarde toevoeg tot die verhouding. Maats sal ook bereid wees om die onderwerpe wat bespreek word baie dieper uit te

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DIE HUWELIKS PAD EN DIE AANWYSERS NA N GELUKKIGE EINDE

Die huwelik moet ‘n pad aanwys. In ons bediening met huwelike het ons besef dat die Here ander huwelike gebruik om mense na Hom toe te trek. Daarom is dit ook vir ons belangrik om te sê dat ‘n huwelik ‘n voorbeeld kan en moet wees vir ander. Hoekom dan spesifiek die Huwelik? Die rede hoekom die Vader huwelike op aarde gegee het, is omdat dit ‘n spesifieke rigting vir ons moet aandui. Huwelike moet die pad aanwys na die huwelik wat gaan plaasvind as die Ruiter op die wit perd Sy verskyning maak op die wolke. Ons moet besef dat Jesus terugkom vir ‘n rein en vlekkelose Bruid. Hy kom om ‘n huwelik met ons te begin.Die wêreld wil mense egter oortuig dat die instelling van die huwelik oud-modies enonnodig is. Dit is die strategie van die Bose om mense so ver te kry om nie meer te glo in die Bruilof wat gaan kom aan die einde van tyd nie. Satan wil hê dat die waarheid en die egtheid van die Hemelse Bruilofsfees herskryf moet word as ‘n sprokie wat langs Rooikappie en die Wolf verskyn in die sprokiesboeke wat ons vir ons kinders lees. Ons huwelike moet egter die toonbeeld, die voorbeeld bly, wat mense se geloof in daardie Bruilof hou. Die manier hoe dit gaan gebeur is as ons ons huwelike gaan lei en lewe op so ‘n manier dat mense daardeur aangeraak sal wees en hulle huwelike op dieselfde manier sal wil uitleef. Besef vandag dat ons huwelike ‘n getuienis moet wees van dit wat kom. Dit is baie keer die enigste Bybel wat mense lees. Ons moet ons huwelike so leef dat Vader deur die Heilige Gees dit kan gebruik om mense na Hom toe te trek en dat Sy Koninkryk deur ons huweliksverhoudings gebou sal word. Wees bewus daarvan dat Vader ook vir ons as paartjies die geleentheid gee om hierdie huweliksverbond te gebruik as kleedrepetisie vir die groot en finale huwelik wat kom aan die einde van tyd. Dit is hoe genadig die Here is. Hy gee ons nou al ‘n voorsmakie van wat ons eendag gaan beleef en ervaar as die bruid van die Bruidegom van alle tye. Die vraag wat nou egter ontstaan is hoe kry ons dit reg? Die sigbare en konkrete om ons is vir ons soms meer werklik as die onsigbare, geestelike wêreld. Ons moet dus waak om ons fokus nie op die tydelike en sigbare te vestig nie. Die beste voorbeeld om hier na te volg is om te kyk na ons Hemelse Bruidegom. Daar is ‘n paar punte van Sy lewe wat ons graag sal wil uitlig. Die eerste beginsel is om Sy Vader eerste te stel, in alles. Laat die Here eerste wees in alles wat ons doen. Soek Hom elke dag. Jesus het vroeg in die oggende opgestaan en tyd met Sy Vader spandeer. Hy het daar instruksies gekry vir die dag wat voorlê. As gevolg van die tyd wat Hy by Sy Vader spandeer het, as gevolg van die instruksies wat Hy vroeër die dag gekry het, kon Hy wonderwerke verrig. As ons tyd by Hom gaan spandeer, sal Hy ons harte eerstens gerig hou op Hom en dit sal ons weer gefokus hou op mekaar se harte. As ons Hom eerste stel sal ons mekaar eerste stel. Hy sal ons ook dan die vermoë gee om wonderwerke te verrig in mekaar en ander se lewens. Die verdere gevolg is dat ons die beloftes van Sy hart vir ons sal leer ken en deel van ons lewens kan maak. In die Joodse huwelikseremonie het die jong man, nadat hulle verloof geraak het, weggegaan na sy Pa se huis om vir hom en sy vrou ‘n huis te bou. Hy het vir haar sy beloftes gelos. Dit is die Kethuba genoem. Terwyl sy vir hom gewag het, het sy hierdie beloftes gememoriseer en deel van haar lewe gemaak. Ons bruidegom het vir ons die Bybel gelos, ons Kethuba, om dit te lees en deel van ons lewens te maak. Hy gee vir ons ook die geleentheid om hierdie beginsels te beoefen en uit te leef in ons aardse huwelike, sodat ons met soveel meer vreugde, selfvertroue en vrymoedigheid sal kan inpas in ons Hemelse huwelik. Hierdie hele proses skep hoop en verwagting, nie net vir ons nie, maar ook vir ander mense en hul huwelike. Die tweede beginsel van Jesus se lewe wat ons wil uitlig is dat Hy na mense geluister het en hulle behoeftes raakgesien het, selfs daardie behoeftes wat hulle nie in woorde omgesit het nie. Hy het tyd gemaak vir sy bruid. Ons moet ons harte, ore en oë oop maak vir mekaar. Ons moet gefokus wees op die behoeftes van ons maats en dit aanspreek deur hulle te ontmoet op die plek waar die behoefte lê. Kies Tyd Wees altyd bewus daarvan dat een van Satan se oudste strategieë is om ons so besig te hou dat ons mekaar nie meer raaksien nie en dan ook nie meer mekaar se behoeftes sal kan aanspreek nie. Kies om tyd te maak. Sit tyd uit vir mekaar. Ons moet daardie tyd aanteken in ons dagboeke. As ons praat, moet ons by mekaar gaan sit, mekaar in die oë kyk en maak seker dat ons mekaar se harte raak sien en hoor. So sal ons mekaar ontmoet in mekaar se behoeftes en ook daardie behoeftes direk kan aanspreek. Die derde beginsel van Jesus se lewe was dat Hy veiligheid vir Sy bruid geskep het. Mense het nie oordeel, kritiek of vernedering by Hom ervaar nie. Hulle kon net hulself wéés by Hom. Hierdie houding van Jesus het mense uiters veilig by Hom laat voel. Veiligheid en Beskerming Daar moet altyd veiligheid tussen ons as huweliksmaats wees. Ons moet mekaar ontvang en aanvaar net soos ons is. Ons moet nie voorwaardes vir mekaar stel nie. Ons moet daardie ruimte skep in ons verhouding waar ons met enige iets na mekaar toe

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BEGIN ’N WONDERLIKE KRINGLOOP IN JOU HUWELIK!

Liefde en respek is twee uiters belangrike boustene van ’n huwelik met ’n sterk fondasie. ’n Vrou se grootste behoefte is liefde, terwyl ’n man s’n respek is. En ja, jy wil jou man respekteer, maar hóé doen jy dit op ’n praktiese vlak? ” Delf ’n bietjie dieper en die konsep van respek word al duideliker…” Soos wat ’n mens ouer word en jou konsep van respek ontwikkel, verander jou begrip en uitbeelding van respek…maar word daar gepraat van respek in die huwelik, wonder baie mense wat hierdie abstrakte begrip nou eintlik in die praktyk beteken. Soek jy die betekenis van “respek”, kom dit neer op die volgende: Om ’n diep bewondering te toon vir iemand se vermoëns of prestasies en om iemand se gevoelens, regte en wense op ’n dieper vlak in ag te neem. Delf ’n bietjie dieper en die konsep van respek word al duideliker… 1. Sê: “As jy dink die skildery moet daardie hoogte hang, glo ek dit moet.” Ja, jou man is maar net ’n mens en ook hý kan dom foute maak en die verkeerde besluite neem, maar dink ’n bietjie hoe gereeld jy hulle uitwys! Bevraagteken jy elke dekor-besluit wat hy in die huis neem, omdat jy voel jý is die kenner op hierdie gebied? Jou man wens waarskynlik jy het sy oordeel nie so gereeld in twyfel getrek nie. Stel jou die volgende voor: By die werk is hy ’n hot shot. Almal hang aan sy lippe omdat hy so briljant is en kom vra sy mening oor die nuutste projek. Ná ’n adrenaliengevulde werksdag kom hy by die huis en moet hy met die intrapslag hoor: “Hierdie trappie – waarop jy áángedring het toe ons gebou het – ek val nog elke dag oor hierdie vervlakste trap! Doen tog net iets hieraan.” Sy eerste behoefte gaan wees om ’n U-draai te maak terug werk toe, waar sy menings en besluite gerespekteer word en niemand bevele uitblaf nie, maar almal eerder na sy pype dans. 2. Sê: “Ek weet jy kan ons veilig en betyds by die funksie kry.” Jy kan nie verstaan hoekom hy ure lank sukkel om die nuwe klankstelsel te installeer nie en jy wil met alle mag die handleiding onder sy neus druk! Groot fout…want al wat manlief “lees” wanneer jy dit doen, is jou wantroue in sy vermoëns. “As sy nie eers dink ek kan ’n simpel klankstelsel installeer nie, glo sy seker ek kan ons onmoontlik uit hierdie finansiële ramp kry!” dink hy. Hy wil dit sélf uitwerk, só al neem dit hom ure om dit te doen, los hom uit. 3. Sê: “Ek wéét jy gaan die bevordering kry – jou baas besef hoe waardevol jy is.” Een besliste arena waarin ons vroue fouteer, is deur ons misnoeë uit te spreek. Deur kritiek te lewer… en ’n man se ego met een vokale vuishou die grond te laat tref! Jou woorde (of tekort daaraan) is vir jou man belangriker as wat jy dink. En al dink jy jou man se sensitiwiteitsvlakke kort werk, kan jy maar seker wees dat die meeste mans baie goed tussen die lyne kan lees. Luister dus volgende keer na jou stemtoon. Sarkasme gaan julle nie ver bring nie. Jy kan in woorde sê wat jy wil – as jou lyftaal nie hiermee ooreenstem nie, gaan jy manlief nie oortuig dat jy hom respekteer nie. 4. Sê: “Ek weet ek kla eintlik met ’n witbrood onder die arm. Ek kon nie vir ’n beter man gevra het nie.” Wat bespreek jy en die girls wanneer die manne by die vuur staan? Hulle boepense wat veg om die Tamaai-titel? Hul dom foute? Hul irriterende gewoontes? Hoe jy jou man in die openbaar respekteer, speel ’n baie belangrike rol in jou huwelik. En ja, dit is soms moeilik om nie deur die wag-tot-julle-hoor-wat-vang-mý-man-aan kompetisie meegesleur te word nie. Voor jy jou oë uitvee, is jy besig om “in liefde” of “doodonskuldig” oor jou man te kla of sy swak punte uit te wys. En ja, hy staan dalk eenkant tussen sy pelle, salig onbewus van jou dislojaliteit, maar daar is min dinge só disrespekvol teenoor jou man as om in die openbaar negatiewe kommentaar oor hom kwyt te raak. 5. Sê: “Ek weet nie presies hoekom jy dit doen nie, maar ek vertrou dat jou bedoelings goed is.” Ons maak te maklik aannames. “Ja, hy het nou weer vanoggend nie melk gebring soos ek gevra het nie omdat hy aan my ’n punt wil bewys / nie omgee wat vir my belangrik is nie / aangeneem het dat ek dit sal doen.” Miskien het hy nie melk gebring nie omdat hy, reeds by die teller, ontdek het dat hy sy beursie by die huis vergeet het / gesien het die melk is oud en eerder later iewers anders varser melk wil kry. Ja, aannames kom maklik en dit veroorsaak misverstande. As jy weereens die slegste van jou man verwag en jou eie aannames maak, interpreteer hy dat jy hom nie vertrou nie en dit is vir geen man lekker nie. Natuurlik beteken hierdie wenke nie dat manlief nié gaan foute maak nie. Ook nie dat hy jou nóóit gaan teleurstel nie. Maar dit beteken dat jy aan jou man gaan bied wat hy die nodigste het van jou – respek. En hoe meer respek hy van jou af kry, hoe meer liefde gaan hy vir jou gee en hoe makliker gaan dit vir jou word om hom te respekteer. Sien? Só begin jy ’n wonderlike kringloop in jou huwelik . . . Artikel deur Annelize Steyn – geïnspireer deur The Five Respect Needs of Men deur Shaunti Feldhahn (imom.com).

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