When was the last time you felt heard? Really heard? In this fast paced world of sound bites and snapshots, shutting out the noise of the world to come together can be challenging.
Sherry and I are FamilyLife Mentors, having gone through the training offered on the website, and have since trained others as mentors. We asked ourselves what would happen if we applied the FamilyLife Mentoring principles to our marriage, and realized it's a great PRACTICAL way to strengthen our marriage every day. And to make it even easier, FamilyLife created an acronym to help us remember the steps: PLACE.
Your PLACE or mine? Let's talk about PLACE in our marriage:
Pray: Praying together and for each other is one of the most important things we can do. In marriage, praying together is one of the most intimate things you can do together as a couple. It's like being back in the Garden of Eden, naked and unashamed before God, sharing with Him what is on your heart. You'll learn the concerns and desires of each other's hearts, plus your prayers are powerful; God acts on them as soon as you speak them! (Husbands: Wives think praying husbands are sexy. Just sayin'.) Don't think it's important? Check James 1:5.
Listen: Think about the last person who REALLY listened to you. What specific things made you feel heard? Eye contact, appropriate responses, genuine concern, not interrupting or fixing the problem. With the high paced world filled with gadgetry, we have to compete with screens (computers, phones, tablets, televisions) for undivided attention. SO, turn off and put down anything with a screen, sit next to or across from each other, and really listen. Being heard is such a great validation that we matter! I love how Proverbs 18:13 tells us the danger of answering before listening: Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.Ouch!
Ask: When we ask each other good, open ended questions, we're confirming that we heard each other, and it will foster more conversation and sharing. Men, this generally comes easy to our wives, and this is something they CRAVE from us- both the questions and the conversations. So spend time together getting to the heart of matters, and getting to each other's hearts, by asking good, open ended questions. Check out Proverbs 20:5.
Consider: So often, in the day to do of marriage, you just tell each other what the best solution is. What would happen, if instead, you considered biblical truths and what the Word of God says about your situations? What if you pondered and meditated on God's Word before you acted? Sherry and I have made some of our best decisions when we've considered God's Word, which led us to do something outside of both our characters and comfort. Straight from Isaiah 1:18.
Encourage: We all need help to see the hope before us, to remind us that we are who God says we are and we can do what He says we can do. Sherry knows that when she encourages me, I can move mountains. And I know when I cheer Sherry on, she will take bolder steps for Christ. THAT will change your marriage. 1 Thessolonians 5:11
Okay, it's not really a matter of your place or mine- God has ordained that it is BOTH our places to Pray, Listen, Ask, Consider and Encourage each other. With that said, you are responsible for you, so we challenge you to share this with your spouse, then walk it out. You can't make your spouse do this, but you can take the bold steps of applying your PLACE in your marriage! Watch what God does when you do this!
Which of these is the most difficult for you? The most natural? Join the conversation!
Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Your donation is more than a tax deduction- it’s a tool to empower us to continue changing lives, marriages, and legacies. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!