Tag Archive: healthy relationships


Another looks at what makes a good marriage great, this time by my good friend Richard ‘Snoek’ Leonard:

• Humility, constant communication, a surrendered heart to God and a biblical 1Cor13 active love.

Short and sweet, so let’s take a look at what he means by 1 Corinthians 13 love:

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,t but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

to see the next part – part 7 – click here…

ever since the beautiful val and i got married, God has put relationships [and especially marriage] strongly on my heart as something to pour into, not only for us, but others as well… so i asked a bunch of my married friends [who i think are married well] for one thing that they see as vital/helpful to having a good marriage:

“Work as a team. You both want the team to win, so won’t want to fight against each other.

Give each other space to be yourselves-an ever expanding mentality, not a restricting mentality.

Always have a dream, individually and together, and work toward it.

Be a kind person. Who wouldn’t want to be with a kind person.

Celebrate your differences as well as your similarities. You don’t own your spouse. You are a witness to their life.

Have fun.”

Mal Taylor

to continue to part iii, click here…

if you are a single person, then embrace that, completely. hope to be married if that is your dream, but be absolutely content with where you are and living in it, til the opportunity arises. don’t live where you’re not.

if you are a married person, then embrace that, completely. be content with what you have, while always striving for more. if you are not constantly working at your marriage, then you may soon discover the rut beckoning. in any relationship, the rut is a terrible thing.

ever since the beautiful val and i got married, God has put relationships [and especially marriage] strongly on my heart as something to pour into, not only for us, but others as well… so i asked a bunch of my married friends [who i think are married well] for one thing that they see as vital/helpful to having a good marriage:

Hey Brett,

Great to hear you doing that!
Barbs & I head off to El Shaddai tonight for the 2nd of 3 “laugh your way to a better marriage” evenings – not because our marriage is in crisis, more because we don’t want it to go there. Can highly recommend the series btw.

In our humble opinion:

Communication, communication, communication.
Might sound trite, but it is #1, #2 and #3 in our book.

A marriage is a living, changing thing (like a tree maybe?) as any relationship is. If you’re not feeding it, nurturing it and actively working at it with intent, it weakens, fades, withers and dies.

It is the small things – trivial acts of kindness & consideration as well as feeding each others dreams.

Expectation of 50% give + 50% take = doomed marriage.
Expectation of 80% give + 20% take = great marriage.

Always helps if you start as good friends and not just lovers.

… look forward to your thoughts.

[Dave Gale, married 21 years]

to continue to part ii, click here...

i really believe this is ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL KEYS to a REVOLUTIONISED SYSTEM OF DATING

there is a trend that happens specifically in christian contexts (altho i am sure there are equivalent secular contexts that promote the same thing – like actors making a movie together for example) which contributes to a lot of debris in relationships WHICH COULD EASILY BE AVOIDED

the mathematical equation reads something like ‘bunch of christian guys’ + ‘bunch of christian girls’ added to short-term intense spiritual space [holiday club, weekend camp, mission trip] = ‘he/she is the one’alism’ = ‘relationship’

i’ve been there. it happens. because you are ‘forced together’ with a bunch of people in a situation which highlights their positive side [playing with kids, leading a small group, reaching out to the poor] it is VERY EASY TO BE ATTRACTED to someone in the group, altho in a lot of case the attraction is purely context-related and not person-related

and so you see an attractive girl and spend as much of the mission trip trying to spend time alongside her and you feel like you’ve found ‘the one’ and you have to be with her and so at the end of the weekend or week you ask her out and SUDDENLY YOU’RE DATING… and a few weeks goes by and the butterflies head north for the summer and suddenly you realise actually you don’t know this person…

[a spanner is thrown into the works if you have rushed into PHYSICAL STUFF (whatever level – holding hands, kissing, more) because then you might decide actually this person is not the one for you, but you have already entered A LEVEL OF INTIMACY on some level (physically, emotionally, spiritually) and it becomes much harder to break up with them]

now this doesn’t only occur on the weekend or week trips/event but they often intensify or speed up the process – i think ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS with the dating system we currently use is that we rush into relationships WITH PEOPLE WE DON’T REALLY KNOW AT ALL.

and yes, a huge part of being in a relationship with someone is getting to know them, but IT MAKES A LOT MORE SENSE TO SPEND SOME TIME (possibly in group situations so there is less pressure on the two of you) WITH THE PERSON GETTING TO KNOW THEM before asking them out. what this will do in some cases is eliminate a bunch of people as possibilities simply by taking the step of getting to know them – not necessarily cos they are bad people, but purely because you will be able to pick up that you are NOT WELL SUITED AS A COUPLE.

for example, if i am a complete outdoors nut – surfing, climbing, jet skiing – and i meet a girl and she is a complete indoors person – computer geek, playstation province champion, crochet fundi – then there is a strong possibility we WON’T BE WELL SUITED because we are PASSIONATE ABOUT DIFFERENT THINGS – and so just by spending a little bit of time getting to know each other we can pick that up and be saved even entering a relationship that is in all likelihood not going to go anywhere

GET TO KNOW THE PERSON FIRST
– both as an individual and in group settings – and at least get some idea of possibility of compatability – BEFORE YOU RUSH INTO A RELATIONSHIP blind simply based on some attraction that may be based on the context or your loneliness and ‘need’ for a person…

[click here to read the next part]

not to be confused with ‘can’t i just enjoy this big thing first?’

some people refuse to let go of stuff. and it kills them. some people it actually genuinely physically kills them, cos you can trace ulcers and other stress-related diseases and conditions to the unforgiveness and disappointments that they held onto for a considerable amount of their lives

someone once said “holding onto unforgiveness is like drinking a cup of poison and hoping the other person will die” – because most often the other person doesn’t even know you’re secretly hating, bittering against them, and instead, like a cancer, or a hardcore acid, it eats away at your insides ultimately causing you to implode and you are usually the only one suffering (well, and those around you, who have to live with you)

which, i think is why God puts such huge emphasis on it – in matthew 6 straight after what we call ‘The Lord’s prayer’ Jesus says something along the lines of if you refuse to forgive others, then my Father in heaven will refuse to forgive you. wo! Hold the bus! if i refuse to forgive someone i can lose my salvation? seems to be what the writer is saying…

and the thing is, it affects every single one of your relationships. i don’t believe it is possible to hold onto the disappointments of yesterday or the pain/grief someone else caused you and refuse to forgive them and expect to have a healthy relationship with anyone else… because you put up walls (walls which protect you from further pain but also from accepting and giving love to other people) and you increase distance (physically or intimately) and you become a lonely, sad little person actually

the other side of the bagel is that forgiving someone does not mean what they did was ok. it just means you are refusing to let it be your problem any more. you are releasing them to be dealt with by God (who probably already is, but if not will definitely be some day) and freeing yourself up to embrace life to the full and to be able to start enjoying the big things of the moment now…

at least until someone asks you when you’re getting married, what you’re doing next year, or when the baby is due…

they make take our lives… but they’ll never take… well, only you can give away your freedom…

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