The GPS directions to a joyful marriage give you an instant response for immediate help in a relationship. Making a habit of them will benefit every marriage, even those not at a crisis stage.
Now I’d like to discuss “CLIP”, four main issues we find to be crucial for a successful marriage. (You’ll notice that I tend to like acronyms: "CLIP", “GPS”, and our website is “RPM” ministry.) A lot more detailed than GPS, CLIP’s are changes that may take some time to implement. Following GPS directions, though, will make the CLIP points much easier to apply.
If you struggle with the GPS, try to focus on the ‘G’ most importantly. (Read the first posting on this blog if you missed it - it stands for ‘put God first in your life.’) Once you get that down, everything else will fall in place.
“CLIP Along at a Happy Pace” is the subtitle for my hope-to-be-published-soon book, “GPS to a Joyful Marriage.” (I’ll keep you posted on that.) The car theme kept surfacing unintentionally. I happen to love cars and even compare taking care of a marriage to taking care of a car in the book. (Check out our website at www.rpm-ministry.com and you’ll see the picture of our 1938 Buick Special. My father restored it in 1964 and it’s been in the family since.) Okay, enough about cars, back to the subject.
CLIP stands for Communication, Love, Intimacy and Priorities. Over the years of teaching classes and counseling couples, Rick and I have discovered these to be the most common factors that cause problems in a relationship, when not dealt with properly. As you may realize, most of us aren’t taught how to deal with difficulties that come along in marriage, unless you came from a very functional family. (Any of you out there?)
While God should be the center of a healthy marriage, communication is the glue that holds it together. The words out of our mouths set the course for our life and our marriages. It doesn’t matter what the problem is, communication is the basis for handling or not handling them. Unfortunately, most of us are unaware of the importance of what we say.
Not to mention, men and women speak a different language. We go into marriage believing we share the same thoughts and ideas. We quickly discover that we inhabit different planets. The sooner you figure out your spouse’s language, the better off you will be.
I will be blogging about communication for quite awhile, so put your seatbelts on. You won’t believe how complicated talking really is. Start paying attention to the words you speak. Do they edify the person you speak to or do they tear them down? Are your words positive or full of negative attitudes? You may be surprised how unaware of our words we really are.
I’m going to finish this post with a humorous, but all too true version of Woman’s English and Man’s English. Enjoy!
Woman ’ s EnglishYes = No
No = Yes
Maybe = No
We need = I want
It’s your decision = The correct decision should be obvious
We need to talk = I need to complain
Sure go ahead = I don’t want you to
I’m not upset = Of course I’m upset, you moron
Man ’ s EnglishI’m hungry = I’m hungry
I’m sleepy = I’m sleepy
I’m tired = I’m tired
What’s wrong? = What stupid self-inflicted psychological trauma is it now?
What’s wrong? = I guess sex tonight is out of the question
I’m bored = Do you want to have sex?
I love you = Let’s have sex now!
Let’s talk = I’ll impress you by showing you I am a deep guy and then we can have sex.