This Tool Transformed Our Relationship

 

I was recently asked, “What is the secret to a great relationship?” My immediate answer, “Communication!” This may not be the only secret to a good relationship but it is arguably the most important.communication
This is especially true in a marriage relationship. My wife, Tammy, and I went through what we call our “marriage conversion” a few years ago and we learned this one communication tool that has transformed our marriage! Maybe this tool can be helpful in your marriage as well.

Dialogue

This is an invaluable tool my wife and I learned at a marriage retreat a few years ago. This is how it works:

  1. Question – Agree on a question to answer. I will give a list of questions at the bottom of this blog to help you get started. Both of you answer the same question.
  1. Write – Both of you will separately take 10 minutes (timed with a timer) to write a love letter to your spouse answering the question that both of you agreed upon ahead of time. Write the letter specifically to your spouse. Open with Dear _____, and close it with a typical love letter closing. Hence, it is a love letter and not an opportunity to
    “let your spouse have it”. Be honest and also be loving in your letter.
  1. Together – The two of you will agree on a time to come together to share and discuss each other’s letters.
  1. Read – Set the timer for 10 minutes and then exchange letters. Read through the letter twice. Once with your mind and once with your heart.
  1. Discuss – When you are both finished reading each other’s letter, take the remainder of the 10 minutes to discuss the contents with each other. Again, this is a time to be both honest and loving.
  1. Next question – Go ahead and agree on the next day’s question before you finish. My wife and I usually have a list of several questions so we just go straight down the list with a new question each day.

Hope through relationshipsWe have done this little exercise six days a week for the past two and a half years (we take one day a week as a break). It has transformed our communication which has, in turn, transformed our marriage. I believe it can have a similar effect in your marriage.

Here are ten questions to help you get started over the next eleven days (remember, you may want to take a break one day per week). If you would like some additional questions please email me: TommyLanham@TommyLanham.com

  1. What was your first impression when you met your mate for the first time?
  2. What is your definition of a good marriage?
  3. When is your relationship the happiest?
  4. What quality do you like best in your mate?
  5. What is your idea of a great vacation?
  6. What are your goals in your marriage?
  7. Express appreciation to your mate for something that he/she did recently?
  8. What do you enjoy doing as a couple?
  9. What one thing do I want to change about myself that I think would please you?
  10. What do I love most about you today?

Resources for Questions
The Ungame: Couples Version
101 Conversation Starters for Couples. Gary Chapman & Ramon Presson
You can also Google: questions for couples


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

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What Do You Mean by “Love”?

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What is love?

There are three main Greek words for love (Greek is the language the majority of the New Testament was written in):

1. Eros: which is more of the romantic, feeling type of love. It can also apply to the physical, sexual type of love. It is where we get our English word Erotic.

2. Philia: Which means brotherly love or working together toward a common goal. It is where the city Philadelphia (the city of brotherly love) gets its name.

3. Agape: means sacrificial love. This is best exemplified by the love that Jesus has for us. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for us.

To be fair, I do believe that a healthy marriage needs all three of these in the relationship. However, I do believe there is a ranking of importance. Agape love must be number one in a marriage relationship. Secondly, Philia must be a part of the marriage so they can work together and be one. Thirdly, Eros will come and go in a marriage. It is the nature of that type of love. It is not constant. Eros will fade in and out at different times. If Eros is the only love a couple has then when it fades they have nothing left. If they have Philia and Agape love then this will anchor them together much better than Eros alone.

The quote above is really pointing out the difference between Eros (needed but not sustaining) and Agape (the most sustaining type of love).

Marriage coaching helps couples climb to their God-given potential by facilitating growth and change. My wife, Tammy, and I will work with you to identify and pursue growth goals that both partners want to attain. We will help you identify what areas you would like to grow in and develop options and actions to reach mutual goals. If you feel your marriage relationship could benefit from marriage coaching, talk to me. Call or text (502) 667-2981 or email LifeCoachTommy@yahoo.com.  Let’s schedule your free discovery session.
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Tommy Lanham is a coach, leadership training expert, instructor, motivator, and a believer in Jesus. He is an experienced, trusted and highly enthusiastic speaker who communicates life changing truths in an entertaining way. He connects with his audience inspiring them to take action.

He travels to speak on goals, priority management, faith, personality types and other related topics. If you would like to find out more about Tommy’s speaking and coaching, please visit his website:
www.TommyLanham.com