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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Gandhi & Michael Jackson – Religious Leaders?

plank-eye.jpg“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.  For you will be treated as you treat others.  The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.  And why worry about the speck in your friends’ eye when you have a log in your own?  How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye.  Hypocrite!  First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”  
                                                    -Matthew 7:1-5 (New Living Translation)

This principle taught by Jesus is also taught by other religious leaders like Gandhi and Michael Jackson (Man in the Mirror… and no, I’m not serious about MJ being a religious leader).

It is similar to the concept that you cannot give what you do not have.  You cannot give good financial advice if you are broke.  You should not try to help somebody live a healthy lifestyle if you are not living a healthy lifestyle.

gandhiGandhi’s sister (not Michael Jackson’s sister… her name is Janet… or LaToya…. or Reba, but you never hear about Reba; I wonder what she did with her life…. well…. anyway….) once brought her son to Gandhi and said “Please tell my son to stop eating sugar.”  Gandhi responded, “Bring him back next week.”

A week later, she brought her son back and Gandhi looked at the boy and said, “Stop eating sugar.”  She asked him why she had to come back a week later.  He responded, “Because last week, I was still eating sugar.”

In Galatians, Paul encourages us to gently restore someone who has sinned.  I believe that is the role with our spouse or any other brother or sister in Jesus.  Of course, it must be gentle and for the purpose of restoration.

We should only point out any follower of Jesus’ sin if we follow these 3 guidelines:

  1. We must take care of the sin in our own life first.
  2. Be gentle in dealing with other’s sin.
  3. Only point out the other’s sins if it is for the purpose of restoration.

 

_MG_6842cropDo you or your organization need a speaker for an upcoming event?   Does your group need some tools in their conflict resolution toolbox?  

Tommy Lanham is a personality strategist and trains groups of people in analyzing their own personalities as well as teaching them how to get along with different personalities. 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 speaks to various organizations of various sizes, providing the tools to help you follow your dreams to reach your potential.  

Visit the website:     www.TommyLanham.com