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Understanding The Climate For Growth

[Lesson for Marrieds]

No two people are 100% compatible. People are of different personalities and temperaments. Therefore, compromise is needed in order to bring about compatibility.

Why do some couples argue more than others? What causes arguments?

People who do not seek to understand others have poor relationships.

The goal for every marriage is to grow and mature daily. But you will not achieve that if you do not understand each other.

1. By wisdom a relationship is built

Proverbs 24:3-4
3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established;
4 through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

We sometimes look down on those who have not been married as long as we have. But wisdom is not measured by how long a couple has been together but by the quality of the marriage.

Similarly, being educated does not mean being wise, and so academic and professional qualifications do not mean that one knows more about marriage than less educated people. You do not know more than your spouse and are not wiser just because you may be the more educated of the two.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

If you lack wisdom you should pray for it.

Q: Do you pray for wisdom or are you content in the knowledge you already have?

Consider what your wife/husband has to say. Consider her wisdom. You must decide that the Bible will be your source of wisdom in marriage. The Bible will teach you patience. It will also help you to feel and be compassionate with your wife/husband.

Hebrews 4:15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.

Jesus feels our pain and can relate to our challenges on that level. You need to feel with your wife/husband. You must not dismiss her as being too emotional or given to exaggeration. Hear her out and feel with her. The heart's greatest treasures are hidden well below the surface. Wisdom is the tool with which those treasures may be dug up.

2. By understanding a relationship is established

Proverbs 4:1-7
1 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a boy in my father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother,
4 he taught me and said, "Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.
7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Lack of understanding comes as a result of half-hearted attention. The following three things will help you with attentive listening:

1. STOP: Stop both physical and mental movement when your wife/husband has details to give you and something important to communicate.

2. LOOK: When speaking with your wife/husband, look at her, see her, and connect with her intellectually and emotionally.

3. LISTEN: Pay attention to what your wife/husband is saying.

3. By knowledge a relationship is furnished

Knowledge is crucial - knowledge in the sense of knowing your spouse. You must know what makes her happy, what gets her upset, etc. The only way to know your wife/husband is to spend lots of quality time with her.

Q. When was the last time you took your wife/husband out?

The time you spend with your wife/husband must be created and prioritized.