Friday, May 6, 2011


1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore, encourage each other, and build each other up

It is critical for all of us to not become stagnant. We must keep growing as people, and in our walks with God. Spouses have a unique opportunity to (gently!) push each other along, to help each other grow. A marriage should be a environment that fosters this kind of development. Are you two not only encouraging each other, but are you pushing each other towards personal growth and self-expansion? An article I read in the NY Times posited that might be a key to having a marriage that lasts.

article here:

To wit: "Research shows that the more self-expansion people experience from their partner, the more committed and satisfied they are in the relationship."

For example, I've spoken often about how my wife and I have pushed each other musically. She has grown to enjoy some heavy metal (a love of mine since middle school). She is an avid fan of classical music (her mother was a voice teacher and all-around music afficionado) and as such she has led me to discover and enjoy some opera and orchestral that I may have never found on my own. She has also developed a love of fantasy literature, and her sense of culinary adventure has spurred me on to be willing to try any food at least once!

It is important to retain some interests that are your own, and it certainly isn't necessary to adopt every one of your spouse's interests, but discovering new things that you can enjoy with each other has definite advantages. You remain separate people - but you ALSO become more fully a couple, one flesh as it says in Genesis 2:24.

These points of common interest can be seemingly small; forwarding interesting articles to one another, reading a book and discussing it, critiquing a new CD together. You don't have to agree about everything of course, but the discussions become shared experiences, chances to bond and gain insight into each others' head and heart.

We should all be continually learning about our spouses. The human soul is infinitely complex, and it takes a lifetime to really get to know that person you've chosen to spend your life with. In the NYT article, Dr. Lewandowski says, “If your partner is helping you become a better person, you become happier and more satisfied in the relationship.” So, keep learning about each other. Keep growing together. Push each other as you go.

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