“There is an immense difference between training to do something and trying to do something.” So says John Ortberg in the book The Life You’ve Always Wanted. In his book, he is talking about spiritual transformation. He states that, “spiritual transformation is not a matter of trying harder, but of training wisely…respecting the distinction between training and merely trying is the key to transformation in every aspect of life.”
I am convinced that this is true in marriage. There are lots of couples who want desperately to have good marriages, and are trying very hard to do all the right things, but still find themselves in turmoil. I think John Ortberg makes a great point. Every great accomplishment, every great endeavor, or adventure or marathon is not won without the proper training. That is why I am passionate about marriage education.
I am coaching two engaged couples through a 6-week pre-marriage course. This course is in-depth and covers everything from Communication to finances to conflict resolution to parenting to sexual intimacy to in-laws. I am very proud of these couples who are in basic training, a sort of “marriage boot camp,” in preparation for the obstacles that will surely arise down the road. They are learning skills that will help them meet and overcome these obstacles before they come up so that they will be ready.
I strongly encourage every married couple to engage in some kind of marriage education if they haven’t already. So many of us with starry eyes thought those lovin’ feelings would be enough, and jumped in with both feet with no training whatsoever. In this day and age, “winging it” and then trying really hard to make things work won’t cut it. Training is what works- building a strong marriage by using every resource available.
Some resources I recommend:
Such as: Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs
Why Mars and Venus Collide, by John Gray
The Surrendered Wife, by Laura Doyle
Sheet Music, by Kevin Leman
The Marriage Builder, by Larry Crabb
The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage,
By Dr. Laura Schlessinger
The Four Seasons of Marriage, by Gary Chapman
6 Secrets to a Lasting Love,
by Gary and Barb Rosberg
Surf the Web
get involved with healthy couples
get involved in a small group focused on marriage
find a mentor couple whom you admire
attend a marriage retreat or seminar with other couples, such as Family Life’s Weekend to Remember: http://www.familylife.com/site/c.dnJHKLNnFoG/b.5846045/k.8C0A/Weekend_to_Remember__Marriage_Getaway.htm