Enriching My Marriage

Mark Virkler's picture

Opposites attract, enriching the marriage relationship. That is the way God has designed it. We see strengths in our spouse that are not in us, and so by uniting, we become strong where we once were weak, assuming we honor and draw upon those complementary gifts.


Some opposites which are commonly found between married couples:

  1. Analytical versus intuitive - thinker versus feeler
  2. Courageous versus cautious
  3. Leader versus follower
  4. Organizer versus laid back
  5. Adventurous versus the homebody
  6. Outgoing versus introvert
  7. Mentally gifted versus physically gifted

Plus many more… 

Honor is our posture toward differences

Honor all people (1 Pet. 2:17). So now, the challenge is to accept, cherish, draw out, honor, and embrace these opposites, rather than trying to change my partner to make them more like me. The energy flows best when the opposites work together in harmony. For electrical current to flow you need two wires, a positive and a negative. Without BOTH being present and doing their job, there is no spark. The same is true in a good marriage. The opposites between you and your spouse are necessary, valuable, and have a job to do. If both are honored and encouraged to do their part, a vibrant marriage is experienced.

Journaling questions concerning honor

  1. Lord, what are the character traits and gifts present in my spouse?
  2. What is their value and function within my marriage?
  3. How can I honor them more fully and draw them out and encourage them?
  4. How can I express my appreciation more fully to my spouse for these amazing gifts?
  5. How can I protect and support my spouse in their uniqueness?

Activities

  1. Share with your spouse the journaling you received. Ask if they have additional thoughts. Write down what they suggest, and then journal about it.
  2. Ask the Lord to grant you the power to break out of the traditions of your past as it relates to marriage and to love your spouse as Christ loves His church, laying down His life for her.
  3. Take your spouse on weekly dates to kindle love, intimacy and companionship.

Fill Up Your Spouse’s Love Bank

The following format uses concepts from Willard Harley, the author of Love Busters, His Needs, Her Needs, and The Five Steps To Romantic Love.  His theory is that couples’ relationships can be conceptualized as a love bank

  1. When a spouse does something that harms or offends the other person, this represents a withdrawal from the love bank. 
  2. Continued withdrawals result in an account that is at a deficit.
  3. When the relational account is at a deficit, couples are dissatisfied with their marriage and often considering divorce.
  4. When a spouse meets a need of their partner that represents making a deposit into the love bank. 
  5. To have a happy marriage, couples must keep a healthy positive balance in their love bank.

Action Exercise # 1: Stop withdrawals from your “Marriage Love Bank”

The following exercises can be completed by a couple or a couple with a counselor.

  1. Write down the top three ways your spouse wounds you, what you need them to stop doing (withdrawals from your relational account). Be very detailed and specific. For example, she might say: "I need him to stop putting me down." Then she is asked to expound on what specifically that looks like - “I need him stop criticizing me and focusing only on what I do wrong or where I'm not good enough.” “I would like him to stop commenting poorly about me to me and to our family.” The explanation she offers is specific, so there is little room for confusion with respect to her request that he stop wounding her in this way.
  2. Share a written copy of your top three needs with your spouse.
  3. I commit in prayer to the Lord and to my spouse that by the power of the Spirit, I will change this behavior and stop making withdrawals from my “Marriage Love Bank.”

Action Exercise # 2: Make deposits into your “Marriage Love Bank”

  1. Write down the top three needs you have which you desire your spouse to meet. He might say, for example: “I need her to respect me” and then more specifically, he might share, “I need her to acknowledge how hard I work to support the family. I would like her to appreciate me; she could greet me when I come home from work, and consider me in the decisions for our family.”
  2. Share a written copy of your top three needs with your spouse.
  3. Each spouse commits to the Lord and one another that they will be a student of their spouse’s needs, and meet these needs. This is what LOVE does (1 Cor. 13).
  4. We will establish a weekly date night where we practice putting one another first and meeting their needs, thus making deposits in our “Marriage Love Bank.”

Spend many, many hours on Willard Harley’s amazing “Marriage Builders” website!

Willard Harley is a Christian and his website is www.marriagebuilders.com. It contains thousands of pages of free materials. He even has a short tour which explains what you will discover under each of the dozen tabs on his website. Take the tour (it’s free). He provides free downloads of ten of his Marriage Builders’ questionnaires, as well as a marriage coaching service over the phone. You will also find over 9000 archived radio segments ($49 gives you unlimited download access to all archived radio segments for 12 months).

According to the book, His Needs, Her Needs by Willard Harley, the first thing a wife can’t do without is affection and the first thing a man can’t do without is sexual fulfillment. In ten chapters he explains the five top needs of a wife and the five top needs of a husband, and how to fall in love again by caring for your spouse’s needs. These needs are so strong that, if they are not met in marriage, people are tempted to go outside the marriage to satisfy them. The mistake couples make is by assuming their needs are the same as their spouse’s, so they never take the time to discover what their spouse’s needs are and how to effectively meet them.

Willard has a free downloadable Emotional Needs Questionnaire where each spouse ranks their personal needs (out of the 10 listed) in order of importance, as well as how fully this need is being met in their marriage. From this starting point, Willard provides additional resources to help each spouse develop the skills necessary to meet their spouse’s top needs and thus restore romance to their marriage. Go to Willard’s website and learn what you need to learn!

Scriptures to meditate on and apply to my marriage

  • Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor. 13:6-7).
  • Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other (Eph. 4:32) bearing with one another (Col. 3:13) of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit (Phil. 2:2).

Resources for married couples  

 

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4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice

4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 305 Pages

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond?


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4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice (hard cover)

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 305 Pages

40% off the suggested retail price!

For the first time EVER! Hardcover copies of 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice. This is a magnificent, beautiful gift to give for any occasion. Retailing at $24.95, you can purchase it through our website at only $15.00! Bless people with the gift of spiritual intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ. Get a souvenir copy for yourself. Only 600 copies produced, so order while supplies last!

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4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice Audio CD Package

4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice Audio CD Package

By Mark Virkler | 4 Keys book | 10 hours of CDs | LEARN notebook

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond?

Price: $$77.85
4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice DVD Package

4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice DVD Package

By Mark Virkler | 4 Keys book | 10 hours of DVDs | LEARN notebook

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond? When things don't seem to be going your way and your prayers aren't answered the way you had hoped, wouldn't it be great to hear Him tell you where He is in the midst of it, and what He is working out in your life? Are you ever just a little bit jealous of others who say with such confidence, "The Lord said...."?

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Hear God's Voice Guaranteed Package

Hear God's Voice Guaranteed Package

9 Books, 10 CDs, 10 DVDs now at a $50+ savings

Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond? When things don't seem to be going your way and your prayers aren't answered the way you had hoped, wouldn't it be great to hear Him tell you where He is in the midst of it, and what He is working out in your life? Are you ever just a little bit jealous of others who say with such confidence, "The Lord said...."?

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Prayers That Heal the Heart

Prayers That Heal the Heart

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 320 Pages

Prayer counseling that breaks every yoke! Everything you need to experience deep healing of your soul and spirit.

Did you know that you don’t need to be continually plagued by negative thoughts, feelings, pictures or memories?

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Hear God Through Your Dreams Workbook Cover

Hear God Through Your Dreams Workbook

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 92 Pages

A new book has just been released that accompanies this workbook: Click here for Hearing God Through Your Dreams by Charity Kayembe and Mark Virkler (featured on Sid Roth's "It's Supernatural", with over half a million views just on YouTube).


Do you often wake up feeling there was a significant message in your dream, but you’re just not sure what it is? Like Daniel and Joseph, do you long to be able to help others understand their own dreams and win them to Christ as you explain His night messages to them? Wouldn't it be nice if you could receive mid-course corrections from the Lord while you sleep? Do you wish you could be receiving divine inspiration, creative solutions to problems, and direction from the Lord during that third of your life that you’re “just” sleeping?

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Hearing God Through Your Dreams

by Mark Virkler and Charity Virkler Kayembe | 292 Pages

Learn How to Hear God’s Voice, Even When You Are Sleeping

It is always fun to be on the winning team. Well look what God has done with Charity's new dreams teaching. It has taken off like a rocket with a live TV interview on Cornerstone Network and her Sid Roth interview which has over 750,000 views on YouTube already!

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Counseled by God

by Mark and Patti Virkler | 146 Pages

Have you ever been defeated by negative emotions such as anger, fear, guilt, inferiority, condemnation or depression? Have you tried to fight them off unsuccessfully? Is there an answer that is deeper than simply trying to mentally reason yourself out of these emotions? Is there a way that Jesus can speak a word of life into the depths of your emotional despair and bring healing on a deep level? Is there a form of Christian counseling that begins and ends with the movement of Christ within your heart, rather than simply with the words of man?

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Everyday Angels

by Charity Virkler Kayembe and Joe Brock 289 Pages

You can partner with Heaven’s angelic hosts!

Do you have guardian angels? Does God want you to know them? Find out what Scripture reveals and how YOU can interact with the company of Heaven!

The supernatural realm permeates our natural world! Therefore, experiencing angels should be an everyday occurrence–we simply need to open our spiritual eyes to their reality and role in our lives.

Price: $$16.99

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