Dr. Deb’s Mental Health Vitamin: Happy relationships
By Dr. Deb Wade
GCU Vice President, Counseling and Psychological Services
Have you ever wanted your relationship to be considered The Great Love Story? Perhaps you’ve seen couples that you admire and have wondered, “What do they have that I don’t have?” Or you’ve seen examples that you would never want to emulate and have promised yourself, “I won’t ever do that!”
God placed the human relationship above all others; to be exact, His words, “It is not good” (Genesis 2:18), marked the first time during creation that He looked at His works and declared that something was not right. Then He said, “I will make a companion suitable” (Genesis 2:18b). Therefore, our need for relationship and companionship was declared very early in creation.
Now … the state of that union is primarily up to us! Let’s take a peek at some ways that each of us can strengthen the bonds that unite us, can elevate the one we love to a new level so that others, at some point, will ask about YOU, “What is it about your relationship that is different?” Certainly then, our relationships become a living testimony to an unbelieving world!
- Admire your partner! Do your words, your actions and your chosen behaviors leave no doubt how much you care? Make sure that in all ways your love is translated clearly.
- Elevate our partner! How do you speak to your partner? How do your speak of your partner outside his/her presence? Are all the words positive and elevating? Also … if you see a need for encouragement and positive reinforcement, are you the first one to offer it?
- Protect your partner! When the world takes aim at your loved one, are you there to comfort, encourage, soothe and remind him/her about of the many ways s/he is loved? There is not a lot more attractive than when one runs to the defense of his/her mate.
- Remind your partner! Are you living proof of his/her value and worth in the world? You can say this in one sentence, “You are so valued by me. I cannot imagine life without you!”
- Play with your partner! Do you and your loved one have activities that you enjoy sharing along with many belly laughs and a storage full of fun memories? It’s never too late to remember that having fun, laughing out loud, having “inside jokes” and knowing where your partner’s funny bone are will serve as a strong glue that melds you together!
- Touch your partner! You’re never too old, too late or too enmeshed in your own usual behaviors to add some touch – holding hands, a peck on the cheek, sitting together on the couch, walking arm in arm – these should not be the private property of love-struck teenagers!
- Worship with your partner! The best “glue” of all, however, is the one that we experience when we are in unison with our mates over praising and worshipping the Lord. He created you, He loves you, AND He created marriage – He wants you to bloom and flourish where you’re planted!
Who needs an instruction manual on marriage? The Bible is the best source, written by the Author of marriage, Himself … so why WOULDN’T we seek Him out? Remember, “It is not good to be alone; I will make a companion suitable.” Your marriage, and mine, can indeed be … The Great Love Story!