"Keep Your Marriage From Becoming Routine"

Marriage partners must make the linkage between them a priority in their lives. If they do so, the relationship will flourish. Anything that disrupts this linkage will disrupt the relationship.

Challenges to the marriage link:

* Television.  This distraction seduces viewers to weekly shows, current news, sports events, and even the power of the remote control. Turn off the set and take a walk together. Or make physical contact with one another as you watch.

* Work.  While work is essential for self-esteem and earnings, it can become your primary linkage. Put limits on the amount of time you spend at work - or thinking about work. Set time limits when you shut out any work-related activities (for example, 8:30 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.).

* Other relationships - in fact or fantasy. If your relationship to others is more important than to your partner, you jeopardize your marriage. This may be a parent, co-worker, relative, or friend. Sometimes this is not even an actual person, or a sexual relationship. It can be a fantasy about another person, an imagined person, or a fantasy about a different kind of life. Examine the things that attract you to this other person and seek to incorporate those same aspects into your marriage relationship.

* Friends.  When large blocks of time are spent with friends (on the phone or at sporting events) rather than partners, or if one becomes overly involved in the needs and problems of friends, the balance between the friend and partner is shifted and the relationship loses. Who is your best friend? For a truly intimate relationship, the answer will be "my partner."

* Children.  It is necessary for both parents to realize how important it is for themselves, their relationship, and the well-being of their children, to stay connected to one another. The marriage relationship must take precedence over the bond between parent and child. This also applies to people whose primary relationship is a pet.

* Doing rather than being.  We never waste a moment, and when we reach one goal, another one is set. There is no rest, just constant doing. We are pushed to exercise mind, body, and spirit. You have to stop moving in order to connect to another human being. When you and your partner cannot find time to quietly be together, you must actively stop the pushing.

* Computers.  The world of the Internet has become a new mystical love that is always available. If your primary interest and quality time is spent online, or playing solitaire, you have changed your primary connection.

* Alcohol and drugs.  A user can lose boundaries and judgment and become ineffective at all relationships.

* Maintaining a perfect relationship.  Relationships ebb and flow and so do partnerships. Healthy marriages leave room for time apart, for problems, and for individual interests - all the while being alert to dealing with issues that need to be talked and acted upon.

What you must do:

1.  Make your relationship - and your spouse - a priority.

2.  When you feel uncomfortable with your partner - or the relationship - or when you sense your connection weakening, don't ignore your feelings. This is a warning.

3.  Spend time together. You cannot have a healthy, intimate, and loving relationship without taking time to be with each other.

Submitted by: (Maj) Chaplain Steven L. Jordan, Sr., Phd.

Chaplain Jordan is a very good and respected friend of Pastor Rogers'.  You can check him out at the website below.  Be Blessed in Your Marriage and let your marital bliss "Marinate" each and every day! 

                             Pastor J. A. Rogers, Sr.



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