A marriage encounter designed to give the the tools to build the marriage of your dreams. whether, y ou are married for four or fourty years, this exhirating and daring escapade will impart your relationship
Dream it, Visualize it, Believe it, Create it, Roll up your sleeves, Work it. Build the marriage of your dreams.
Do you have a great marriage but simply want to strengthen or take it to new heights?
·Do you feel that you are no longer in love or that you no longer love this one person who used to mean the whole world to you?
·Do you feel unloved, unneeded, or abandoned because your needs are not met?
Are unresolved issues of disappointment, emotional hurt, rejection, betrayal, anger, and other traumatizing relational issues tearing your marriage apart?
·Do you feel that you and your spouse are “incompatible”, have “irreconcilable differences”, or have “grown apart”?
·Do you feel that you have lost a zest for life or a clear sense of purpose due to feelings of loneliness, helplessness, and hopelessness?
·Are you broken hearted, disillusioned, or discontented about your relationship?
·Are you frustrated with yourself, mate, or relationship and are considering separation or divorce?
What is “A Covenant Marriage Experience”? “A Reality Check” where you and your mate can go back to the drawing board and identify where you are as a couple, where you intend to go from here, and establish realistic and attainable goals to get you there.
“A Launching Pad” for new beginnings, exhilarating discoveries, and countless possibilities crafted to empower you to prioritize, refocus, and rejuvenate your relationship.
“A Judgment-free Environment” where couples feel safe to take off their mask, strip themselves of all their defenses, so they can be “naked and vulnerable, yet unashamed” through dialogue and mutual understanding.
“A Hands-on Workshop” where couples are privileged to mirror their souls and unveil the sobering reality of each other's inner yearnings — “Walk in My Shoes,” “Feel My Heart Beat,” “See My Point of View,” “Touch My Emotions,” “Taste My Fears,” “Hear My Cry…Love and accept Me regardless of My Imperfections.” Discerning each other's innermost being enlarges our capacity for tolerance and empathy.
"A Harbor for Reconciliation" designed to equip couples with workable tools to build wholesome and rewarding relationships. Couples are motivated to discern, confront, and resolve defying relational issues face to face in a caring and Christ-like manner.
“A momentous time” set apart to inspire and challenge you to sprout beyond marital challenges so you can cultivate love, develop genuine friendship, harmonize differences, build mutual respect and trust as well as rise to your potentials.
“A Trail-blazing and Daring Adventure” of self-discovery designed to empower you and your mate to unravel and explore the hidden treasures in each other.
“A Birthing Place” where dreams and relationships are reborn. “A Covenant Marriage Experience” is a time of refreshing, healing, and restoration.
Are You in a Covenant or Contract Marriage? There is a remarkable difference. How you define, share and receive love, your level of commitment to your relationship, your motive for the relationship, your choice to accept or reject personal responsibility for your actions, your close or distant relationship with God, and the standard by which you are living determine the kind of marriage you have. A worldly standard will produce a chaotic and toxic relationship. A righteous standard will generate a loving and fruitful marriage.
What is a Covenant Marriage? A covenant marriage is a sacred union between a man, his wife, and God. The three of them are in a covenant relationship with each other. God is the overall boss, the husband is the head of the family, and his wife is a helper but an equal partner to him.
Couples who have covenant marriages are not perfect people. But they love God and each other enough to humble themselves and do what ever is necessary to share unconditional love and resolve their differences. In this relationship, marital roles and boundaries are well defined and each partner not only functions in his or her respective roles but respects the marital boundaries as well. Love for God and His word spurs them to exercise their love muscles, treat each other with mutual respect, and resolve conflicts in ways that are pleasing to Him.
The primary purpose of building a covenant marriage is not just to be together for better or for worse. Spouses can stay together and yet be miserable. The ultimate objective of building a covenant relationship is to have a fruit - bearing union that demonstrates the character of God. Spouses in covenant marriages apply God’s word to steer the relationship in the right direction. His word is Truth that nurtures, grows, sharpens, mature, and "checks and balances" the relationship. God is the foundation of the relationship. He is the hub or nucleus of their lives and union. The relationship revolves around God, not them. Couples in covenant marriages are not in a relationship just to meet their needs or pursue their own agenda. But they strive to use their marriages to glorify God and advocate His will. Of course, covenant marriages face numerous challenges. But during tumultuous times, they explore other possibilities other than divorce to deal with marital issues. Divorce is explored only after all other options have been exhausted and if the marital circumstances meet the biblical grounds for divorce. Even then, a couple who feels that they must dissolve their marriage, begins with separation before proceeding to the final stage— divorce. Couples in covenant marriages do not down play the sacredness of their union.
What is a Contract Carriage? On the other hand, a contract marriage is an agreement between a man and his wife to stay together only when they feel they are compatible or are happy with each other. Because God is out of the picture in this marriage, anything goes! Marital roles and boundaries are not defined. “Love” shared is conditional. Conditional love is egotistic, self –centered, manipulative, and restrictive when it is violated or not reciprocated accordingly. It is a subversive kind of love that is motivated only by rigorous performance. As long as the other person performs or meets certain conditions, he or she is supposedly loved. Sharing conditional love is a vigorous and grueling task because each partner has to earn everything in the relationship. Love, commitment, forgiveness, friendship, and other relevant ingredients that glue a marriage together are largely dependent on feelings or the other person’s responses. Love is shared only when the other person begs, clamors, or labors intensely for it. Couples who share conditional love are susceptible to struggle with rivalry, competition, and power struggle. A relationship that operates on conditional love is bound to have conditional commitment, limited communication, restrained intimacy, undefined marital roles, and vague boundaries. When you are sharing conditional love, you are not only acting out in unacceptable ways that displeases God, but you are thrusting the relationship on the line. By sharing a selfish kind of love, you are actually plotting the dissolution of your own marriage as well as the funeral. If you or your mate has to earn each other's love, if you have to merit each others' friendship, if you have to toil for each others' forgiveness, and if you have to merit all the other things that makes a great marriage, then you are really in a parasitic relationship. Couples in a parasitic relationship share conditional love. They are self-focused, manipulative, and want everything to revolve around them. They are only concerned about how much they can get, not give, how much they can withdraw from each other, not deposit in each other's life. They do not see love as a "free gift "to be shared, but as a "loan" to be earned! Sharing conditional love stretches the boundaries of a relationship until its elasticity will be over extended that it can no longer handle the stress. What will be the outcome? The relationship will fall apart.
Unlike covenant marriages, contract marriages are self-centered, not Christ-centered. Every thing in the relationship rotates around each partner's personal agenda. Often, the "Me, Myself, and I" mentality in contract marriages breeds chaos, strife, and rapid dissolution of the relationship. Couples who revere the sacredness of their marriage will look deeply before they leap into divorce. Only those who see their marriage as a contract downplay the sacredness of their union. It is no wonder that such couples can change partners as often as they do their cars, jobs, or wardrobes.
Is your own Marriage Crumbling Apart? There are some disintegrating marriages that are crumbling apart like a dilapidated house. The only way to restore such is to demolish and rebuild them from scratch. Others are not so bad other than they need some work or touch-ups. Regardless of your marriage situation, I will show you how to build or rebuild your marriage on an unshakable foundation from scratch, coach you on how to add the building blocks of commitment, friendship, communication and do all the necessary touch-ups that are needed to maintain, strengthen, and grow love. If your marriage is not growing, this workshop will furnish you with new constructive ideas to take it to new heights. Like building a house, building a marriage is hard work. But there comes the time when you will begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor and all that you have invested in the relationship.
Based on my own personal experiences and all the years of counseling couples, your reason(s) for discontentment or considering divorce may probably fall in one or more of the following categories.
“We are no longer in love.”
“We are not compatible”
"We have grown apart"
“We have irreconcilable differences”
“My needs are not met.”
Often, the above reasons for fighting, bickering, and opting for divorce are only display of fears camouflaged as excuses. We utilize these fears to conceal our unwillingness to invest quality time, compassion, and all the other relevant factors that nurture a relationship.
Let us address the above issues one by one: It is not that you are no longer in love with the one person who once magnetized the rhythm of your heartbeat. But you are afraid to share unconditional love because you feel that the other person does not deserve it. Withholding love is your own way of punishing him or her and protecting your self from emotional hurt.
It’s not that both of you are not compatible but both of you are too lazy and self-centered to continue the trend as well as exhibit the understanding that made you agreeable enough to tie the knot in the first place.
Couples do not grow apart inadvertently, but by choice. They do because of an unwillingness to make sacrifices to grow together in the same direction.
No two human beings are irreconcilable especially in such a close relationship such as a marriage. The root problem is some couples would rather insist on their own way to protect their egos than risk their pride to come to a compromise that would harmonize their differences. Often, we are selfish and self-centered. We are more interested in how much we can reap, not sow, how much we can withdraw, not deposit in the other person’s life. It’s not about us confronting our selfishness, self-righteousness, and accepting personal responsibility. But it is always about how the other person should meet our needs, exceed our expectations, and yield to however we seem fit to exploit or control him or her. Our display of pride and obstinacy are only a charade of deep-seated fears buried within.
“There is no fear in love. Perfect love eliminates fear. Fear has torment. He who fears is not made perfect in love”(1 John 4:18) This affirms that any trace of torment or hurt in how we share love or relate to a mate proves we are operating in fear, not in the perfect love of God. Exhibiting godly love does not incite fear or bring torment. We experience fear and hurt in relationships because we share a worldly, manipulative, conditional, and selfish kind of love, which is aimed primarily at meeting our own needs and gratifying our carnality.
Are You Afraid to Share Love Without any Reservation?
Is Loving a Mate Causing you Pain?
Once I was in your shoes. I slipped into depression and hopelessness in the early years of our marriage because I couldn’t understand why Tony, my dearest husband of over twenty-four years couldn’t understand me, give in to my demands all the time, and love me based on how I defined love. I wondered, “How can I love someone so much and yet hurt so much?” I had to reevaluate how I was loving myself and loving him as well.
Think about it – what drew you and your mate together may be what is tearing you apart because you are starving, not feeding what attracted you like a magnet in the first place. Things that first attracted you about the other person are the very things that have now become a turn off! Why? One or both of you dropped the ball and the other reacted out of fear to protect “Self”. As soon as you got hitched, you stopped pursuing each other and began to take each other for granted. This generates an overwhelming feeling of exploitation, betrayal, and abandonment on both sides.
You stopped caring. Instead, you became overly suspicious and demanding. Lack of trust not only dulled your sensitivity for each other but also blocked the flow of communication. Each demanded attention! You both cried out to be heard – and to be “right”. Not even your frustration, disillusion, and discontentment could erase your need to love and be loved. However, it did change your game plan. It completely uttered your approach to giving and receiving love. Instead of demonstrating love in healthy ways, you resorted to either begging or demanding it from the other person because you did not want to sow for it, initiate it, or invest whatever is needed to prompt reciprocation accordingly. You convinced yourself into extracting love from the other person one way or another, even if it is by hook or crook—as long as you are not the one being exploited. By utilizing exploitative ways to milk love from the other person, he or she is forced to succumb to your demands. In your mind, you do not feel you are hurting anyone or doing anything wrong because after all you are trying to meet your own needs in ways that will protect your interest. Some days, you lash out in anger and frustration because you feel trapped and disillusioned. Other days, you deliberately withhold love either to punish your mate or to sound him or her a warning to back off. Sometimes, you build an emotional barricade to isolate yourself and dare your mate to cross over your line.
You do care about each other. But you are afraid to demonstrate love because you fear being taken for granted; you dread rejection and are apprehensive about losing something of yourself if you love selflessly or wholeheartedly. You worry about being controlled by the other person if you let down your guard or vulnerability; you dread what “too much familiarity” with your mate may cause—disrespect, and you are simply afraid to pay the price to love. Your fears are a manifestation of deep-rooted unresolved issues deeply ingrained in the heart. You have sealed off these deep emotional wounds like a “crime scene” because you do not want any one including your spouse to tamper with, trample on, or probe your deepest feelings. Another possible fear is you rather conceal your pain with an emotional band-aid than open up the wounds and risk your vulnerability, or the possibility of a spouse hurting you all over again. Sealing off your innermost feelings is your own way of penalizing your mate as well as safeguarding yourself.
Fear is a common denominator in most marriage problems. If we can conquer fear, we can conquer anything that life throws at us. “A Covenant Marriage Experience” will empower you to discover how to love without fear; identify how you are loving yourself and the other person; and recognize healthy ways to give and receive love. Overcoming fear eliminates the barriers to love as well as empowers us to take the risk to love.
God has given me a burden for marriages. Part of my vision is see the glory and character of God reflected in marriages. My prayer is to see couples like you view marital challenges as an opportunity to grow as unique individuals, together as a team couple, and as a strong family unit.
Harboring resentment towards a mate or opting for divorce is not the right solution to your problems. “The grass is not always greener on the other side.” Some else said, "Even if it was greener, you will still have to mow it" I strongly urge and encourage you to respond positively, not negatively. Do not file for divorce until you have genuinely exhausted all options. If you do not confront and resolve your own issues, you are susceptible to transferring these same problems into a new relationship. Get some counseling, do something different, or at least explore this program before you take a drastic step or do something you might regret.
You can have the marriage of your dreams – if only you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work together like a team for it. Our problem as human beings is that we detest counting the cost to have a healthy marriage. We all desire a great relationship. But we want it to surface by magic. Any thing worthwhile has a price tag. A good education will cost us. Faithfully going to a job we may abhor cost us. But we go faithfully every day anyhow. Why? We need the money to pay our bills. It cost us tremendously to pay our mortgages, car notes, and credit card bills. But we do anyhow because of the grievous consequences we might face for any default of payment. If we are willing to pay the price for other things that are relevant to us, why are we not willing to do whatever is necessary to sustain and grow our marriages? Our unwillingness to invest in our relationships goes a long way to show our pride, obstinacy and misplaced priorities.
Haven’t you put off getting real help for too long?
Haven’t you done things your way enough?
Haven’t your past decisions to insist on your way affected your life and family in negative ways?
Have you attained different results from doing the same things?
Haven’t your emotional and physical capacity to handle the consequences of pride, stubbornness, and resentments overwhelmed your family and relationship?
Isn’t it time that you give up your pride, take the focus off pleasing your self to pleasing God, and begin to make sacrifices for those you claim to love?
Isn’t it time you do it God’s way –so you can rescue your marriage and family; guard yourself from paying child or spousal support; save yourself the agony of shuttling the kids between you and your mate; shield your children from the trauma and emptiness of not growing up with both parents; and emancipate yourself from the horrors of divorce?
If you are serious about getting real answers and making radical changes that will heal and solidify your marriage, "A Covenant Marriage Experience" is for you.
If you are going through a difficult time in your relationship, don’t despair! Be willing to do whatever is necessary to save your marriage. Make up your mind to stay in the marriage and cooperate with God and your spouse to work it all out.
I have witnessed countless troubled marriages restored, many lives transformed and delivered from self-defeating habits. Couples who have given up on their relationship are inspired to go back to the drawing board to do a reality check, prioritize, and take the necessary steps to rejuvenate their relationships. You will not seat through this informative, refreshing, and inspirational teaching —bored or remain the same. My hands-on teaching is gleaned from my own personal life experiences, counseling education, and several years of counseling couples.
In these marriage encounters, hope comes alive!
Faith to overcome burst forth!
You feel the liquid love of God begin to heal and melt away emotional traumas and all that has held you back!
Burdens are lifted!
Yokes of fear, anger, disappointment, rejection, pain, and divorce are destroyed by the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. You and your spouse are privileged to take another shot at building the marriage of your dreams.
·Building a Covenant Marriage 101
·Dealing with issues of the heart
·Confronting myself – My Mask, my escape, and coping mechanisms
·God’s Purpose of marriage/The Purpose – Driven Marriage
·Offenses Versus Forgiveness-The Case for forgiveness
·The Power of Reconciliation
·The Root of Fear
·Open Doors to Fear
·Overcoming Fear to Love
·Love Without Fear
·A New Way to Love
·Forever Yours- Commitment
·Building Lasting Friendship
·Moving Beyond having Sex to Making Love
·Talk With Me, not at Me (Conflict Resolution)
·Harmonizing our Differences
·Defining Marital Roles/Responsibility
·Identifying and Eliminating False Expectations, Illusions, and Misconceptions
RENEWAL OF VOWS
NOTE: We shall literally build a marriage model, symbolic of a healthy relationship in these sessions.
Assignments designed to grow love, build friendship, and strengthen relationships are assigned to couples after each session.