The foundational skills of listening, asking and setting goals are present in most marriages to some degree. Yet Jill and I continue to be surprised by disclosure from the majority of couples that they could stand some improvement. Why is this? We don’t think that it is primarily because the skills are conceptually difficult to grasp, (though there might be some initial awkwardness and self-consciousness) but rather that the essential humility of selflessness is NOT a natural default posture when using these skills.
Instead, in many conversations, self and selfishness interferes with loving conversations. This is exactly what Jill and I have discovered to be at the root of our conflicts over the years: SELF.
What is the opposite of love? We think that it is self.
Biblically, love is defined as selflessness. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, NIV). “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25) “…it (love) is not self-seeking…” (I Corinthians 13:5, NIV)
If you want to build an abundantly hopeful, joyful and purposeful marriage, learn and use effective skills with a selfless heart. How does one cultivate and sustain such a heart? Selflessness can be efficiently developed through relationship with a selfless man; Jesus. Then we are prepared to selflessly love our spouse.
**Would you like for your marriage to be coached or to learn to coach others? Check out scheduled classes or write for a free consultation, http://www.graceandtruthrelationship.com/events_and_classes.html
*Jeff and Jill Williams provide the ministry of Marriage Coaching to couple’s globally. They also train couples to coach couples. Contact them for a complimentary consultation if you are interested in being coached or trained as a Marriage Coaching Couple, 301.515.1218, Jeff.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2009, Jeffrey J.Williams, Grace and Truth Relationship Education 20716 Scottsbury Drive, Germantown, Maryland 20876.