Why Pursuing God Needs to Be First with Brad and Lisa Valencia

What does it look like to pursue God first in our marriage? What does that look like lived out? This conversation with marriage experts Brad and Lisa Valencia explores how the unrelenting pursuit of God first in our marriage, makes all the difference in the world!

 

Brad-and-Lisa-Valencia_Why-Pursuing-God-Needs-to-Be-First.pdf

Talk about it:

What is one takeaway or personal challenge you have from this teaching?

What are your thoughts, both positive and negative, about putting God first in your marriage?

What are your emotions, both positive and negative, about putting God first in your marriage?

What is one area of your life where you know you need to put God first?

 

Think about it:

What is one area of my life where I know I need to move myself aside and put God first?

What do I need to surrender in my life?

Is there anything I need to forgive myself for?

 

Notes and Quotes

“I had to be all in with Jesus. He is my strength.” Brad Valencia

The establishment of guardrails protect our marriage.

My personal and individual work and growth with Jesus are as important to our growth as a couple.

I have to get my vertical relationship right before I can get my marriage right.

Check out Brad and Lisa on Instagram @unrelentingpursuit_

Communication in Marriage with Patti Reed

Have you ever heard of a conversational intelligence coach? Well there is such a thing and this Dive Deep Interview is an interview with Patti Reed who is a conversational intelligence coach! Patti has so much wisdom that helps us have better conversations in marriage!

 

Communication-in-Marraige.pdf

Talk about it:

One takeaway for me from this conversations was __________________________________.
As I listened I felt this way _____________________________.
I can see how our marriage would be strengthened if we _______________________________.

Think about it:

Do I communicate in a way that builds trust or undermines trust?
Do I tell, yell or sell when I need to ask, listen, or respond?

Notes and Quotes

We are often unaware of our harsh or hurtful communication. Words can trigger pain! Tone matters and can trigger listening or shutting down!

Do-overs are a way to redeliver our communication in a healthy way.

Our differences play so strongly into our perspectives.

Our tendency is in marital communication is to tell, yell and sell. It is best to learn to ask, listen and respond.

A powerful life-changing phrase regarding communication is “tell me more about that!”

We have to slow down…in our thinking…our responding…and learn to reflect what we are hearing, for the purpose of understanding our spouse’s heart.

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…

Philippians 4:8 ESV  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Say This and Not That:
Not This: I can’t believe you can’t figure this out!
Say This: Let’s talk about creative ways to solve this problem.

Not This: Well, that wasn’t good enough!
Say this: I don’t have all of the answers and I’d really like to have your perspective on this.

Not This: What in the world are you thinking?
Say This: Would you be willing to share your thoughts? I’d love to hear and to know what you are thinking.

Face to Face “PALS”:
P-Prep the conversation
A-Ask open-ended questions, for more, etc.
L-Listen to understand to connect
S-Support You don’t have to agree, but how can you support?

 

Resources

The-Power-of-Our-Words-PDF.pdf What-God-Says-About-Listening-PDF.pdf

Safe Conversations Video

Patti’s book: https://amzn.to/3N4LmV4

 

 

Spouse in the House–Navigating Togetherness with Cynthia Ruchti

Do you and your spouse spend a lot of time in the same space? Maybe it’s due to working from home, maybe because you own a business together, or maybe you’re retired and learning how to navigate a new level of togetherness. In this Dive Deep Interview Mark and Jill talk with Cynthia Ruchti, author of Spouse in the House about rearranging our attitudes to make room for one another. This interview is chock full of practical advice on how to deal with the challenges of being a human being living close with another human being!

Spouse-in-the-House-wtih-Cynthia-Ruchti.docx

Talk About It

Role adjustments: How are we doing working together to accomplish what is needed at home? Is there a better way we can work together to accomplish what is needed at home? How can we divide house chores now that our time is different?

What is your morning routine? What’s important to you in the morning?

Could we calendar and establish a weekly time to discuss calendars?

What is your ideal daily routine?

What is your need for personal space?

Help me understand your spiritual plan for personal growth?

I want us to operate as a team: collaborating, working together, and working in sync. What is one thing I can do to improve that?

With us sharing our space now, are there any better ways that we both can identify and respect each other’s needs?

Think About It

How do I need to rearrange my attitude to better love my spouse in our togetherness?
Do I have unrealistic expectations? (If you’re constantly disappointed in your spouse, you DO have unrealistic expectations!)
Am I struggling to ask for what I need? If so, what is hindering me?
How can I join into my spouse’s likes and desires?

Notes and Quotes

You can have bliss or you can have blisters.

We can become sloppy in our relationships and stop being kind, gentle, or generous.

You might need to discuss and actually make room for each other by remodeling and actually adjusting space formations.

“Before we could make changes to our space, God led us to heart change. My husband began using the phrase, “excuse me my love.” These words informed my heart that he loved and respected me.” Cynthia Ruchti

Philippians 2 1-4 (The Message) “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”

Recommendations
www.cynthiaruchti.com (sign up for her newsletter)

My Heart’s at Home by Jill Savage (helping couples understand and have a vision for home)

Other Date Night content related to this topic:
Marriage Meetups with Bill and Pam Farrel
Safe Conversations
Your 8 God Tools

The Power You Have In Your Marriage with Dr. Juli Slattery

Do you understand the power you have in your marriage? This Dive Deep Interview is a conversation Jill had with Dr. Juli Slattery.

In the beginning you might think this is just a conversation for women because it’s based on Juli’s book Finding the Hero in Your Husband, but it’s not! It’s for couples!

This is a conversation about the destructive power struggles in marriage and how to navigate them and build healthy intimacy. It touches on conflict resolution and definitely s-e-x!

Transcript: The-Power-You-Have-In-Your-Marriage-with-Dr.Juli-Slattery-.docx

Talk About It

What is one takeaway you have from this video?

Have you felt powered over, degraded or shamed by me? If so, could you help me see how I have done this?

What do you consider comforting for you? How could I comfort you if you asked me to do so?

Are our conflicts healthy or unhealthy? Do we work together to resolve conflicts or do we fight?

Think About It

For wives: Am I frustrated that I want my husband to lead and yet I am personally frustrated that he doesn’t lead the way that I want him to lead?

For wives: Husbands wake up everyday with the unconscious and sometimes conscious thought, “Do you believe in me?”Husbands need respect. How am I giving or not giving respect to my husband?

For Husbands: Wives wake up everyday with the unconscious and sometimes conscious thought, “Do you still love me?” How am I loving or not loving my wife?

List your thoughts, both positive and negative of what you believe about your spouse.

Am I accepting my spouses differences or wanting them to be like me? Am I resentful towards them because of this?

Is the strong woman and silent man syndrome operating in my marriage?

 

Notes and Quotes

“I’m a strong woman. God didn’t want to take my strength away, but he wanted me to steward it differently in my marriage.” –Jill Savage
“The first step in finding the hero in your husband is confession to God and then to your husband.” –Juli Slattery

Women have the power in their marriage to build intimacy with their husband by 1) respecting their husband and 2) helping their husband to grow and mature.

Husbands have the power in their marriage to build intimacy with their wife by 1) being attentive, nurturing and seeing their wife and 2) protecting their wife.

Conflict isn’t the same thing as a fight. Conflict is “us together against a problem.”

Differences drive conflict, personal values drive conflict, perspectives and experiences drive conflict. A fight is when it is me against you!

Practical ways to navigate conflict:
1) Wait to resolve a conflict. Waiting can sometimes be the best decision.
2) Learn to slow down your conversation, reflect back and hear each other.
3) Grow in repairing and resetting the relationship.
4) Learn to pray together and ask for God’s help and guidance.

Sex: Every couple struggles with sexual frustrations and issues. Sexual conflict is driven by differing desires, deep seated past hurts, shame, and rejection.

Practical ways to begin repairing sexual conflict:
1) Invite God into your sex life. Pray, if possible together, about your sex life.
2) Get God’s perspective about sex.
3) Seek out wisdom and help from Dr. Juli Slattery’s website, books and podcasts and other author’s as well.

Resources:
www.authenticintimacy.com

Books:
God, Sex and Your Marriage, by Dr. Julie Slattery (out June 2022)
Rethinking Sexuality, by Dr. Julie Slattery
A Celebration of Sex, by Dr. Doug Rosenau
The Gift of Sex: A Guide To Sexual Fulfillment, by Cliff and Joyce Penner (they have written many books on this topic)
Is There Really Sex After Kids?, by Jill Savage.
These books can all be found here.

Podcasts:
No More Perfect Podcast: An Honest Conversation About Sex

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