by Dr ‘Shola Ezeokoli,
If you are familiar with the concept of balanced living, then you will realize that anyone who is living a fulfilled life is, to some degree, living a balanced life. And they are taking care of the five pillars of balance, namely: physical health, mental soundness, emotional wellness, spiritual wholeness, and relational balance.
Can these concepts be applied to marriage? It is my humble postulation that they can.
Pillar 1 – Spiritual
Too often, folks get married in church, and then put God in a box, only to remember hastily during a fight a few scriptures taken out of context:
“The Bible says you have to submit to me!”
“If you loved me like the Bible says, I would submit to you!”
* Insert eye roll here *.
People have reduced spirituality in a marriage to: going to church with the spouse, love your wife and submit to your husband. There is more to engaging with God in your marriage than the above. It involves praying for and with your spouse, being humble enough to listen to each other, and, above all, walking in love towards your spouse. If you keep God engaged in your marriage and stay humble and listen, you and your spouse will be able to find your way through some of the toughest challenges that you will face together.
Pillar 2 – Mental
This pillar involves your thinking and beliefs about your marriage, which can change with the changing seasons of life and with your changing moods. If you want to have a great marriage, you have to think great things about your marriage. Think of what you want your marriage to be, and meditate on it constantly. Renew your mind and thoughts concerning you marriage. Focus more on the positive aspects of your marriage and they will become more obvious. Focus on the imperfections and they will become more obvious, too. The choice is yours.
Learn to see your spouse through the eyes of friendship.
Pillar 3 – Emotional
This pillar centers around keeping the emotional connection alive in your marriage through romance. Discover what your spouse finds romantic and then make it part of your own “marriage culture”. Do not discard romance and romance inducing adventures because these are the things that your fondest memories will be made of.
So go out on dates. Dress up and go to the opera. Buy her flowers. Cook his favorite meal. Get a stripper pole and dance to each other’s favorite songs. Dress up in costume and role-play. Send sweet romantic texts and emails. Sing to each other. Watch a sunset together. And by all means, continue to advance the romance in your marriage.
Pillar 4 – Relational
One of the best things that you can do for your marriage is to sustain your friendship and make that the front and center of everything that you do. There are some things that you would not say to your best buddy, no matter how angry you are. There is a kinship that friendship affords your marriage that adds another layer of closeness. Learn to see your spouse through the eyes of friendship.
Intimacy and closeness is not all about sex. Good sex in marriage flows from the intimacy that a really close friendship brings. Play together. Talk. Talk. Talk. Then talk some more. Talk about everything. Chat. Share your dreams, goals, and ideas. Learn a hobby, sport, game or dance together. Discover new places together. Take time to be alone together. Laugh at life together. Take on projects together. Be each other’s best friend. And be loyal to each other.
Pillar 5 – Physical
Sex is like the cement of a house. You do not see it, but it’s holding the building together. Do it often, and do it well. Sex is not so much about proving your “prowess” to your partner, as it is about attending to his/her sexual needs. It is less about, “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” and more about a slow dance that leads to fulfillment and satisfaction for both partners.
Learn your partner’s likes and dislikes. Vary positions depending on preferences. Read about sex and learn about techniques. Do not just show affection to your partner when you are ready to have sex. It makes you look inauthentic, and may be off putting to your partner. Concentrate on building up and loving your partner OUTSIDE of the bedroom and there will be a natural flow into sexual intimacy.
In conclusion, pray for and with your spouse; be his/her best friend, finding ways to nurture the friendship; support your marriage with the right thoughts, even when it may seem hard; romance the socks off your spouse, be a lover not a fighter; have sex, lots of it: do it often, do it well. These are the building blocks upon which your marriage will achieve peace and balance.
Welcome to the balanced marriage!
Shola Ezeokoli is a medical doctor, a life coach a 2 time Amazon No 1 bestselling author; and a public speaker. Shola works with purposeful women, helping them get liberated from survival mode and truly live the life that they want to live. Her coaching niche is Balanced Living and this is based on the five pillars of balance: Physical, Emotional, Relational, Mental, and Spiritual. She does this through her program called Discover, Balance, Activate. She has written three books, His Delight, Shoetry and You Are The Best You (which has a companion Workbook). She has a fourth book which she co-wrote with her husband. Staying Married: 7 Key Strategies You Cannot Do Without.
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