In a recent article, I wrote about 3 Ways to Train Your Spouse for a Perfect Marriage. I thought I was going to catch some flack because of the word “Perfect.” As it turns out, more people took issue with the word “Train.” “My spouse is not an animal,” one person commented. Another wrote, “training is not necessary for grown adults.” At least one person thought the word was used merely as clickbait. Sadly, this mentality is what keeps most people from growing. So, in an effort to shine a brighter light on that article’s intent, here are three ways to train yourself for an amazing marriage.
3 Ways to Train Yourself for an Amazing Marriage
In this article:
I was really surprised at some of the negativity aimed at the word “train.” I mean, if there’s one thing we don’t do around here is clickbait our way through relationship advice. Strangely, here are some of the things people said:
- “Train your spouse? Are they circus acts?”
- “Training seems like another term for controlling.”
- “You lost me at “train your spouse.”
By and large, the people who read my articles are mature. So, this time around, I hope many of you won’t get hung up on the word “train,” and pay attention.
Learn to Listen
A large part of getting ready for marriage is learning to listen. It increases your comprehension of the speaker’s intent. In some ways, it’s like reading a letter after an argument. You don’t get to interrupt. You’re less prone to being defensive. And chances are you really hear what the other person is saying.
But there’s another caveat when it comes to learning to listen. As recommended in James 1:19, everyone should be “quick to listen.” This works both before and after marriage. As I said to one Facebook commenter, “to train, when positively viewed, is synonymous with to cultivate, to coach, to groom, to prepare.” No matter what the arena, this only helps the learner to grow.
An article I read recently quoted Benjamin Franklin. He said, “tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” When you are quick to listen, you become involved with your partner and what they have to say. You become an active learner. If you want an amazing marriage, learning to listen is a great first step.
Be slow to speak
Being slow to speak is all about defensive posturing. To train yourself for marriage, learn to hear your partner’s point of view before opening your mouth. As long as it’s not abusive, take time to let their words marinate. Pray about what they had to say. Process their intent properly. Then, speak your peace.
Start out with what they said that was right. You know there’s often a bit of truth in some forms of criticism. Then, calmly express areas of disagreement. Of course, this will require training in our next area.
Be slow to become angry
In relationships, spousal or otherwise, you’re bound to disagree. The question is whether you can disagree amicably. Are you the type to fly off the handle the moment you hear something that rubs you the wrong way? It’s hard to get another’s viewpoint if anger is your go-to emotion for criticism.
I’m not saying you should never become angry. I’m just saying you should be slow to get there. Your relationships have more of a fighting chance if you’re not easily provoked by every perceived, or real, scolding.
To train yourself for marriage is not exactly easy. But, regardless of your relationship status, the training should be taking place. If you really want to have an amazing marriage, take the time to train your ears, your mouth, and your emotions. You’ll be glad you did.