As a couple, prayer is an absolute necessity to have active in your marriage. I am constantly amazed when couples state that they last time they really prayed together was years ago. Usually that rationale goes something like this, “we both pray, just not together.” Prayer is an active way to have the Lord be a part of building your marriage.
I want to talk to the men a moment here. Men, it is your job like it or not to lead your wife spiritually and pray. I don’t care if your IQ is 4 and your wife’s IQ is 150, it is still your job to pray.
PRAYER IS YOUR JOB. LIKE IT. Lump it, gripe about but get it done. You serve a holy God and He will hold you accountable to your return on his investing the precious talent of His daughter to you.
The structure of prayer is one of the three dailies.
Emotional intimacy is a second very important aspect that a couple needs to develop and maintain throughout their relationship. Often early in the dating relationship and marriage we share the feelings readily about our life situations, people, God and about our future spouse or spouses’. Many of us don’t know what happens to our feelings when we get married but for many couples they go in to hiding. Life gets more complicated and our conversations seem to get more managerial as far as did this or that get done.
Emotions are an important part of who your spouse is. As humans we all come with many feelings as standard equipment from our maker. That’s not the problem we all have then. The problem is the skill to express them that is the limitations most couples face. I know I was an emotional illiterate when I was married. I had lots of feelings but no skills at identification or communicating them to my beautiful bride, Lisa.
This lack of skill is one of the largest hindrances for a couple to start or maintain intimacy. That is why the feelings exercise is critical. Now I do want to warn you that this is an exercise and therefore it does require some effort to get a degree of mastery.
The feelings exercise is relatively simple. You pick a feeling from the feelings list on page _______. Then you place the feelings in the following sentences.
I feel _________________ when ________________.
I first remember feeling _______________ when _________________.
Let me give you two examples:
Example 1: I feel ADVENTUROUS taking my wife and two children hiking up the mountains in Colorado Springs.
I first remember feeling adventurous when I was about 13 or so when my mom bought me a low speed bike and I rode that bike all over town.
Example 2: I feel CALM when I can get alone usually in nature and sit really still for a short while.
I first remember feeling CALM when I was first taken out of foster homes and my mom gave me a cecil stuffed animal that I would sleep with.
I think you can get the idea. In the first sentence you place whatever feeling you choose and give a present tense example of the feeling. In the second sentence you place an early experience usually in childhood or adolescence.
The guidelines to the feelings exercises:
1. No examples about each other
You can talk about your feelings toward each other any other time but NOT DURING THE FEELINGS EXERCISE. This is so important not to violate this guideline.
2. Maintain Eye Contact
The second guideline in doing the feelings exercise is to look each other in the eyes while sharing your feelings. Looking each other in the eye is important as intimacy starts and as it maintains. There is so much truth in the old saying that they “eyes are the wonder of the soul”. When we look into another persons eyes, we can see them.
3. No Feedback
The last of the guidelines for the feelings exercise is as important as the first two guidelines. In the exercise as your husband or wife is sharing the I feel _______ when and I first remember feeling ________when statements. These is to be no comments for you.
If you would like a copy of the feelings list, feel free to email email@example.com and request your free copy. You can also download our free app “Dr Dougs Tips” and the feelings list is on the app.
You are the primary voice in your spouses life, a silent voice is the cruelest thing you can do to your spouse. The spouse who hears neither bad nor good from the spouse they committed their life to, has sex with and help raising the children grows hollow inside.
If we are to be like our Father in heaven which needs to be the goal of us as Christians, then nurturing and praising others will be part of His nature through us. Now again I realize better than most that praise or nurturing is not something that all of us grew up with. Some of us were told it you praised a child they grew up to have a big head or 100 other strange sayings like these.
Praise and nurturing one another is an essential ingredient for a vibrant ongoing intimate relationship. In the next 100 days of practicing praise and nurturing you will get skilled and comfortable with the exercise both giving praise or receiving praise. For some husbands or wives the giving of praise is difficult for the husbands and wives, it is the receiving or acknowledging praise that is more difficult and for others both aspects of giving and receiving praise is difficult.
Praise both the giving and receiving just like the feelings exercises, it is a skill. Skills can be learned by anyone. As you practice the praise exercise daily you and your spouse will experience the oil of intimacy drip unto your soul and heal areas of dryness that you didn’t even know existed.
The specifics of this exercise is very similar to the feelings exercise. First you both individually think of two things that you love, appreciate or value about the other person.
That is the nurturing or praise exercises. It may look simple but for some, it is work. All I can tell you this exercise is sweet. When combined with the other two daily exercises, it can make a profound shift in your intimacy with your spouse.
I know these exercises will take time and work. The work part gets easier even after about 10 days or so. The time part is going to be most important.
That’s it, the three dailies. I suggest for the next 100 days, you let this structure and skills give to your marriage what they have blessed those who have implemented them over the years.
Buy the book and continue this project for 100 days. While you are doing it if any questions come up we are here to help you in any way. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 719.278.3708