Have you ever been without a set of keys you’ve needed so you could unlock an important door? Maybe you were missing car keys and without them you couldn’t go where you needed to go. Or maybe it was your house or apartment key and without it you couldn’t enter into your place of comfort.
You actively searched everywhere you could possibly think of to find them. But if you just couldn’t, you’d eventually call a locksmith to make the missing key(s) because they’re that important to you. But what about relationship keys. Would you keep persevering?
Missing Relationship Keys
Just as valuable as those physical keys are to you, there are other keys that are actually more important. We’re talking about relationship keys to unlock some of the mysteries as to why your spouse would even THINK of doing this or that. And then after gaining those insights, there are other “keys” to explore and then use to work through these issues, in loving partnership, as God would have you.
Please realize that you didn’t vow to love, honor and be with your car, home or apartment for the rest of your life. But you did make that promise to your spouse and to God that no matter what —“for better or for worse, richer or poorer” you would live a life of love with your marriage partner. So, which keys should be more important to pursue in the grander scale of things —maybe even calling in a locksmith (counselor) if you can’t find them …physical, or marital relationship keys?
The Search for the Keys
Sometimes, we stumble across those relationship keys, which can unlock some of the mysteries concerning our spouse’s behavior. Other times God gives them to us sooner or later and we have Epiphanies of Ah Ha Moments of surprise and insight. But usually, God makes us diligently search for them —testing our faith and persevere in searching for those hidden treasures of insight. As we’re told in James 1:3-4, “the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” God cares more about our character and the journey to developing it, rather than our convenience and comfort.
How seriously do you take the vows you made to persevere in loving your spouse? What if you have to really dig to find keys to those locked up mysteries? Are you willing to go on that journey with your “Wonderful Counselor” our Holy Spirit?
If so, you will find below a few of the keys many spouses have found and then used with great result. They have helped to open gridlocked relationship doors, ushering them into a more fulfilling and loving marriage. (We also recommend that you look around this web site for additional help beyond what we have listed).
• Search and then apply scripture to your marriage relationship (like that found in 1 Corinthians 13) and also earnestly pray for your marriage partner.
Steve and I have found this key to be so healthy for our relationship. We might feel justified, in our humanness, to justify certain behaviors and ways of speaking to each other, saying, “well, I did that (something childish or mean hearted), because you did what you did.” No. We just can’t allow ourselves to believe the lie that because we hurt so badly, solutions to do that which we should not, are still not acceptable. They aren’t. And the Bible tells us so.
Here are a few keys or tools to help you in this mission.
The Bible is filled with many, many more keys to help you, as you read, glean, and apply:
• Learn and take into account your spouse’s growing up and background experiences, which will cause “intimacy imprints” that can influence the way your spouse relates to them.
I heard a radio interview produced by Focus on the Family and then went on YouTube to search out more from Milan and Kay Yerkovich, because they talk very wisely about this principle. I told Steve afterward that this is a “key” revelation that many people need to learn. There are many reasons why we do what we do and communicate (or don’t communicate) the way we do. Imprints from our earlier days can highly influence our approach to certain marital issues. Just knowing more about all of this can help us to better approach these issues in wiser ways in the future. It can be a life/marriage changer, in a positive way.
A Good Resource
The following is a great resource that may help you with this, that we recommend you obtain is:
♥ How We Love: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage written by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. It’s published by published by Water Brook. The authors of this book “draw on the tool of an attachment theory to show how your early life experiences created an ‘intimacy imprint’ —an underlying blueprint that shapes your behavior, beliefs, and expectations of all relationships, especially your marriage.
They identify four types of injured imprints that combine in marriage to trap couples in a repetitive dance of pain. The principles and solution-focused tools in this book will equip you to… —identify the imprints disrupting your marriage —understand how your love style impacts your mate —break free of negative patterns that hinder your relationship —enhance your sexual intimacy, and —create a deeper, richer marriage.”
Here are some other “keys” that could help you better navigate marriage in healthy ways if you implement them:
• Get the help needed to heal past relationship trauma (even recent trauma, such as infidelity, which can cause a type of Post Traumatic Stress) that is closing relationship doors. …We have a lot of articles and recommended resources featured throughout this web site. Please persevere —”knock, seek, and you shall find…“
• Continually treat each other as brides and grooms —not taking each other for granted.
• Learn each other’s “Love Language” and apply what you learn.
To help you in this mission:
♥ The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts —a book written by Dr Gary Chapman, published by Northfield Publishing. This outstanding book will help you to express your love to your spouse in a way that he/she understands. In this new edition, you’ll also find a couple’s guide to help you work as a team. You’ll find that before you know it, you’ll learn to speak and understand the unique languages of love and effectively express your love as well as feel truly loved in return.
Some additional important keys are:
• Show love and respect to your spouse —not speaking or acting in ways that show contempt.
• Take pro-active steps to guard your marriage from anyone/anything that could cause division.
• Give forgiveness and grace, just as God has given you forgiveness and grace.
• Becoming a student of your spouse’s personality and temperament bent (i.e. are they Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic, or Melancholy, also do they have a tendency to relate more as an Extrovert, or an Introvert?) and then find ways to build relationship bridges accordingly.
“Honor each other with the attentive openness of the student.” (Toni Sciarra Poynter)
…Here are a few things to look through that might help you with this mission:
Here are some recommended resources:
♥ Talk Easy, Listen Hard: Real Communication for Two Really Different People —a book written by Nancy Sebastian Meyer. What we like about it is that it has shorter versions of some of the important communication info we have read through (that helped our marriage). This info, which is laid out very simply, can help you to better understand your wife or husband. As the book says, “it helps you tackle your communication barriers, not each other.”
What’s great about this is that it’s all in one book —some of the highlights of the best, within the same resource. How I wish I would have had this book earlier in our marriage. I used to think that Steve would do certain things to irritate me. It wasn’t that at all… we just approached things differently. But since then, we’ve learned how to make our “styles” work for our marriage, not against it. This book can really open your eyes.
♥ Why You Act the Way You Do -written by Tim LaHaye. This is an insightful book, which helps “readers discover how temperament affects their work, emotions, spiritual life, and relationships. The can also learn how to make improvements.” It is quite similar to a book that was a life-changer for us within our marriage… so insightful. We highly recommend reading this book.
♥ The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World (written by Dr Marti Olsen Laney) This is another book I’d recommend reading —particularly for those who deal with spouses who are quieter. It’s not a Christian book, but so far in my own reading I haven’t found anything that goes against my faith. Instead, it gives great information that could be helpful to those who don’t understand the quieter type.
It’s written by Dr Marti Olsen Laney. This book can be helpful to introverts to read, to better understand themselves and better live in an extrovert world. It can also be especially helpful to their spouses. As you read it, I believe it will open your eyes to better ways of communicating with your quieter spouse. It could also help you to better appreciate him or her.
• Be pro-active in growing your love relationship with each other. Find ways to laugh together, build up good memories, and loving each other well.
One reason we send out these Insights and keep adding more info on this web site, is to give spouses more important keys. Please take advantage of what we make available. Persevere in looking for the key info that may have eluded you until now. It may even be for the purpose of making a good marriage even better.
We hope you will and pray for you as God leads,
Cindy and Steve Wright
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