SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE A MARRIAGE?

Hello wonderful friends & family!! Thank God it’s another great Friday, the 3rd one in August 2019.

We are always humbled by the privilege accorded us to share with you once a week & we are indeed blessed by the feedback(s) that we get which is a great source of encouragement to the shalomesqsnippet team.

Just a bit of house cleaning as we gradually look forward to celebrating our 5th Year Anniversary.

Please note that in the coming days & months some changes will be made regarding the distribution of our contents via Social Media to ensure that we are as less intrusive as possible.

Before that happens please subscribe to our blog by clicking the “Follow Blog” button at the bottom of our homepage. We do appreciate the support & feedback.

We do realize that we have so many series in the works since the beginning of the year, however this blog was created & designed to bless people across many fronts & to inspire others as we are also inspired.

Today’s post is a spin-off from the series on “THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM” especially the last post that looked at a couple as a team.

Please get updated on the series with the links below:

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – III

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – II

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – PREQUEL

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM

The title of today’s post is inspired by one of the many TV shows I love to watch with my family “So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD)“.

SYTYCD

The show features a format wherein dancers trained in a variety of dance genres enter open auditions held in a number of major U.S. cities to showcase their talents and move forward through successive additional rounds of auditions to test their ability to adapt to different styles.

At the end of this process, a small number of dancers are chosen as finalists. These dancers move on to the competition’s main phase, where they perform solo, duet, and group dance numbers on live television, attempting to master a diverse selection of dance styles.

They compete for the votes of the broadcast viewing audience which, combined with the input of a panel of judges, determines which dancers advance to the next stage from week to week, until a winner is crowned as “America’s favorite dancer“.

I belong to a few Social Media groups & while travelling out of station last month, someone in one of the groups shared a book written by one of my favorite authors Gary Chapman PhD ( who wrote The 5 Love Languages) titled “The 4 seasons of Marriage : Secrets To A Lasting Marriage“.

As my practice I archived the book in my cloud storage with the aim of reading it while traveling not knowing that the series on the making of a great team will drift in this direction.

God has an amazing way of getting my attention about something ahead of time by orchestrating & aligning things around me in that particular direction.

So You Think You Have A Marriage (SYTYHAM)??

I will take a stab at this to the best of my abilities based on my knowledge in Life for over 40 years as well as experience in my soon to be 14 years of Marriage.

A lot of people do struggle when it comes to relationships & do dream of landing one of the best relationships on earth – MARRIAGE– however some of the knowledge they have about this wonderful aspect of mankind is based on warp ideologies,mindset, truism & paradigm.

I’ve tried to set the right baselines (for singles, searching & selecting) with some of my previous posts below:

This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!! Part 1

This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!! Part 2

Please permit me to skip for now the 2nd phase (of courtship & dating) & just jump to the crux of the matter (Marriage)

According to Dr. Chapman “Marriages are perpetually in a state of transition (of flux), continually moving from one season to another perhaps not annually, as in nature, but just as certainly and consistently. Sometimes we find ourselves in winter-discouraged, detached, and dissatisfied; other times we experience springtime, with its openness, hope, and anticipation. On still other occasions we bask in the warmth of summer-comfortable, relaxed, enjoying life. And then comes fall with its uncertainty, negligence, and apprehension.

The cycle repeats itself many times throughout the life of a marriage, just as the seasons repeat themselves in nature”

The book describes these recurring seasons of marriage,to help you and your spouse identify which season your marriage is in, and to show you how to move away from the unsettledness of fall or the alienation and coldness of winter toward the hopefulness of spring or the warmth and closeness of summer.

The 4 Seasons ( Summary)

The seasons of marriage come and go. Each one holds the potential for emotional health and happiness, and each one has its challenges. The key is to develop the necessary skills to enhance your marriage in all four seasons.

Unlike trees, which are at the mercy of the weather and other factors, as humans we have the capacity to make decisions. We can choose attitudes and actions that will improve and strengthen our marriages.

We can plant seeds of love and hope in the springtime that will produce fruit during the summer.

And we can harvest a storehouse of good feelings and open communication that will prepare us to weather the changes of fall and the icy cold of winter.

Marriage relationships are constantly changing. Attitudes shift, emotions fluctuate, and the way spouses treat each other ebbs and flows between loving and not so loving. Sometimes, change is beyond our control.

WINTER

Winter marriages are characterized by coldness, harshness, and bitterness. The dreams of spring are covered with layers of ice.” Conversations are only about logistics–who will do what and when they will do it.

Communication is relegated to silence, arguments, criticism, and, at times, verbal abuse. Lives are lived independently, although under the same roof.

SPRING

“Spring is where most marriages begin,” says Chapman. “The excitement of creating a new life together is not exclusively for newlyweds.” The emotions in a spring marriage are characterized by excitement, joy, hope, and happiness. Couples feel animated and buoyant, and their attitudes towards one another are positive.

There is both gratitude and anticipation of the future, and an overall feeling of optimism and trust.

SUMMER

Fun is the theme of a summer marriage,” says Chapman. “Life is beautiful and reaping benefits of efforts to understand each other. Spouses share a deep sense of commitment, satisfaction, and security in each other’s love.” Emotions include happiness, satisfaction, accomplishment, connection, peace, and FUN! Attitudes are beautiful, but they must be watered, or else they will wither in the heat of the sun. There is usually a desire to keep growing together. The communication is constructive, and couples have learned to accept each other’s differences.

A couple in the summer season of marriage needs to be forewarned, though. Unresolved conflicts under the surface must be brought out if a marriage is to remain in a state of fullness.

FALL

“These marriages look fine externally; outsiders may even comment on how happy the couple seems to be. Yet inside the marriage, things are changing.” Fall marriages can either be a prelude to winter, or a couple can dig deep and make time reverse so they can move to spring. Emotions in this season include sadness, apprehension, rejection, resentment, loneliness, and emotional depletion.

Couples in the fall season of their marriage have attitudes of great concern over their marriages; there is an uncertainty about where things are going.

Whatever season you are in, there are nuggets to glean, actions to take, emotions & attitudes to watch out for & climate of relationship in that season.

I will attempt to unpack these points in the following posts & do hope it will be a blessing to someone out there.

Let’s take a pit stop right now & catch up later.

What marriage season are you currently in?

Do you need help to navigate through the season?

This is my snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ

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THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – III

#TGIF family!!! it’s the last Friday of the Month of July 2019 & we will shortly land in the 8th month of August. The year 2019 is rolling along quickly & Q3 will soon be over, so how far have you achieved as regards your 2019 set goals?

Since all national cup competitions have come to an end, we are ever getting closer to the start of a new EPL season & my darling club – Chelsea FC– the pride of London is fixing to take another stab at winning the EPL again & also doing well in Europe.

Today’s post will continue on our discuss regarding “The making of a Great Team” & this will be the 4th post in the series.

To catch up on the previous posts, please click the links below

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – PREQUEL

THE MAKING OF A GREAT TEAM – II

Following John C. Maxwell 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, today we will be looking at “The Law of the Chain

The strength of the team is impacted by its weakest link. When a weak link remains on the team the stronger members identify the weak one, end up having to help him/her, come to resent him/her, become less effective, and ultimately question their leader’s ability.

This nicely ties up with a post I made last year on the topic the weakest link based on a popular British game show I loved watching growing up.

You can read up that post by clicking the link below

THE WEAKEST LINK

A chain is as strong as it’s weakest link“, this statement first appeared in Thomas Reid’s “Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man,” published in 1786 & it means that a group is only as strong or successful as its weakest or least successful member.

So far, the discussions have been majorly related to teams in a corporate or organizational settings but today I’ll like to switch to looking at a couple as a team. A man & a woman coming together in holy matrimony under God forms a team just like any other team. Gen 2:24 & Ecclesiastes 4:12

It will be 14 years (by November) that I said “I DO” to my delectable & authentic wife in the presence of witnesses & it’s been a fantastic journey since. We went through all of the various stages of team development & now we are the performance stage of our relationship.

God has granted us the privilege by his mercy to make our home heaven on earth, a haven & not an oven. It took us a lot of work to get here & to an outsider it seems everything is working effortlessly & smoothly, just like a duck gliding on the stream, there is a lot of leg-work action going on underneath that you are not seeing.

A major part of our success is our ability to constantly deal with our weaknesses (reducing them to the minimum) while maximizing our strengths. Our relationship has been a source of inspiration to people around us & we get several requests to counsel young folks who are about to get into a relationship or are already in a relationship.

For those who are about to get into a relationship, we counsel them not to be in a hurry, to work more on themselves as individuals & ensure they dont hook up with an incompatible & weak partner as a team mate. God is interested in making a great home for anyone just like he did for Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden

For those already in a relationship, we talk to them about the need for a strong & dynamic team in the home, the need to work on themselves to identify areas of individual weaknesses & start to eliminate them while also looking at the weaknesses of the team together.

The feedback we get is really encouraging most of the time & it also confirms that the principles we’ve used over the years really works.

The aim is not to create carbon copies of us or our relationship but to help each individual or couple be the best they can be as planned by God.

Highlights

  • God cares so much about everything in your life & your happiness is important to him. Remember he thought about the need of a help-meet for Adam. Genesis 2:18, Jeremiah 29:11
  • Your marital team mate is out there waiting for you. Just continue to focus & work on yourself, ensure you are dealing with your weaknesses & growing in all areas of your life, in due time your team mate will show up. Habakkuk 2:3, Genesis 2:22-23
  • Once you find & bond with your team mate under God, aim for greatness ( Contend for the ultimate prize). Ecclesiastes 4:12, Amos 3:3, 1 Corinthians 9:25
  • The home team is not in a competition, you are rather meant to complement each other. So give each member the space & chance to perform in their areas of strength. 2 Corinthians 10:12

I hope this helps someone out there.

Going back to corporate & organization settings, the way to deal with a weak link is slightly different. In this case it’s more ruthless at the end as the weakling is ultimately removed from the team.

The best practice is to find a way of helping the weak team member by tagging them with a strong person & reassessing progress after a while, if the situation doesn’t change for the best, the weak member will have to be taken out of the team as the impact of keeping that weak member will be catastrophic on the team. ( The Law of the Bad Apple)

Do you have weaknesses?

What are your plans of dealing with them?

Do you have a strong team?

How do you deal with a weakling?

Next stop we will be looking at THE LAW of the CATALYST

This is my snippet …….. I AM SHALOMESQ

The 5 LOVE languages – Part 3

Love Languages

In the last post a couple of weeks back, we discussed about the second love language (Quality Time) & I’ve received some feedbacks on how that post has been of help to people.

Due to some engagement at work, this particular post was delayed & I kept getting prompts from people as to when I was going to continue with the series.

So in response let’s continue on the series with the third love language (Receiving Gifts).

I mentioned in one of the earlier post that giving is an integral part of LOVE. John3:16 says God loved so much that he gave. There is no way one can claim to love another so deeply without this vital part of giving.

Studies have shown that in various cultures across the world, there is a big relationship between love, giving & marriage. In Gen24,Abraham was going to seek for a bride for Isaac, he told his servant in Gen24:10(NLT) to travel with 10 camels all loaded with gifts.

Giving of gifts is an outward expression of an internal feeling, you can hold the gift in your hands & know for sure that “He thought of you” or “She remembered you”. It’s actually the thought that counts & not really the cost of the gift.

Gifts are the visual symbols of LOVE!!!

But in this case we are looking at receiving of gifts as a love language. We all love receiving gifts, it shows us that we are important & valuable to whoever is giving out the gift, but some of us love receiving gifts more than others.

If this is a primary love language for a spouse, then you are in luck as it’s the easiest to learn. Those that have this love language don’t really consider the cost attached to the gift, but they value the thought behind it.

For us (My wife & I) it’s not our primary love language but it’s an integral part of the love spice & helps to fill the love tank.

I remember while we were dating we exchanged love notes (it could be a poem or just some write up that expresses our love for each other as inspired by nature), we would hide it between books, in our bags, etc & it was always a pleasure to read them.

My wife specially bought a notepad that was heart-shaped & years later I still read them & smile with that radiant feeling of LOVE.

There was a major one I did a while back in 2002. I was just introduced to the ministry of Joyce Meyers, so I bought & was reading her book “Reduce Me to Love“.

On the cover of the book was a beautiful heart-shaped gold locket as shown below.

credit: http://www.amazon.com

I did all I could to look for a replica one to buy for her, it took me months in my search,eventually ( with the help of a colleague at work), I got the silver version of the same locket.When I gave it to her, she was on top of the world & wore it with pride.In fact she still wears it these days when its our special events.

She has done the same for me too may times over, in buying me stuffs, my favorite perfume or shirt or shoes. Gifts may be bought, found or made, but to the one who loves receiving gifts, it doesn’t really matter how it comes.

If the primary language of your spouse is receiving gifts then you can do the following:

  • Learn about what gift excites them: I know of someone who really doesn’t like cards as gifts, but is super excited about cup cakes & electronics. So you will do well to gather a list of things your spouse is excited about & regularly shower them with it. Be attentive to your spouse, anytime they say “I really like that or I would love to have that” just take note & surprise them with it.You can also ask her other friends & siblings to know more about what they like.
  • Don’t wait for a special occasion: Valentine’s day was celebrated about a week ago & that is the only day that some couples exchange gifts. But to someone whose primary love language is receiving gifts, its not enough. You must regularly do this & not wait for special occasions even though they expect to get gifts on special occasions too.
  • Be creative with your gifts: Almost anything you give as gift will be appreciated & received by a spouse whose primary love language is receiving gifts, so cost is not that important. You can just cut out a hear-shape from a piece of paper & write “I LOVE YOU” or send her an IM to her phone relating her smile to the whiteness of snow in the Alps during winter. You can also make it a scavenger hunt for the gift, using clues from you lives together, or you can use symbols from nature. A stone to represent his strength & consistency or a flower to represent her radiance & beauty.

The Gift of Presence

When we talk about gifts, a lot of the times our minds shifts to money & if you noticed I’ve mentioned a couple of times already that the cost of the gift doesn’t really matter, but what counts is the thought.

To the one whose primary love language is receiving gift, the most important is the gift of presence from their spouse. Dr Chapman also calls it the gift of self. They just want their spouse to be there for & with them at all times. It’s somehow also related to the love language Quality Time.

Physical presence in the time of need ( crisis or challenges) is the most powerful gift you can give to a spouse whose primary love language is receiving gifts, it goes a long way to show your love & commitment.

Your spouse might also need your presence as a thing of pride to show you off to others e.g. at office parties or community outings. I love to take my wife out to an office gathering or party, I have the picture of my family on my table at work so everyone knows her the moment they spot her out at any event & her presence alone is a gift to me.

I do the same for her as well, I don’t mind being the only husband at her colleague’s or friend’s party or event. I know she loves showing me off & I rise up to the occasion as well & give it as a gift to her.

This love language is interconnected with others as it centers around the integral part of LOVE which is GIVING & also helps to fill our spouse’s love tank.

I hope by now you would have seen what your love language is & possibly that of your spouse as well. If not, we have 2 more to go!!

The next post will be looking at the 4th love language ( Acts of Service) which happens to be my wife’s primary love language.

This is my snippet, I AM SHALOMESQ!!!