By Kermit Rowe
Encompass Relationship Facilitator
It really doesn’t make sense, does it? Couples will spend $10,000+ and a year or more planning their wedding but spend nothing to prepare for their marriage. This could be a dangerous and potentially destructive oversight. For this reason, from the start of our organization (in 2005) we asked local pastors to sign a pledge that they would not marry a couple unless they had premarital counseling or coaching. We, and many area pastors as it turns out, feel it is THAT important! So, as we dive deep into our theme of preparation for this month, looking at the advantages of premarital counseling and coaching is as natural for us as it is foundational.
By: Abby Glaser
Encompass Community Advocate
Spring is a time for new birth and new growth…and at the Encompass office it’s a time when we start getting calls from engaged couples preparing for their weddings! After fielding one of those calls recently I found myself thinking about what things I wish I would have been told before getting married. There were many misconceptions my husband and I had that we quickly found out were wrong! After 25 years together, I can confidently debunk the following ones!
Falling in Love. is that the secret?
By: Cindee Johnson, Encompass Relationship Coach
Chatting recently with a new bride, she was in awe to learn my husband and I are celebrating this month our 33rd anniversary. “Wow, 33 years! What’s your secret?” she asked.
If you have been married for any length of time, how would you respond to that newlywed’s question? Is the secret simply falling in love? Is it compromise? Having patience? Saying you’re sorry? Showing respect? Appreciating each other? Offering forgiveness? Laughing together?
By: Kermit Rowe, Encompass Relationship Facilitator
As a pastor who has performed countless wedding ceremonies, I’ve witnessed close-up the divine beauty of starry-eyed, committed couples making loving vows to each other and God that they intend to keep for a lifetime. It makes for lots of warm fuzzies and even more happy tears. However, working with struggling couples as a relationship coach for Encompass Connection Center, I’m convinced that they have been struck by a dreaded mental deficiency called “vow amnesia.”
It strikes without warning, often brought on by the onset of heated and/or unresolved conflict, difficult life challenges, situational disillusion, or flat-out bad moods. Momentarily taking leave of the macro view of their marriage, they give into the not-as-important-as-it-seems current disagreement. This leaves one wondering “Did I really say ‘I Do’ to ...”
Gratitude Stories: Darnell & Bekah
Each week in November we'll be sharing stories from grateful couples who have seen their family trees forever changed through growing in relationship skills. This week we hear from Darnell and Bekah, participants in the RINGS Experience course for couples.
By The Encompass Outreach Group
Just about every marriage faces issues at one point or another. While these issues can lead to arguments and fights, they usually result in the couple working together to resolve them. But, what happens when a person that is part of the couple refuses to participate? When a partner is unwilling to participate in the marriage, it can aggravate the existing issues, making them even worse and harder to resolve. Here are some ways to improve your marriage even if your partner refuses to participate.
By Jenny Hamilton
Maintaining a lifestyle of eating healthy food and exercising regularly we all know is good for us. However, it probably ranks #1 as the most common daily battle we regularly wage with the “easy to say, hard to do” things in life. We make excuses constantly for why we didn’t stick with our workout plans or diets. We do the same when tending to our relationships. Healthy relationships are like gold! They are what keep us going--mentally, emotionally and even physically. Yet often, to our own detriment, we believe things that are not true -- and we make excuses. Have you ever told yourself this?
Do we truly understand "Blessing?"
By Kermit Rowe
The finale of Encompass Connection Center’s recent Valentine’s Day virtual Gala, attended by 126 supporters and beneficiaries of our 16-year-old relationship ministry, featured staff member Jenny Hamilton and her husband, Mike, doing a touching rendition of the wildly successful worship song “The Blessing.”
It led me to think deeply about the blessing of holy matrimony, and what the Bible says about it. Obviously, the blessing of having my wife Nancy in my life the past 40 years quickly came to mind. She has been a constant blessing. But I also know that the word “blessing” is used so loosely in today’s culture, that its true meaning can easily be cheapened or even lost.
By Kermit Rowe
I like to call it “The Flip.” It is as unnatural as it is powerful. But if a couple can make “The Flip,” then the future growth of their relationship and happiness takes an upward trajectory.
What I am speaking of is a change of focus in our relationship. If we are honest, when we enter a relationship with a significant other, we do so with the expectation that this person will make us happier in our life. We love them, but a big component of that love often is how that person makes us feel. But what if we changed our approach, turning to a divine truth to transform our relationship and home?
Why I dislike Valentine's Day
By Lavern Nissley
So, how’s that for a blog post title just over a week before the day of love? Yet, it truly reflects my heart on the emphasis of singling out one day a year for an inferior type of love that has a truly bizarre origin.
Go ahead, please click through to hear me out. Then watch the brief video at the end about a Virtual Date Night we're planning for couples February 14, 7-8 pm.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.