September's theme for our social media and blog posts is devotion/faithfulness. Kermit Rowe, one of our Relationship Facilitators shares about the skills needed for a lasting marriage, that many times are in short supply.
Devotion and faithfulness seem to be in short supply in our culture these days. So, when you see these two qualities alive and well in a lasting marriage, you’ve got to wonder what that couple has that about 50 percent of the couples who enter into holy matrimony don’t.
By Kermit Rowe
Encompass Relationship Facilitator
If you are looking for objective, empirical evidence that physical fitness leads to marital happiness and endurance, you’ll be looking long and hard. There just isn’t much out there.
But observation and personal experience offer plenty of evidence that it does. Focus On The Family, one of the preeminent marriage ministries of the 20th and 21st centuries, offers this in a recent article: “Exercise isn’t the answer to every marriage issue, but it will help you to bond on a new level and establish invaluable disciplines, such as perseverance and goal-setting, that can help combat marital fatigue.”
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!
By: Ronda Nissley,
Co-Director of Encompass Connection Center
There are few things I find more annoying than a stoplight that turns red just as I am approaching the intersection. It’s personal – the green light sees me coming, quickly turns yellow and then red – forcing me to come to a complete stop!
Several months ago, as Lavern and I were hurrying across town to make it to our next meeting, I couldn’t help but notice that we were literally hitting EVERY SINGLE RED light!! I could feel the exasperation and tension rising inside of me and was getting ready to express that frustration when Lavern joyfully announces, “Have you noticed we have been first at every red light?” Incredulous, I told him I noticed we were getting stopped by every red light, but I certainly didn’t see that as a good thing! He responded by saying how much he enjoyed being “first in line” so he could take off unimpeded when the light turned green.
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 ...”
By: Ronda Nissley, Co Director
Ahhhh, February- a month of ROMANCE. Each week in February we're discussing the seasons of romance in marriage. After visiting the pre-marital, honeymoon, and "with kids at home," seasons, this week we're ready to find out what happens romantically after the kids leave home! Next week, we’ll finish with the golden years.
Romance…. When the kids leave home
We’ve seen it many times. Kids go off to college, they move out and start their own lives. What was once a flurry of daily activity that centered around the children has now ceased. The days of shuttling kids to school; attending sporting events; washing mountains of laundry; re-stocking the refrigerator and pantry (daily); de-cluttering dropped book bags and coaching our children through life’s challenges eventually do come to an end.
Suddenly, parents find themselves alone again with the realization that they hardly know, let alone like their partner anymore. It doesn’t have to be that way!
By: Kermit Rowe, Encompass Relationship Facilitator
Ahhh February- a month of ROMANCE! Each week in February we’ll be sharing about the seasons of romance in marriage. Last week we visited the pre-marital through honeymoon seasons. This week we’ll talk about romance while the children are at home. Next week will be for the empty nesters and finally we’ll finish with the golden years.
Parent or romantic partner … which comes first?
What is the most challenging time in a marriage? When the honeymoon is over.
The trick of course is to be able to keep the honeymoon attitude alive. But no matter how romantic the two are, that comes to a screeching halt when the two who became one, turn around and become two again, and three, and four, and … well, you get the picture. There are a lot of challenging ‘hoods out there, but none more challenging than parenthood.
My wife and I, and some of you I’m sure, have been there and done that. Our nest is empty, and we don’t mind at all (most of the time). But many of you homemakers are in the eye of the storm, and those winds can howl. As an Encompass relationship facilitator and pastor, I’m constantly seeing the shrapnel produced by kid-induced, divisive war on the home front. It is heartbreaking as it is home-wrecking!
By: Jennifer Michael, Executive Assistant
Does anyone else tend to withdraw from people during those uncomfortable times of heartache, anger, fear, and temptation? Guilty, right here. But why do we do that? What makes us think we can get through those times without having someone to help us along the way? You know, someone to give us just a little bit of shade in the desert, so to speak.
By Encompass Outreach Group
When you get married, you get your first experience of having in-laws with your partner’s parents. This can often be a time filled with frustration and complications. However, once you have children and they grow up, get married, and have families of their own, you suddenly become the mother-in-law or father-in-law that you once had to deal with. Here’s how to be a good in-law when your child has a family of their own:
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.