Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. Listening is the key to all effective communications. Without the ability to Listen effectively, messages are easily misunderstood.
Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.
– Roy T. Bennett
A successful marriage is a marriage between two great listeners.
God is not a God of confusion, He created things based on their importance. It was not an error that He gave us two ears and one mouth.
Our ears are for hearing (listening), and our mouth for talking. God expects us to listen more than we speak.
James 1 vs 19 “My beloved brethren let every man / woman be Swift(quick) in hearing and slow to speak. There is dignity in listening.
When you lack the ability to hear more than you speak, you end up speaking in anger and most times you speak negative things.
Little wonder Proverb 18vs 21 says ” Death and life are in the power of tongue (mouth). Most of us are the reason behind our husband/wife/children struggling because at every little provocation you sow a seed of death into his/her life/business through you tongue.
“Don’t mix bad words with your bad mood. You’ll have many opportunities to change a mood, but you’ll never get the opportunity to replace the words you spoke.”
Listen more and talk less. Any word not spoken cannot be used against you, but a spoken word cannot be retrieve.
Your wisdom is measure by the degree of word you speak, so also your foolishness.
Never use your mouth to pull down your home, rather build it with your mouth.
As Leslie watched the pregnancy test stick on the bathroom counter, she couldn’t help but silently pray it was positive. That would be a whole lot of weight and stress off her shoulders.
It wasn’t like she and her husband Kane, were old or (have been) searching for a long time. In fact, their marriage was barely six months old and neither Kane nor their families was pestering her for a child. Yet, she knew she needed to be pregnant at all cost.
The alarm clock on her phone vibrated, signifying the end of the five minutes wait. She held her breath and gently peeked at the test. She couldn’t help the sudden rush of disappointment that filled her when she realised it was negative. She angrily pushed the stick and every other thing on the counter away.
She sank to her knees and gently placed herself on the bathroom floor as she cried silently. She couldn’t help but think about why it was very necessary for her to get pregnant. She needed it as an excuse for her husband to stop wanting her or touching her sexually.
To her surprise, Mary did not blame her. Mary had understood, even more than she had thought was possible. It was such a great relief.
No, she did not despise her husband. On the contrary, she had grown to love Kane, yet it was pretty difficult to make love to her husband. Each time, she had to think of something else, or in her case, someone else. She didn’t know why, but Kane’s touch repulsed her even though in her head she knew she loved him.
The problem had started in her final year in the University. She had been a victim of a gang rape, which led to bouts of depression afterwards. It did not help that her friend and roommate blamed her for walking at night even though she had been on her way to class to read. She had felt so useless and she never thought she would ever have anything to do with sex again.
Then she met Mary during her NYSC days. Mary was her roommate in the lodge they were given by the company they served. Mary had quickly noticed her skittish nature around guys. After much pressure, she finally caved and told Mary about her experience. To her surprise, Mary did not blame her. Mary had understood, even more than she had thought was possible. It was such a great relief.
Then Mary started becoming nicer, extra loving, attentive and most of all, extra touchy. At first, it was all strange but then she started enjoying it. The little touches became frequent hugs, cuddles then it advanced to pecks. She was very ready when Mary finally introduced her to full blown sexual activities. Mary told her only a fellow woman would ever understand her body and make her feel that much pleasure.
It wasn’t that he was a sex addict, but he had stayed faithful for a whole year of courtship and now, he had to remain celibate in marriage?
After service, she was retained by the company and Mary left, though she would occasionally come over for visits and other things. Then her parents introduced her to Kane who had just been called to Bar and had joined his Father’s chambers as a young Barrister. Both parents had high expectations for them and they did not disappoint because they got married after a year.
Then things became strained when after a month, she still hadn’t let her husband touch her even after making him wait all through their courtship days. It wasn’t like she didn’t love him, she did. A whole lot. Yet, she couldn’t get turned on by him sexually until she had to resort to thinking about Mary and their past escapades.
Things went back to normal for a while until she started finding Kane’s sexual appetite too much for her man-hating body to handle, which was why she needed to get pregnant ASAP. That way, she’ll be safe from his touch for nine months.
Leslie knew she was in serious trouble, she had researched it and the internet had called her bisexual. How was she supposed to get over this when her husband was slowly becoming colder and slipping from her grasp?
Kane sighed as he stared at the files the pretty secretary just dropped on his table. His thoughts weren’t there at all. A glimpse of the petite secretary’s cleavage had stirred something in him. He shook his head and stared at the shiny wedding band on his finger to clear his rampaging thoughts.
Kane explained everything to his Dad, who listened without any interruptions. After he let his son talk, he finally responded.
“You said it does not seem like she’s cheating?”
Ever since his wife had decided to limit their sex life to once or when he’s lucky, twice in a month, he had had to resort to crazy sexual thoughts. It wasn’t that he was a sex addict, but he had stayed faithful for a whole year of courtship and now, he had to remain celibate in marriage?
Leslie considered his sexual appetite too excessive and uncalled for. Sometimes, he caught her expression when he tried to be all romantic and touchy, and he could tell it was usually one of repulsion. She had become so secretive and moody that Kane didn’t know what to do anymore because no matter how much he pressed her to talk, she would never say anything. It seemed her friend, Mary, was even more interesting than he was to her because he could tell his wife showed more life and enthusiasm whenever Mary was around.
A light tap on his desk jarred him from his jumbled thoughts. It was his Dad looking at him with concerned eyes. The older man quietly drew a chair and sat down in front of his son, neither men speaking for a while.
“I have noticed this new far-away look on you for a while now. Is everything okay? Is Leslie giving you trouble?” The older man asked.
She had refused to talk in their first two visits but this third time, she had broken down and started crying when the therapist asked “Are you a lesbian?”
“Hmm Dad. I don’t know what to do anymore. I swear, I don’t. I am so lost and confused, what does she want?” Kane rambled.
“Calm down son and start from the beginning. What is the problem?”
Kane explained everything to his Dad, who listened without any interruptions. After he let his son talk, he finally responded.
“You said it does not seem like she’s cheating?”
“She comes home immediately after work, she only hangs out when Mary is around and they don’t stay out late. She doesn’t lock her phone neither does she fight nor neglect house chores. She just doesn’t want me near her, that’s the problem.” Kane confessed.
“Hmm. This seems like a very serious issue. Since she’s refusing to talk to you, no matter how much you press her, I’ll advise you get her to seek professional help. I’ll give you a number. It’s my friend’s. He is a psychologist and marriage counselor. I am sure he can help you.”
As Kane listened to his wife spill out her guts to the therapist after their third visit, he couldn’t help but feel so sorry for her. She had refused to talk in their first two visits but this third time, she had broken down and started crying when the therapist asked “Are you a lesbian?”
Leslie had thought she was bisexual because she looked at the therapist and said “Maybe I’m Bi.”
“No, Leslie, you’re not homosexual. You were just temporarily confused because your body needed a form of sexual outlet and since it wasn’t responding to men after what you went through, it only made sense for it to respond to the one person that understood your plight.”
The woman advised Leslie to try and stay away from Mary for a while, and she needed to realise, men are not evil. Not all men will hurt her. She also had to forgive herself and stop feeling worthless, but she had to go through this journey with her husband so that a new bond could be formed.
“Don’t rush it Leslie. Take it one step at a time. Find out why you chose Kane to go on this life long journey with you. You also need a Lil prayer every now and then. It will not hurt to commit everything in God’s hands. You might just be surprised at how much everything else will fall in place. Also, advise Mary to come see me. She also needs help.”
Leslie is now a proud mother of two and she couldn’t have been any happier with the man who fathered them. All she needed was someone to show her the best path and everything worked out just fine.
The only thing you uniquely share with your spouse that you don’t share with anyone else is sex. So sex is the only thing that sets you and your spouse apart from simply being roommates. It’s a vital part of marriage.
Not only does sex set you and your spouse apart from simply being roommates, it also requires a deeper level of communication that you don’t normally do with just anyone. Sex requires you to talk to each other about intimate, emotional things. For example, to have a truly intimate experience with your spouse, you need to tell your spouse where you like to be touched, and make requests for certain things. This requires that you both feel a comfort level with each other that you’ve never felt with anyone else before. It requires both of you to become very vulnerable by asking, receiving and giving sexually. And it requires you to reach a deeper level of trust that your spouse will respond to your requests without judgment.
Sexual intimacy in marriage is sacred, beautiful and good. It is the deepest level of intimacy you and your spouse can share. In fact, ‘making love’ is such an intense bonding experience that the Bible refers to it as “becoming one flesh.”
The truth is, God ordained sexual intercourse as a way to foster unity in marriage. If handled properly, what this means is that sexual intimacy has the power to create intense physical, emotional and spiritual bonds between you and your spouse.
Part of the challenge, however, is that the man and the woman have different attitudes to sex. This is one of the reasons sex is a sore point in some marriages. It is therefore little wonder many couples are more tolerant with their sex lives than they are satisfied.
Although there is no magic number that can tell couples how often they should have sex, it is important for couples to discuss their needs openly with their partners and negotiate a relationship that meets both of their needs. While having sex less than 10 times a year is considered sexless, having sex once or twice a week is generally considered average.
It is also important to understand that lack of enough sex in marriage can have grievous consequences:
When there is a major disconnect in the sex lives of couples, intimacy at all levels tends to drop. Lack of sexual intimacy will further draw couples apart and make it difficult for them to handle other less serious problems.
People in sexless marriages are less happy in their unions and more likely to consider divorce.
It has also been found that infidelity in marriage is sometimes a result of a partner not getting enough sex at home. The partner who is not getting enough is tempted to look outside for his/her sexual needs (although this should never be considered as an option or condoned).question is: If sex is so important, and naturally pleasurable, as indeed it is, why is it that some couples struggle in that aspect of their lives?
FACTORS AFFECTING A HEALTHY SEX LIVES IN MARRIAGE.
1. PHYSICAL FACTOR
Fatigue resulting from too much work. If husband and wife work long hours, there is less interest in sex. The demands of work and home rob people of their energy. This is often the case when husband and wife work round the clock to earn good salaries.
b. Routine and boredom
After about five years of marriage issues crop up in the marriage: loans/debts, school fees, frustrations at work, house maintenance and chores etc. Husband and wife settle into a home routine that almost always does not include sex. When they were just married, sex was more frequent. The sex was still great before the children started coming, but when more pressing problems come up, sex goes to the bottom rung of the ladder.
c. Medical condition.
Husband or wife develops a medical condition that could significantly lessen their sex drive, either from the condition itself or from the effects of the medication.
Men especially have this issue with performance problems such as premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, but women also can have issues such as loss of feeling after childbirth and changes to the female reproductive system that can make sexual intercourse unbearable.
2. EMOTIONAL FACTORS
Couples may have unresolved differences that prevent them from enjoying sex together.
Unhealthy attitudes about sex. One spouse may have been raised to think that sex is more of a duty than something to derive pleasure from.
3. CULTURAL FACTORS
Cultural differences could affect the quality and frequency of sex between mixed-marriage couples.
4. PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS.
Deeply-seated psychological problems that make sex impossible. These could be anxiety, fear, or being a rape or incest victim in the past.
Other hindrances to sex in marriage include a job loss, a death in the family, or financial difficulties. Infidelity on the part of one spouse could also lead to the loss of interest in being intimate. Trust issues are also a factor.
Now, a lot of problems can also arise from a terrible sexual history. Some who were sexually abused in childhood become frigid, even when they are married; some become sexually wild and insatiable. Naturally speaking, this can affect people throughout their lifetime. But it shouldn’t. What you should do in such instances is talk to a professional counselor or pastor about it. Most importantly, talk to God, allow His Word heal your mind.
Now, if you are having sex with someone who is not your wife or husband, this is the time to break off that relationship because could destroy your marriage faster. And if your unfaithfulness in the past is constituting a hindrance to your having sexual fulfillment in marriage, then genuinely ask God for forgiveness and move on.
If you are married and your sex life is not as great as it should be, here are some for sexual intimacy.
TIPS FOR SEXUAL INTIMACY
1. Shun selfishness.
Sex is not just about you, it also about (and I dare say, much more about) your spouse. So get out of that ‘selfish mode’ and begin to place the needs of your spouse above your own.
2. Understand your differences.
God wired the man and the woman differently, so this affects their sexual desires and the way they handle sex generally. Together, you and your spouse can make the best of your differences.
3. Learn to forgive.
Resolve any lingering issues in your relationship that have not been dealt with properly.
4. Keep the fire of romance burning.
Sex is better and more rewarding when the ‘environment’ and accompaniment are right. With your husband or wife, constantly look for and embrace new and exciting ways to make your love and sex lives better and God-honouring.
5. Keep the communication line open.
It has been discovered that couples who talk over their sex lives (as well as other aspects of their marriages) tend to have healthier marriages. So learn to talk things over with your spouse.
6. Make time for rest and relaxation.
Today, many work very hard in pursuit of money and the good things of life, but so readily put off working on their relationships. We must understand that if there is no intimate bond between spouses, all that hard work is ultimately unfulfilling. The loss of our relationship can have deep consequences. So make out time for your spouse—just for relaxation.
7. Constantly pray for opportunities to ‘connect’ with your spouse.
Never neglect prayers in seeking solutions to sexual issues with your spouse. You will be amazed that praying together and ‘breaking bread’ can remove obstacles to sexual intimacy.
Now, God wired us with a sex drive, and this is one of the most powerful forces man can experience.
However, like fire, when it is not contained and controlled, it becomes a damaging and destructive force.
May your sex be a pleasurable, relationship building and edifying experience in your marriage now and always. Amen.
Marriage is an institution ordained by God. The most important institution in the whole world. Marriage can be a blessing and also a curse depending on the foundation on which it is build. There are principles guiding everything in life (including marriage). When the principle and the foundation are faulty, then marriage become a Curse instead of a blessing.
Are you single? Planning to say I DO soon? Then you need to know these principles. Are you married, but presently in hell? You can make it work today by learning and applying those principles. Are you enduring yours? That is not the Father’s will for you. Marriage is meant to be enjoyed and not endured. We live in a world where we go through a lot as male and female, to run our homes and pay our bills our homes are meant to be a place of rest not a place of enduring.
If you agree that marriage was founded by God with the union of Adam and Eve, then you will also agree with me that the principles that would lead to a successful marriage can only be found in God’s teachings. After all, only the maker of a device has the authentic manual. Society and trends might try to modify, redefine or even give us a cosmetic idea of what is ideal but so long as you are not ashamed to use the original manual from the founder of marriage, you will have a beautiful home.
God created man and said it is not good for man to be ALONE and so woman was made. Marriage was not designed to be a lonely journey, where husband run his own race and the woman runs hers. The race in marriage is a joint race, where no one should Lord over the other.
Woman, you are meant to respect your husband and husband love your wife. God gave this instruction because He knew that most men are stronger than most women physically and may want to Lord over her, but when you love her as instructed, the love won’t make you Lord over her. As a wife or wife to be, you should be careful of the company you keep and what and who you listen to for advise.
Can two walk together except they agree? Agreement between husband and wife is key. Marriage is coming together of two adults, and not coming together of two adult and there parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and co. Every marriage should be between two adults and not the entire nation. No two situations are same, so also marriages. Your marriage is not expected to be compared to another.