Monday, July 7, 2008

Valentine's Day Interview

Words of Wisdom From A Godly Couple
by Tammi Lorraine

Throughout their sixteen years of marriage, Sharon and Will Blount have ministered to numerous couples in their church and community. Parents to three children, they understand the importance of balance and the power of praying together. I asked them questions concerning what happens when the honeymoon stage has ended and what to do when you feel like giving up on your marriage. Join me as I receive words of wisdom from this godly couple.

TAMMI: Valentine's Day is a day devoted to love and treating that special someone in our lives special. In your sixteen years of marriage how have you been able to incorporate that same love and passion into the other 364 days of the year?

SHARON: One of the things we do is pray together. My husband Will, will not leave in the morning until we say a prayer. It has been important over the years to keep us connected.

WILL: I agree; I also think taking care of each other on a day-to-day basis. Trying to pay attention through all of the distractions that we have with work, this committee [and] that committee; you have to make an effort to ensure your spouse feels they are wanted and appreciated.

TAMMI: Many couples were married last year at H.O.P.E.'s House. What would advise the newly- weds to do when the honeymoon stage ends and the monotony of everyday life sets in?

SHARON: It's important to spend time together. Do date nights. [The] reinforcing things that might seem corny, but does prove itself over time. We'll have Friday nights where we have sushi and that keeps us connected. Making sure [that] as you have kids and your family expands you are still committing to your private time. [And] get away on the weekends without the kids.

WILL: The two most important people in the relationship are the husband and wife. We sometimes forget and start putting the kids first. Now sure you have an infant [and] your infant is going to need you, but even when you are with your infant, you know [that] your responsibility [and] your commitment [and] your loyalty is also to your spouse. Your union is the most important union in the house, because it is the thing that is going to guide, nurture, and protect the babies as they get older. It's crucial to always understand the number one relationship in the house is the married couple.

TAMMI: If you could give do's and don'ts to married couples what would they be?

WILL: Don't say it. Words began it all, because He spoke it all into existence. You can say something and put it in someone's heart and they will never forget it. It will go inside and eat away at them and eat and eat and eat. You'll never get it back. It's like getting on a mountaintop with a pillow full of feathers. You flap all of the feathers into the wind and they go all over the land and drop. Those are your words, your careless words. Now to take it back, you have to go over the whole land, and pick them up. Don't say it because you can't get it all back.

SHARON: ... you have to know [that] in an hour you aren't going to be feeling those same harsh feelings. You have to know it is going to come back to love. So I really want to be mindful of what I say, [mindful] of my words and my behavior. That is really important to know. Your good feelings are always going to come back.

WILL: As far as the [to] do, going back to the point we made earlier about our date nights eating sushi. We have the same meaningful time when we have coffee. The main thing is being together, spending quality time together. So if you can't have sushi because of your budget, [then] go have some coffee or just sit out in your car looking over the ocean. You have to make time for each other.

TAMMI: I have one more question for you two. In recent years, marriage has been made to look so disposable. What do you say to the couples that want to give up on their marriage?

SHARON: There is the love element and the commitment. The commitment element wins out because your love waivers. You're mad, you're not mad, you're this and that, but the commitment cannot waiver. It has to always be there. You really have to have God in the middle of your life and relationship. Because if I'm not feeling so great about Will all I can do is pray about it, and pray God changes me. God can change me and God can change Will, but I can't change Will and Will can't change me. We have to understand that element. People get into relationships thinking he has this and she has that and oh I'll fix that. You can't. You can't change anybody. It has to be his or her desire, and God will work on that.

WILL: You drive down the street [and] you look at the billboards [and] there is the beautiful woman and the handsome guy. They live in the great house and they have all the money. It's spiritual warfare against marriages, because you are always seeing this [and] you are sometimes unconsciously comparing your stuff to the world's view and definition and you see how that is going. You need to keep your focus on God. You didn't get married by happenstance; He put you together. Because you have something that is unique, and they have something that is unique, and God put you together to blend that and make something of that. He did it. You have to look back and focus on why you got married. We have picture nights where we will open our photo albums and look at when we got married, baby pictures, [and] whatever is there. What you had at the beginning is still there, [but] sometimes you just sort of loose track of it. And every once in a while you need to be reminded ... that too shall pass.

SHARON: And that is like what you were saying about the infatuation part of the relationship. That does wear off pretty quick ... you really have to press forward because it does get that gray area where you don't feel those fluttery feelings anymore. That is very normal; people think the infatuation feelings are supposed to last forever and when they disappear then that must mean I don't love him anymore. We've renewed our vows and when I said to Will I want to marry you again, now I know him. When you are getting married in the beginning you don't know who that person is, who this person will unfold to be, and when you redo your vows you are saying, I know you; I know all your flaws [and] your weaknesses, and even still I will marry you again. And that means a lot. But that infatuation period is not the marriage it is the hopefulness and the newness and then once that wears off it gets down to who we really are…

WILL: Because of John 3:16, we know [that] we are sinners and we don't know it all. We have to learn how to forgive other people and ourselves, because He died for that. If you can forgive yourself and forgive others, you have a good fighting chance in your marriage.

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