Q+A: Are We Ready For Marriage?

Q: Gary, how long would you recommend dating before considering marriage?

Gary: Typically you don’t continue dating very long unless you have some idea that this might be the person you want to marry. I do think you need to give it significant time, however. I can’t set an arbitrary time, one year two years, I can’t really say that. But I do think you need to give it significant time. What you do in that time is far more important than how long it is. Are you reading a book on marriage that is looking at the different aspects of marriage that you ought to be looking at? Are you being honest with each other about your background? Are you working through the struggles that might be there with your family and extended family? I wrote a book called Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married. I think you might find it helpful.

Q+A: Marriage Preparation

Q: Gary, my fiancé and I are engaged to be married next Spring. What kind of conversations should we be having and what questions should we be asking towards building a strong and godly marriage?

Gary: You know I can give you a short answer that will take you a little while to read, and that is my book, Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married. I would encourage you to work through that book. Read through the 12 things that I know now that had I know it then, would have made my marriage much easier. And I think it will help you make a wise decision about getting married.

Dealing with finances, sharing, and conflict. These are just some of the topics of Gary’s book, Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married.

Starting Over

Would you like to put the past behind you and start over? I’m talking about in your marriage. Many couples have so much pain from past failures that they have a hard time moving ahead. Time alone, will not heal hurts. Healing comes when we are willing to confess our failures and change our behavior. Some of us would like to leave out the confession part and just focus on being different in the future. However, confession is essential to the healing process. Even God requires confession before He forgives. I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” Confession means that we admit to our spouse that what we did is wrong. We accept responsibility for our failure and request forgiveness.

10 Fun, Cheap Date Ideas for You and Your Spouse

Christi and I maintain a date night once a week. With little kids, it’s necessary for us to stay connected with one another beyond “business talk” or “kid talk.”

However, like most couples, spending money on a babysitter and the date itself can get pretty expensive over time. That’s why we’re creative in what our date nights often look like.

Need to stick to your monthly budget?

Here are 10 fun, cheap date ideas for you and your spouse this summer:

Continue reading article by Joshua Straub>>

The Difference Between Recognition and Appreciation

Do you know the difference between recognition and appreciation? Most companies focus on recognition and think people feel appreciated. However recognition puts the emphasis on performance and uses “words of affirmation” or “tangible gifts” as their methods. This misses half of their employees. Recognition is also “top-down” and often becomes routine. Appreciation, on the other hand, focuses on the person. They may not be performing at their peak, for many reasons, but when you express interest in them as a person, they are motivated to become more involved. It is the difference between treating people as machines who crank out the work and people who have feelings, frustrations, desires, and dreams. When people feel appreciated, they want to be a part of the team.

Q+A: Am I Still in Love?

Q: Gary, if I am in a dating relationship which has moved out of the “tingly” love stage – how do I know that I am still in love with this person as we transition into the love languages stage?

Gary: When you come down off the high of the in-love experience often we feel like “I’ve lost it. I just don’t have it. It must not be the right person.” So we often break off the relationship rather than speaking each other’s love language. I would suggest reading through my book The 5 Love Languages, discussing the whole concept of love languages. Because that will keep emotional warmth alive in the relationship. It’s not the high of the in love experience, but it is emotional love. Then you can look at all the other aspects of life and ask, are we really compatible? Do we have what it takes to have a life-long relationship? Then you can make a wise decision, really a better decision, now that you’ve come down off that high.

Q+A: Sexual Temptation During Engagement

Q: Gary, do you have any suggestions for dealing with sexual attraction and temptation during our engagement?

Gary: All of us are sexually motivated and in a dating relationship we’re dating because we have an attraction to each other. The sexual part of life is just that, a part of life, so it’s very natural that you would have a sexual attraction. I just think the key is setting boundaries. You decide on the things you feel like are going beyond the realm of where you should go in this juncture of your relationship. And you talk about these boundaries and set them with each other and you don’t press the other person to go beyond these boundaries. That is the safest way, I believe, to keep the relationship focused on other aspects of development so that you can make a wise decision about whether this relationship will lead to marriage.

Helping People Feel Appreciated

Because we spend so much of our time on the job, I have been deeply interested in workplace relationships. Why would we not want to make things as pleasant as we can for everyone? One ingredient is helping people feel appreciated. However, what makes one person feel appreciated will not make another person feel appreciated. Thus our efforts often get rebuffed. We fail to hit the target in how to express appreciation. Dr. Paul White and I wrote a book to help you be more successful in your efforts: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. A free online inventory: Motivating By Appreciation will give you the persons primary, secondary and least important language of appreciation.

When Was the Last Time You Verbally Affirmed a Coworker?

Can you recall a time within the last week when you verbally affirmed a coworker? If so, what did you say? How did they respond? If you saw them ‘light up’ and come alive, you can assume that words of affirmation is their primary appreciation language. However, if they brushed off your comments, you can assume they have a different appreciation language. We believe that the five love languages which have helped so many couples connect emotionally also have application in workplace. However, don’t assume that your primary love language at home will be your primary appreciation language at work. Work relationships are very different from family relationships. But love and appreciation are essential to healthy relationships.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Are you a business owner, CEO, or President of your company? Would you like to see reductions in employee turnover, improved attendance and productivity, greater customer satisfaction, more positive relationships between supervisors, staff, and colleagues, and a more positive corporate culture and work environment? Dr. Paul White and I believe that the book: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, will help you accomplish all of those objectives. When people feel appreciated they are more engaged, they give themselves to their work. The Key is learning how to express appreciation effectively. You may give them a gift, but they would much prefer words of affirmation. One size does not fit all.