Relationship Therapy

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This week I’ve been trying to capture for everyone the unique experience Marti and I had this last weekend meeting over four days with a very daring couple who flew to southern California for the purpose of healing their relationship through talking with us and taking directives from my wife who is very good at this kind of thing. It may sound like we do this every weekend (we don’t) but after this weekend’s success, I’m not so sure as to whether we might want to consider it.

Careful, though, Marti can have you doing some pretty bizarre things, like walking out your back door, coming around and knocking on the front door to be let in a different man. Or she might have you throwing your dirty baggage out into the street, as long as you time your throw to put it right in front of a passing car. You also will have to get some help carrying it out there because it’s so heavy; you’ve been working on it for so many years.

And if you didn’t propose right the first time, better do it again, and do it right this time. Just no sex, because you’re only engaged. That will have to wait for the wedding, which is tomorrow.

Jim and Suzanne had been to six different marriage counselors. Six different attempts and no significant change. If you ask Jim about what made this different, he will answer you right away — it was the relationship. We were not therapists and clients; we were friends in league with the Lord. Which tells me we can all do this in some way for each other. As friends, we can help each other face some of our difficulties, barriers, and bad habits. We can help each other stay true to our commitments and keep our promises.

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,” writes Paul in Ephesians 5:21. And part of what that means is to be vulnerable to one another.

I watched love being maximized last weekend. I saw barriers come down. I witnessed transformation in process. I saw hope reborn. I saw what can happen when we are willing to be vulnerable to each other.

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3 Responses to Relationship Therapy

  1. This brought tears and joy to me. So many people need this help in breaking down walls. Blessings to you and Marti once again for teaching us about being vulnerable and finding love restored.

  2. Sandie says:

    “Help each other to stay true to our commitments and keep our promises.” Integrity, honesty, self -respect, mutual respect, responsibility, self-discipline, kindness, accountability, non-judgmental, hopeful, picking up the slack, encouraging, expecting and wanting the best – doing what it takes to make that happen, forgiving…in other words, see 1 Corinthians 13. Hard work, but oh so worth the effort. Our relationships, especially marriage are supposed to embody what Christ did for us. We’ll inevitably screw it up to a fair-thee-well, but we have His eternal promise to forgive us and let us begin again. (1 John 1:9) We have to cut each other the same break and promise…eternally.
    Bless you and Marti for welcoming this couple and bless this couple for having the courage to keep trying. May they always see each other through the eyes of Jesus. “It’s never too late to start over; thanks to God!

  3. June Fishman Alexander says:

    HI Jim and Suzanne – I wish you a blessed and joyous marriage.
    John and Marti married my husband and myself almost 3 years ago, by Skype, no less.
    We had a small party that our friends prepared for us – a potluck dinner, and John and Marti, in their car, pulled over to the side, marrying us. There is a 3 or 4 hour difference between us and California, and we wanted to be married on New Year’s Eve. We were dating for 3 years in the early 1980’s, and then we broke up. I had not seen him, my husband Paul, in almost 28 years or so, and he found me on facebook, the day I went on. In any case, we got married. Had issues with our children for almost 2 years, and separated. Then 6 months ago or so, he got back in touch with me, saying he could not live without me, and hence we have been together. Jesus/Our Lord performs miracles, that no other could. We love John and Marti, and I have been with them for years. Love and blessings, June, and for Paul

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