Monday, February 28, 2011

The Marriage Course

We have been taking The Marriage Course, but let me back track just a bit. For my New Years Resolutions, I wanted to get on track with a few things in our life. The main one being money. We are in a nice spot with our home mortgage being the only debt we have. But how do we build on that? Savings accounts are great but they aren't really enough. Plus there is all this other stuff that gets thrown at us-we needed to be educated-we need to know the most about what to do with money. So, we signed up for FPU at Reflections. I called one of my friends who goes to that church to see if she and her husband wanted to join us. Weird, I know, especially since it involves money. I mean, who wants their friends to know anything about how much or in our case not so much money we have, right? Well, I actually learned a fun little trivia tidbit Friday night-America is one of the few countries on the entire planet whose people have a problem talking about their money. Crazy, right? Especially for one of the richest nations. I was one of those people at one time. It has been very freeing to say to my friends, this is how much we have, this is what it gets spent on, and this is how we are saving. This has even enabled me to rope in one of my friends to teach me how to grocery shop! I never would have known what a master budgeter she was unless I confessed to her the hard time I have being intentional with money. But I digress........FPU will be another blog entry altogether. Long story short; they couldn't do FPU with us as much as I peer pressured her into it (sometimes scheduling conflicts really are scheduling conflicts), so she turned the tables on me and peer pressured us into doing The Marriage Course with them every Tuesday night for the next 8 weeks. I fall pretty easy to most peer pressure when its for a good cause so we were in. We then peer pressured 2 more of our friends into doing it too. It has been so enjoyable!

Tomorrow night is the last night in
The Marriage Course. For the past 8 weeks we have met at Reflections for this great course. The pastor at this church is actually the pastor who married Tyler and I and he is awesome! The selling point to the whole class was that each Tuesday night they provided childcare and cooked us dinner at our own little candle lit table. And even though we are there with friends, it is a very private and safe environment. After all, it is on marriage. It has been a built in date night once a week for the past 2 months. Never in my life did I ever think a Tuesday night would be something to look forward to! We LOVE it!
Each week the course covers a different topic; here is my little spin on each week:

Week 1: The Introduction
. Pastor Dave got up and talked to us candidly about marriage and the course itself and what we would be doing for the following 7 weeks. The greatest relationship we have on this earth is the one we have with our spouse. Why not put forth the most energy to it? We were sold hook line and sinker!
Week 2: The Art of Communication. The importance of talking and listening. Feelings, filters and bad habits all came out in this class.
Week 3: Building Strong Foundations. This is where we evaluated areas in our marriage and talked about them with each other. The 4 components were friendship, communication, physical relationship and building our future together. We took a little quiz and then compared our scores with our spouses. It was fun and educational!
Week 4: Resolving Conflict. We learned how to express our appreciation for each other, how to recognize that we have differences, how to negotiate areas of conflict and how to pray together. It was interesting to actually label ourselves as rhinos or hedgehogs. Rhino's attack when provoked and hedgehogs withdraw when they are threatened. I can be both. Wow, Tyler is so very lucky to try to figure me out!
Week 5: The Power of Forgiveness. Don't bury hurt and anger. Identify the hurt, apologize and forgive. Pastor Dave did a wonderful job of explaining forgiveness too.
Week 6: Parents and In-Laws. This is a blog entry all on its own and will have a follow up later. I learned more about me and the family I grew up in this week. It was fun, it was exciting, and it made me very warm and fuzzy inside. I also learned a lot about Tyler and how he is the man that he is today.
Week 7: Good Sex. Pastor Dave actually said that was a typo and it should read Great Sex. I must say, I was a bit anxious about this one. Talking about sex in church is only something I whisper or text to my girlfriends about during MOPs. I have never thought about involving a pastor in it. But, like he said-God invented sex and he is a pastor who is married and has a lot of sex. It was a wild ride of a class, bad choice of words, it was a crazy class. This one also has its own blog entry. Scratch that-this entry will go in my other blog!
Week 8: Love in Action. This one starts tomorrow night. By no means am I an overachiever these days and so I did not read ahead. But, I am assuming this last class will tie everything together and send us home very completed. I wonder if we get little certificates? I also wonder what they are cooking for dinner!
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