Just Do It, Laugh

This morning, I was reading through my Bible in a Year plan.  I try to read with an attentive heart, listening for God’s application for me in each passage.

James 1:22-25  “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

Reading the Bible in rote commitment and then walking away in ignorance and oblivion makes God’s powerful word useless to me. It is forgetting who I am; forgetting what I am dressed for; forgetting whose I am. I remember growing up, my dad telling me to put on a smile and to pay attention to my composure in public because I was a representation of him. I can study and read God’s word and present an air of godliness, but without obedience, I can never be a positive ambassador for my heavenly Father.

OK, that was a long introduction to the verses I found in Proverbs that support the message of Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage. 

Proverbs 16:26 “A worker’s appetite works for him; his mouth urges him on.”  A worker’s appetite is his motivation. A husband or wife will be better able to motivate the spouse, to draw them toward their persuasion, if they understand the other’s “appetite”.

Proverbs 17:22 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Once I understood my motivation, that it’s OK and a good thing that I desire to please, inspire and bring joy to others, then I am even more energized to do it. God made us each uniquely and when we can use our drive for joy to enable us to be effective in our families and marriages – we will be pleasing to the Lord.

Patrick and I have been abundantly blessed in our own marriage both through the DVD series we did in Sunday school and the Flag Page Test we took at home. I have enjoyed the few episodes of Gungor’s radio show that I have listened to as well. I plan to buy Flag Page codes for my sister and her fiance for their wedding. It’s a fun way to improve your  marriage long-term. What could be better than that?

Fly Your Flag Proudly

The Flag Page is your chance to see how you succeed in life, what motivates you and what makes you different from the people close to you.

It’s not a personality test, an aptitude test or an evaluation of your love language. It’s about what motivates you, what makes you tick. The final DVD in the Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage seminar is an introduction to the Flag Page. Think of it as the banner that flies over your life. Historically, in battle, the colors are the motivation and the rallying point for soldiers. Your “flag” is that for your own life. In the “battles” of marriage, the conundrums of work, the daily complexities of life, what keeps you plugging on? What are you ultimately striving for? What, when you see this accomplished, allows you to sit back and sigh with satisfaction?

Prepare to hardly recognize yourself. When I clicked the last little box and my flag appeared on the computer screen, I felt like a foreigner to learn that I am from the “Fun Country.” I’m not especially humorous, I’m certainly not witty, comedy is not my forte. But, when I think about what motivates me, what my end game is – I want to make people happy. I love, love to please people. At the end of the day, if those around me have had fun, felt love, found joy, then I am deeply satisfied.

Patrick, as it turns out is from the “Peace Country.” That surprised me too. His talents are leadership, he’s hard as nails, his very career thrives on conflict, for crying out loud. But, when I look at what motivates him – truly, his greatest joy is to keep the peace. He is overwhelmed by chaos. What motivates him through a tough day is the promise of his comfy chair at home, escape from conflict, simplicity.

Yes, love languages are important and doubtless it is interesting to understand your spouse’s personality. But, I now realize how important it is to understand what motivates my husband. Obviously, a marriage is give and take. It’s leaning toward your spouse, working to please them, expressing your needs and sacrificing to meet the needs of your spouse. If you know what motivates your mate, then you can more easily to persuade them to come toward you and you can more willingly meet their needs.

I also found great joy in learning my own country. I was surprised to discover my native country, but thrilled to see more clearly why I do the things I do. I suddenly have an ever deeper craving to bring joy to others. I have a renewed energy to do what I was made to do, which in turn brings me even more fulfillment.

Go figure. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. What’s good for the spouse is good for the marriage.