Happy Valentine?s Day!
Have you ever wondered how Valentine?s Day came about? According to www.history.com there are a number of interpretations on how it began.
No matter what story you choose to believe, the consensus seems to be that St. Valentine was martyred for reasons related to his convictions of love and relationships. He was an ultimate giver. Valentine?s Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate the people we love for just one day of the year. But what happens after Valentine?s Day? How can we continue being selfless givers the rest of the days of the year as well?
Time and time again, in our "I?m doing this for me? society, we forget that one of the principle foundations of lasting, solid relationships is selfless giving. Relationships can be extremely fulfilling, however, they can also become the greatest source of pain when they?re not going well. This is especially true when each partner becomes self-seeking.
In light of Valentine?s Day and our upcoming Family Day, on Feb. 20th, let?s cover some tips for strengthening marriages and relationships.
?Marriages and relationships need to be intentional, including words such as honour, respect, honesty, vulnerability, healthy, open communication and forgiveness.
?When we don?t agree with or understand a statement our spouse or partner makes, be intentionally curious rather than attacking or blaming. Ask them to clarify what you think you heard them say.
?Speak respectfully to one another even when disagreeing. Don?t call each other names, withhold love-making or point out weaknesses when arguing.
?Be honest in your communication even if it may hurt you or your spouse. Honesty, with pain, is far better than brewing distrust through deception. Be honest about your own personal struggles. Everyone has them.
?Don?t try to change your spouse or loved one! You can?t change anyone, so stop trying! Instead, change your own responses.
?You are the only one that can choose to react or respond to a situation. Reactions produce chaos; responses produce thought evoked action. An old wise proverb reads, "A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up anger.?
Honouring and giving to each other, meeting one another?s needs, knowing what each other?s needs are, communicating with honesty and respect and treating one another as cherished gifts are ways to enhance a relationship beyond Valentine?s Day.
May your Valentine?s Day and Family Day be one of celebrating your spouse and loved ones all year around!! Solid marriages make solid families and solid families make solid communities.
By: Winnie Visser in collaboration with Sharon Osvald
Principles for Real Living:
I am responsible for my own attitude
My attitude affects my actions
I can not change others, but I can influence others
My emotions do not control my actions
Admitting my imperfections does not mean that I'm a failure
Love is the most powerful weapon for good in the world
Desperate Marriages by Gary Chapman, Northfield Publishing, Chicago 1998, 2008