Are you sure you know your spouse?

I like to talk about marriage. I like to see couples living happily.

How well or how deeply do you know your spouse? You may think you know your spouse when your knowledge is only superficial. Your knowledge of your spouse is like scratching at the surface as fowls do to search the ground for worms. They don’t dig deep.i

To make a comparison with fishing, I can say perhaps you have not dipped your net deep like the fishermen in the Bible to know and understand your spouse. Will it be surprising if at the end of the day, your net is empty?

There are tools that couples use to know themselves better, understand each other better, and relate better, thus succeeding in marriage.

Anyone who follows my writings on marriage closely will recall that once I posted something on a Marriage Encounter Week End.

Many people do not know about Marriage Encounter Week ends; and when they hear about it for the first time, one question which usually comes to their minds: who or what does one encounter at the week end?

That was the same question I asked before I became encountered.

This question was answered during the weekend. I got to understand the encounter concept and found it so beautiful.

Let me answer this question for you. Who or what do you encounter when you go for a Marriage Encounter Week End?

At a Marriage Encounter Week end, the first person you encounter is yourself.

If you have never done a week end, then most probably you have never really encountered yourself.

If you have never encountered yourself, it means you do not really know yourself. In other words, you have never really gotten in touch with your feelings.

And if you are not in touch with your feelings, it means you are living superficially without knowing your own self; without knowing why you feel the way you feel about certain situations, and act the way you act.

We, humans need to know ourselves and accept who we are. This starts with knowing who we are.

We are a whole bunch of things determined by our physical constitution, our sex, education, background, which we also call filters, our environment etc.

During a Marriage Encounter Week End, we are helped to know who we are. This includes knowing our strengths and weaknesses, our doubts, fears, worries etc.

When we know all these, that knowledge helps us in our dealings with others.

Hence, the first person you encounter during an Original Week End is yourself.

The next person you encounter is your spouse.

As husband and wife, you know yourselves better when you encounter each other. You know your spouse’s likes and dislikes, personality style, and what makes your spouse react in a certain way to certain situations.

When you know all this, you understand your spouse better. You understand that your spouse’s reaction may be the result of your spouse’s filters or personality style.

This is very precious knowledge that you will hardly get from marriage doctrine.

You can see that the word encounter should not scare anybody. It is not a violent encounter as a physical confrontation in a fight or in a football match where physical force is required. It is a gradual, loving, pleasurable discovery of who we are, and who our spouse is.

The third person you encounter at a week end is Jesus Christ. You come face to face with Jesus Christ, and understand the role that he has to play in your life firstly as and individual, and secondly as a couple.

You also encounter the sacrament of matrimony. You understand the real meaning of the sacrament of Matrimony.

What does it mean when you get married in Church? It means Christ is in that relationship. It means Christ is available at all times to help you in your relationship. It means Christ is journeying with you as a couple. You are not just husband and wife but husband, wife and Christ. You are three in one. This is so good. If there is a problem, you don’t have to try to handle it with your spouse alone. All three of you have to sit down together and look at it. You have to run to Christ every now and then, in fact, permanently.

During the week end you are taught a technique to get Christ ever present in your relationship so that even the children you give birth to are rooted in Christ.

From this you can draw a conclusion about why some children are wayward. Sometimes, it starts right at conception. The parents do not put Christ at the center at the time they are looking for a baby.

We are supposed to decide with Christ through prayer that we want a baby; that it is time to have a baby. Then we go looking for the baby with him through prayer. We do not go on our own.

If we bring Christ in at the very beginning, the child we get will grow up to know Christ and bear the light of Christ.

If some children go on to become priests, or religious, it is because their parents got Christ fully involved in the decision to bring them into the world, and continued to journey with Christ to bring them up. It is usually not by accident. Of course, some do encounter Christ late but most are people whose parents encountered Christ and helped their children early enough to encounter Christ as well.

Another level of encounter during the week end is for priests and religious who attend the weekend.

A lot of people often wonder what this category of people go to a week end for. Let us not forget that Priests and religious are also married to the greatest spouse, Jesus Christ. During the weekend, they first Encounter their self and then encounter Jesus Christ, their own spouse. If there are two priests at the weekend, they Encounter each other. This means they try to understand each other. Priests and religious live in communities and it is not an easy thing. If you Encounter yourself and know what motivates your behaviour and other priests’ behavior, it will be easier to live together.

The priesthood can also be very lonely. But encountered priests are not lonely because they have encountered couples to journey with. They understand what motivates certain behaviours and share the same values like encountered couples and have the tools to maintain healthy relationships with couples. This does not say that there is perfection. Not at all! There is room for human weakness. The bottom line is encountered priests and religious do very well with encountered couples.

In Marriage Encounter, you Encounter yourself, your spouse and Jesus Christ. Priests encounter themselves, fellow Priests and their spouse Jesus Christ; and the Christians they are called upon to serve.

Religious Encounter themselves, their fellow religious, (male/male; female/female).

The goal of a M.E. Week End is to make you know yourself, know your spouse and know Jesus Christ. This enhances love, understanding, tolerance, and working together for success in marriage and in their lives.

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I hope you know

I hope you know
That God is your friend;
I hope you know,
That God is very kind;
I hope you know,
That God loves you;
I hope you know
That God is a merciful God;
I hope you know,
That God is your father;
I hope you know,
That God is almighty;
I hope you know,
That God is all powerful;
I hope you know,
That God is all and all;
I hope you know
That God is love;
I hope you know
That God wants the best
For you,
And you can only get it
If you want the best
For yourself.
I hope you know
All these important facts
About life.
If you don’t, you better do.

New ways

There is no end to education;
Hence, no end to learning;
Learning will only end,
If the world ends;
Which may be billions
Of years away;
Leaning is like a river
That flows nonstop;
The more you learn,
The more you know;
The more you need to learn.
It is by learning
That we acquire new knowledge;
Which means knowing new things;
New ways of living,
New ways of acting;
New ways of cultivation;
New ways of planting;
New ways of harvesting;
New ways of preserving
What we have harvested.
New ways of enjoying
The fruits of our labour.

Feed your mind

Take your time
And feed your mind;
It needs
Food to eat
And water to drink;
So that it may grow;
And grow well;
Nourishing food
Is what it needs to eat;
And clean water
To drink;
Knowledge
Is the food
Of the mind,
But, just like
Not all food
Is good
For the nourishment
Of the body,
Not all knowledge
Is good
For the nourishment
Of the mind;
As you must feed your body
With nourishing food;
Do same with your mind;
Learn useful things;
Give your mind
A balanced diet;
Dont forget fresh air
And enough sunlight,
The crops will grow well.
And yield
An abundant harvest.
Your barns will be full.

I never will understand

Plenty of things I never
Do see;
Though wide I open my eyes;
Yet, I believe, they exist;
Plenty of things
I don’t understand;
However hard I rack
My tiny brain;
Yet, I believe, they exist;
For those who understand
Do make me know;
I can’t always see
Before I believe;
I can’t always understand
What I see;
As galore things exist,
Like stars in the sky,
Or fish in the sea,
I never will understand,
No matter how hard I try;
But what use do I want
To draw water from a stone?
Decipher or not,
See or don’t see
The writing on the wall
Is bold and clear;
Many things exist
I never will know;
I never will understand.

Don’t you know them?

Don’t you know them?
They are many;
They live among us;
And, going by what they do,
You can call them stupid;
But they think they are clever;
Claiming to know so much;
When they know very little;
They think they have
All the answers;
When they have no answers,
They want to be teachers
When they have nothing
To teach anyone.
Humility is what they lack;
So much noise
They know to make;
But little, they actually do.
Don’t you know such ones?
They aren’t far from you.

Learning is critical

Have you found that learning is critical to success? Of that, I am certain.

Each time I take time and learn how to do something, I usually find it easier to do it; and the results I get are satisfactory.

On the other hand, each time I have dabbled into something important without having taken time to learn how to go about it, not only have I found it harder to do, but also, the results have not been pleasing.

This explains why I do encourage all my friends, readers and whoever I can to make an effort to put learning ahead of doing.

Take time to learn how to do whatever you want to do.

By the way, learning is a life long affair. If you stop learning, you stop growing.

It is important that no day should pass when you have not added to your stock of knowledge. By this I mean when you have not learned something new, be it a new word, a new idea, new fact, or a new way of doing things.

Ensure that you grow in knowledge everyday.

At the end of each day, you should be able to show to yourself one or two things that you learned.

Know-how and excellence

Put in your mind once and for all, that know-how has tremendous power.

It is indispensable for excellence.

If you want to excel in anything, first acquire the know-how to do it.

Without that, it is impossible to excel. Instead, you will fall into mediocrity.

Are you for excellence or mediocrity. If you are for excellence, go for know-how.

It takes determination and effort to acquire know-how but it is worthwhile.