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This post is a continuation of a series:
[Part 1] [Part 2][Part 3]
julie portrait3BW[From Julie]  I hope you all enjoyed hearing from my sister Tracey.  Next up is Tracey’s husband and my brother-in-law Robert.  Robert is a terrific husband for my sister and we are exceedingly glad that they found each other.  They make each other better people.  Can I say that I don’t find it surprising that the conversation that made a difference to him was a conversation he was having with Tracey.  They talk a lot!  🙂 Seriously, they are good together and really know how to speak to each other in a way that brings out the best.  I’ll let Robert take it from here.

RobertSomeone’s not going to slap you in the face and tell you that you’re stupid. Then again, possibly someone will… and maybe you deserve it. I did.

If you are driving down the wrong road, it is tempting to turn to the passengers in the car and ask, “Why are you letting me go the wrong way?” Their reply? “We thought you knew where you were going.”

One of those slap- in-the-face, drive-the-wrong-way moments led to a conversation that changed my marriage. Actually, I have had a couple of those in the twenty years that Tracey (Weir) Michael and I have been hitched. The first one came early in our marriage.

Stressed from financial pressures, a poor work environment, and too much concern for the almighty “me,” I had fallen into a spiritual funk. My attendance waned. I found myself feeling “sick” on Sundays, “tired” on Wednesdays. Tracey pulled me out of the funk by making one memorable comment that resonates with me to this day.

When a man is behaving like this—feeling sorry for himself, giving up spiritually, and distant relationally from the family—wake him up by appealing to his manhood. Tracey looked me in the eye and calmly said “I depend on you to be the spiritual leader in this family. Please don’t make me take that burden on myself. The kids will never forgive you and I will never forget.”

The second time a conversation built up our marriage was a relationship seminar three years ago. My first inclination when it comes to marriage seminars is to not attend. I learned that attendance can change your life and enrich your marriage. This particular seminar was Jerry and Lynn Jones, Relationships Matter. I learned three main things from their seminar.

1) Marriage is a model of servanthood

2) We aren’t right or wrong, we are just different

3) “Double V” negotiating can work

As married folks, we need to focus on communicating, loving, and growing in God. Sincere conversations, prayer, and investing in your marriage are key elements to keeping a marriage healthy. Information about Jerry and Lynn Jones’ seminars can be found at: www.marriagematters.ws