Brett believes it takes a lot of effort to succeed in relationships. “You reap what you sow,” he says. “Investing in your marriage and fertilising it is so important. You have to nourish your relationship. It sounds funny to say, but take your relationship in for servicing. It needs a fine tune from time to time.”
Kate continues, “Marriage should be exciting, but instead we can often feel trapped, and wonder what we can do to enrich the experience. If you’re prepared to do the hard work, the end result is greater intimacy. If you persevere and journey together you end up being closer. It takes continual sowing into a marriage. Make sure you talk together and pray together. Don’t just drift along.”
Brett says it’s vitally important to be vulnerable, not only with your partner but with yourself. “The determination of a successful marriage is to look in the mirror. Would you want to be married to you? Why? You need to adjust and fine tune, and be aware you can have many blind spots. Because as an individual you want to be the best version of yourself you can be. It takes two healthy individuals to make a healthy relationship.”
Kate adds that when relationships break down, the effects are wide spread. “Children can become collateral damage. They grow up with no understanding of what a healthy relationship should be. We want to leave a legacy of health and well-being. If we haven’t had that role modeled, then we default to what we’ve seen. Staying in a marriage is not always about being happy, it’s about making choices to grow and develop.”
Brett says for those who are struggling right now, just start by being the vest version of yourself you can be. “As we navigate life it’s going to be full of ups and downs, especially as we communicate and share our feelings and emotions. You both have to want what’s best and want to succeed. The Bible tell us to make every effort to live in peace. By showing love and concern, you are doing what is within your power. But there are no guarantees.”
Kate suggests that couples try and rediscover the love they had for each other initially. “Read Psalm 40. We can trust god, and He’s not finished with us yet. There is real hope for the future.”
Brett and Kate’s “Real Life, Real Love” seminar’s next event is starting on Tuesday, 23rd March. For $50 per couple, it’s a low cost way to invest in your marriage. Brett and Kate focus on the God factor in marriages and offer plenty of free online resources as well. They will encourage and empower you to have the healthiest marriage you can! Visit families.org.au for more information, and listen to the rest of their chat with Neil below.