Friday, November 21, 2014

[BOOK] The Honeymoon Never Ends: Secrets to Deeper Intimacy and Passion in Marriage - Nelson T Dy

I've been reading a lot of books over the years and this I would say is one of my most favorite books. (Yes I read a lot of books, ranging from fiction/self help/relationship/arts/cooking/etc.. I am awesome like that. hahaha.  Knowledge is knowledge.)  It was shared to me by my colleague and I have been sharing this book to my friends and networks a like. 

It is a really good book. I bought my copy from Powerbooks earlier this year and even gave one to my significant other. HAHA. Its that good. I think its about P300-P400 a copy. The book has a lot of depth but at the same time the author uses words that are easy to understand. Below are the most important tidbits that would be good reminders.

1. Read the bible with the intention to know God and get involved with Him. This is the starting point. Know God, understand Him, and everything will fall into place. This is not BS. Its real. Once you understand His character, you will understand why things are so. I am still learning this.
2. Read the bible with sincerity and one that doesn't focus on what do you need to change to be a better person. Go further than treating the bible as an instruction manual. People can get obsessed with the perfect human being. I should be like this and like that. God designed us all uniquely and we should focus on what He is telling us.
3. Focus what He has in mind. Complementary to point 2, we have to focus on what God is trying to tell us. Not what society is trying to tell you about God's people being in a certain way.
4. If we can't sit still and listen to God, how much more can we listen to our spouse. This rings a lot of bells in my head. It is so true. If your heart is too stubborn and impatient to even listen to God (who is perfect), then how would your pride even manage to listen/wait for someone who is so frustratingly imperfect.
5. Read the bible from genesis to revelations. Many people tend to skip the old testament with the laziness to understand all the crazy sounding names and words (like me). But time and time, I have been reminded to read the old testament and learn how God really is. The old testament talks about God in a more descriptive way, I just have to be patient to peel the pages and see that. I will give myself a stronger push to read the bible cover to cover. Since God is in all these pages, He has a reason for all these.
6. Proper timing to address an issue. make sure that needs are addressed first. There is a perfect time for everything. Waiting is not weakness, its in fact a skill to deduce on the thin line of when and how to act. We are bombarded with a lot concerns and issues about life, we cannot deal with all of them. Nor do we prioritize them the same way. We need to understand this and focus on our NEEDS first before we even go to our petty wants. Usually when our primal needs are not address, we become more hostile and a whole lot of chaos is following.
7. People need care and patience not raw power. Force may give you immediate results (good or bad) but its not usually optimum when we are dealing with people. People are very fragile creatures who respond better to care and patience rather than brusqueness. As people say, "let the creator do His job".
8. Skip the lecture and listen more. Often than not, knowledgeable people tend to be righteous. We think that knowledge allows us the right to dictate since we know better. But almost always, there is a mild complication or difference than what we anticipate, the best way to address any issue/concern is to LISTEN first. Analysis can come afterwards. This will make your judgement more sound and with more ground.
9. Just like Solomon learn to listen to God intently. We need to dig deeper, our partners maybe acting a certain way due to a personal trauma. Learn to listen. Listening is a skill that needs to be practiced. Learn to listen outside yourself. More things are happening and affecting your immediate life as you know it.
10. Leave no room for misunderstanding. Make your sentences idiot proof. Say what you mean. This is what I tend to do in my whole life both at work and personal. As much as possible leave no room for grey areas to creep in. The less room for possibilities, the less room for doubts.
11. Usually certain behaviors are caused by a trauma. I have failed to see this back when I was younger. I came to judgements as easy as my eyes lay upon a person. But now that I understand better, I see that people are the way they are because of something. We need to listen, be more sensitive and that way we can adjust more appropriately to the other person. Most often, he/she really does not mean anything bad. Its just that its not what we have grown used to.
12. Many times we talk as if God cannot hear us. We do and say things without regard of the consequences. I do this a lot. I tend to forget that God is everywhere. Always put in your heart that God is here, there, in him, outside him. God always hears/sees us. There is always a consequence to whatever we do.
13. If god were to read the scripts of your marriage, will you be proud? This is something to think about. If God was to check every word that came out of my mouth. If God was to examine my heart each time I "helped" a person. If God was to check my goals in life. Will he be proud and happy of where I am. Would I be happy on what I will be seeing?
14. Even if you do not speak bad words, are you able to encourage your spouse? Action speaks louder than words, and its true. Sometimes we think as long as we don't anything bad then its okay. But in reality, "doing nothing" is already something. We need to act in love.
15. No one can make us mad. We choose to be mad. Rings true. We choose our reactions. We cannot blame anyone for what we did. 
16. Marriage does not begin with you and your spouse. It is between you and God.
I am convinced that if we dwell with God, the overflow is going to consistently seep into our conversation. The more you realize that 2 limited individuals cannot do it alone, then you are on your way to a greater future. The more God is present in your life, the more you cannot be shaken by the petty things.
17. "I not you" technique when arguing. - "I would appreciate it if... " instead of "You are lazy." Here are some word strategies to implement point 14. Act in love. Focus on building up a person instead of bringing him down by pointing fingers. Help and appreciate, it will go a long way. This personally is my daily struggle, but I am learning.

***April 2015, started to reread the book again. Here are my updated learnings:
18. "Marriage was never intended for perfect people, but for flawed, needy people who have found the perfect Savior and are willing to make Him the third party in a relationship that will never end."
19. "Both of us live for the other and the two of us live for God".
20. Marriage problems might be rooting from the ignorance of relevant biblical principles and techniques. 
21. Fix the vertical relationship with God first and everything else will follow. "Troubles in the relationships between husband and wife more often than not reflect problems in the relationship they have with God."
22. "Our goal is not perfection, but progress." Amen. Don't expect to hit it on your first try. Relationships are a constant plant that needs intentional love and care. 
23. Begin with a Romantic God. Marriage does not begin with you and your spouse. It begins with you and your God. Thoughts like not being able to please your partner (forever) will eventually pop up. Solution is to focus on God's character and let that overflow.
24. The main issue with our hearts is our disconnected soul. We are disconnected from ourselves, from others, and from God. Not knowing God in an intimately personal way. 
25. How we view God affects how we relate with Him.
26. Refuel Your Heart. You cannot give what you do not have. We cannot manufacture love out of thin air. Get love from God who never fails or runs out. READ about God. LISTEN to other people's experiences about God.
27. Focus "being you" rather than "doing" what you think is right. Read the bible, be loved by God, love God, and therefore do.  
28. Rediscover the treasure (again and again). Never let familiarity make you forget what it was like. Our partners are made in the image of God such that they are made representatives of God on Earth. 
29. Practice mental monogamy. You will appreciate one another better.
 30. Love is like a muscle. It your job to love your partner and God's job to change his/her for the better.
31. Outserve each other. Do not expect your partner to make you happy. "Do unto others as you would have them do to you."
32. Ask God to open our eyes to see the needs of our spouses.  A lover does not ignore the beloved's needs.
33. Create a safe atmosphere that allow one another to talk about God . 
34, Discuss verbally how you can be better partners.