How to make a great marriage

Toastmasters Speech – Competent Communicator Manual

Project 2 – Organize your speech

Delivered: 29 August

Select your topic

  • How to make a great marriage

Make an outline

  • Poor
  • Improving
  • Good
  • Great

Develop the opening

  • Dave Meurer — ‘A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.’
  • Where-ever you are on the spectrum of marriages, there is hope that you can move up the scale. Even if it’s great, you can still “sharpen the saw”.

Draft the body

Who am I to talk on this topic?

  • Married 22 years
  • Been a participant or instructor on various marriage enrichment courses.
  • Knows what works (and what doesn’t). More about that later.

Where-ever you are on the spectrum of marriages, there is hope that you can move up the scale. Even if it’s great, you can still “sharpen the saw”.

Imagine a spectrum, from poor to great. (Use hands)

(I won’t do a “Patrick Jane” and attempt to Mentalise you by observing where your eyes are looking right now.)

I have grouped the various courses of which I have either been a participant or instructor, into three Toolboxes for improving your marriage:

  • Fundamentals
    1. Relating Between the Sexes (Pre-Marriage)
      Dean Sherman from YWAM taught me that I need to be a whole person first, before I inflict myself upon another. Don’t bring my baggage into the marriage, and deal with it first.
    2. The Marriage Course (Alpha)
      The Marriage Course taught me to treat my wife as equal but different. The 5 Love Languages, for instance was great at explaining why sometimes it would appear that we were “talking past each other.”

      • Conflict Resolution
      •  The 5 Love Languages
    3.  Get a Hobby!
      No one person could or should fulfil your every desire. It’s unhealthy. Better to have some friends for a “time-out” occasionally. For instance, my wife can go with her friends to see Chick Flicks, so I don’t have to!
  • Parenting
    1. Growing Kids God’s Way
      A controversial series, which believes in discipline, but taught me the inverse triangle of responsibility.
    2. The Parenting Toolbox series
      Ian and Mary Grant are just great.1.Toolbox for Toddlers

      2.Pre-schoolers

      3.Primary age

      4.Teenage

    3. Preparing for Adolescence
      Necessary because you want your children to be strong-minded, independent & confident but also respectful, caring and engaged. Doctor Dobson’s 20 week course is fantastic.
  • Advanced
    1. Boundaries: When to say yes, when to say no to take control of your life.
      When your Yes means Yes and your No means No, then you can really say no to the good, in order to concentrate on the best. Learning to prioritise.
    2. Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul
      We were created equal, but different. Find out how to harness a man’s innate desire to lead and be respected into positive areas of growth.1.Let’s face it: the greatest hindrance to a great marriage is a passive husband.

      2.Women want a man who will take appropriate initiative.

    3. The Bible: Beginner’s Instructions Before Leaving Earth
      Read the Instruction Manual from the Manufacturer.

The Conclusion

When I married my wife, she was a Quality Manager for a large computer company. Her mantra was “process of continual improvement.” This means, you can always improve. In our marriage, this has translated into attending a course together every year. Whether it’s marriage, or parenting or simply further our education, it’s an opportunity for us to continue to grow closer together. Because the world pulls you apart. Whether it’s work or kids or friends or other interests (although there’s nothing wrong with pursuing your personal hobbies), there’s always something pulling us in different directions. That’s why it’s vitally important to be intentional to spend time together enjoying each other’s company. Because eventually, the kids will leave, work will cease, but you’ll (hopefully) still be together. By building foundations early, you won’t be caught in the trap of looking at each other in 20 years’ time and realising you’ve marriage a stranger.

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