If yours could be the ideal marriage, what would it look like? Would it be one where hearts are open? Where faith is shared, personal growth is encouraged, dreams are nurtured, individual strengths are appreciated, romance flourishes, and even fights lead to deeper care and understanding? You can have such a marriage . . . when you build it on wisdom. Meditations on Proverbs for Couples imparts choice gems from the richest treasury of practical wisdom ever known -- the book of Proverbs. You and your mate will gain insights that can help you make your marriage a source of deep satisfaction and fruitfulness. In these thirty-one meditations by marriage experts Les and Leslie Parrott, you'll explore the Bible's books of ancient wisdom to uncover thoroughly modern perspectives on communication, money, sex, commitment, recreation, anger, forgiveness, praise, humility, conflict, and more. The Parrotts share refreshing, down-to-earth reflections, brought home by candid vignettes from their own marriage and other true-life examples. Each meditation includes questions you can reflect on by yourself or discuss with your mate. The wise sayings of Proverbs must be talked about, say the Parrotts. "Read them aloud together. Commit a few to memory. And fill you marriage with wise and good conversation." It's a great way to join hearts and minds -- as together you lay wisdom for the foundation of a strong, happy relationship.
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A psychologist and a marriage and family therapist, Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott are founders of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University. Their bestselling books include Love Talk, Crazy Good Sex The Complete Guide to Marriage Mentoring, and the award-winning Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. Their work has been featured in The New York Times and USA Today, and they have appeared on CNN, O’Reilly Factor, Good Morning America, Today Show, The View, and Oprah. They live with their two sons in Seattle. Visit LesandLeslie.com.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Chapter 1 Like a Kiss on the Lips
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips —Proverbs 24:26
Of all the little expressions of love—a box of chocolates, a handwritten poem, or a bouquet of handpicked wildflowers—I think my favorite is a good old-fashioned kiss on the lips. Whether it be the gratuitous kind that comes with greeting my husband after a day at work or his surprising ambush kiss while standing in line at the grocery, I always feel especially loved when Les gives me a simple kiss.
Did you know the word kiss comes from a prehistoric syllable that is believed to be the sound of kissing? However the word originated and whoever named it really -doesn’t matter to me. I just know I like kisses. And why -shouldn’t I? Kisses, according to a Danish saying, are the messengers of love.
No wonder then that Solomon, in all his wisdom, equaled a kiss on the lips to an honest answer. Love cannot last without honesty. Our honest answers create trust, the very bedrock of a relationship.
Every -couple tells little white lies to one another in an attempt to be more loving. If we -don’t like our partner’s cooking, for example, we might say, "Oh, it’s wonderful." A little lie -won’t hurt our relationship, will it? Wrong.
Consider Ron and Cindy who had been married only a few weeks when he cooked his famous barbecue ribs on their brand new grill. As they were eating, Ron asked Cindy if she liked the ribs. Cindy knew Ron had worked hard to make them and was afraid that she would offend him if she was honest. "Oh, yes," she told Ron, "they’re great!"
Believing that Cindy really liked his famous dish, Ron began barbecuing quite regularly, and there were always leftovers which had to be eaten. After a while, Cindy could bear it no longer, and in a moment of anger about something else she confessed that his barbecued ribs made her gag and she never wanted to see them on her table again! Ron was shocked and hurt. She had lied to him. "How can I ever believe you again?" he asked.
Should Cindy have told Ron right from the beginning that the ribs made her gag? Not if she cared about her marriage. Honesty does not require brutality. Truth is brutal only when it is a partial truth or when it is meant to cause pain. To be both honest and loving, she could say something like, "Not really, -I’ve never liked barbecue on the grill—but I love seeing you cook."
The tragedy of most small deceptions is that they mushroom, ultimately creating a cloud of distrust that hovers over a relationship. Surely that’s what was on King Solomon’s mind when he wrote this proverb. So take his advice and whenever possible kiss your spouse on the lips with honesty. To Ponder · Consider a time when you told a white lie to avoid hurting your spouse’s feelings. What was the result? Could you have handled the situation better by being honest? · Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer." In what ways is an honest answer the same way?
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