Time to reflect on your relationship

BY: Dr John Boakye

AS the year comes to an end, it is healthy to find time to reflect on what happened to your relationship this year. This enables you to access your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths so that you have better understanding of your relationship and how to make it more fulfilling in the future. It is time for reflection on your relationship!

Importance of reflection
Water reflects your image when you gaze at it. In the same way when you look closely into your relationship you get to know what your relationship really is, where you are going and what it can be. Reflection on your relationship paints a picture of your vision for fulfilling relationship. This is very important because your relationship has the greatest positive and negative effect on your well-being, psyche and success. Your relationship can make or unmake you for life.

A relationship is like a sea saw. There are moments when you feel on top of the world. There are also times when you feel the whole weight of the world is on you and think God has abandoned you. It is, however, important you reflect on the good and bad times.

Your bad times
Recall your bad times- the fights, withdrawals, nagging, abuse and revenge. Also think of times of blame game, selfishness, loneliness and poor communication. You may have felt you have given your all but all you see are dishonesty, criticism, immorality, inequality and betrayal. Your spouse does not appear to appreciate anything you do or even give you basic respect. You may have thought that you married the wrong partner and fear for your future.

Appreciate that conflicts are part of life and, therefore, part of all marriage. You can never have a marriage without problems and many of your problems do not have solutions. See the challenges you face as a blessing in disguise because conflicts well-handled lead to positive outcomes in marriage. After conflicts, God restores you and makes you strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10). It is also important you forgive your spouse unconditionally because it opens the door for God’s blessing. You must, therefore, be ready for conflicts by standing firm in your faith. Deal with them and press on.

Your good times
Recall the good times and name them one by one- little and big things, the romantic moments you shared, the gifts you exchanged, words of motivation or hope and the good roles you played or support you gave each other.
Appreciate your spouse because he or she has been part of what you have achieved. If you show appreciation you make your spouse feel valued, loved and special. Appreciation gives a positive outlook of life. If you focus on the good in your marriage you can only expect good times in the future.

Time for reflection
Sometimes you have to look back in order to understand things that lie ahead (Yvonne Woon) because just as a snake sheds its skin so must you shed you past over and over again (Gautama Buddda). It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself, experience loneliness and ask himself – who am I, where have I been where am I going? Otherwise diversion takes up your time (Carl Sandburg). If you lose sight of your marriage you lose your way (C. Joybill).

Cherish yesterday because they are an irreplaceable part of your journey of marriage but resolve to make memories that bring smile. Look forward, compromise and cooperate. Resolve to share in everything - your hopes dreams and every aspect of your life. Believe in yourself, your spouse and your marriage. Make promises to keep. Put your marriage first and let love be your shelter.

God has a positive vision for marriage based on a covenant relationship. It is about two hearts in one love, two souls in one destiny and two lives in a beautiful future. It is a call to love in the spirit of Christ as you love one imperfect individual as Christ loves him or her. This requires faithfulness, honesty, effective communication and commitment to growth. Reflection and prayer will keep your faith and vision alive as you meditate on the promises of God; He has good plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11) and will never leave you or forsake you (Joshua. 1:5) because

He is your refuge and fortress (Psalm. 46:1) and your shepherd (Psalm 23:1). He will give you if you ask (Matthew 7:7). Your mind is your greatest weapon. If you see your marriage as good, it will be good and rewarding. Through reflection you can start over and revitalise your marriage.

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