How do you make sure that you and your spouse stay happy together for the rest of your lives? You see, a better, more intimate marriage relationship is a matter of the heart. Yes, the heart is where a marriage is either made healthy or slowly deteriorates. To understand this, we must first talk about the heart.
Proverbs 23:7 states that "as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he." We are also told to "keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23).
So let's talk about this vital organ, your heart, which is so important to your marriage. In Scripture, the heart is often referred to as the location of your mind, your will and your emotions.
First, let's look at the portion of your heart referred to as your mind. Your mind is by far one of the greatest achievements of God. Your mind is a vast computer, much faster and storage capable than anything created by man to date. This organ stores every experience you have ever had. Your mind holds a photograph of every place you have ever been to in your life as well as every person you have ever met. Also in your mind is every word you have ever spoken and every word you have ever heard.
This tremendous storage unit is not the only great thing about your mind. Your mind can take all the data incurred; search through all the experiences, ideas and conversations had, and merge it all together in a fraction of a second to communicate and make decisions. It's amazing that this massive mind of yours is only one-third of your heart.
Your will is the second portion of your heart that we need to examine. The human will is absolutely astonishing. The human will has enabled you to climb the greatest mountains, run long distances, create unimaginable technology and explore vast highways and cities beyond imagination. Your will is what gives you the raw fuel to carry out what your heart commands. The will, like the mind, is incredibly capable of both great good or great unkindness.
The last third of your heart is your emotions. This is another vast territory. Emotions are the way that you experience and connect with your environment, others and even yourself. Emotions, also known as feelings, can be very tricky for you to navigate. Most of us have had no training on how to have, identify or communicate our feelings. For so many people, feelings are a real mystery. If this is also difficult for you, I strongly recommend that you read the book, Intimacy: A 100 Day Guide to Lasting Relationship for a more in-depth look into this area of feelings.
We all need to be able to have, identify and communicate the hundreds of feelings we experience. Feelings can be conflicting in that you can feel two opposing feelings at the same time. Feelings can also happen at an incredible, almost overwhelming rate. Feelings are also fleeting. No feeling lasts forever; they all leave at some point.
Feelings are also not facts. You can feel fat and not have gained a pound. You can have a Ph.D. and still not feel very bright (this happens when I walk into Home Depot). Feelings are amazing and make the human heart and its experiences a wonderful place to be.
God, Himself, has feelings. You can't read the Scriptures and not feel His fury, compassion, patience and love. We are similar in that we too have feelings and a heart that possess a great mind, will and emotions.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally-known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Intimacy. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at [email protected].
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