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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Only Five Problems in any Marriage

By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Marriage can often be overwhelming for many.  That is why I so much appreciate the initiative being taken by Dr. Gil Stieglitz in bringing new hope to marriages.  Through his years of study and practical interaction with many couples, Gil has discovered that there are only five problems in any marriage.  This insight is helpful, especially for men.  It helps us get a handle on the challenges that we face in developing intimacy, that there are only five problems in any marriage.

 

 Dr. Gil summarizes the five problems of marriage as

1) Needs or Roles

2) SSSAAADDD Behaviours (when our needs are not being met)

3) Temperament Differences

4) Relational Drainage

5) Past Baggage

 He has seen phenomenal breakthroughs when couples begin to address and work on these five key areas.  To assist marriages, he has developed a six-part DVD series  , with accompanying books, which walk couples through each of these five areas.

Dr. Gil, who pastored a congregation for many years, believes that churches can make a big difference in helping strengthen marriages.  After all, God both invented and is deeply committed to the ‘institution’ of marriage.  During the twenty-three years that I have been pastoring St. Simon’s North Vancouver, I have seen many outwardly successful people on the North Shore whose inner lives were crumbling because of relational challenges.  Sometimes it takes a major crisis, like a marriage struggle, before we are willing to cry out to God and admit how much we need him.  Many men that I have known are totally baffled when their wife finally packs up and leaves.

Dr. Gil believes in being very practical in the help that he offers to men and women.  So he has developed two acrostics that assist us to build marriages of great joy.  For men, he has developed the acrostic: H.U.S.B.A.N.D. which identifies the fourteen top needs of our wives. (Honour, Understanding, Security, Building Unity, Agreement, Nurture, Defender).  Love, says Dr. Gil, is meeting needs.  The first letter “H” (Honour) has been most helpful for me personally.  Dr. Gil teaches that women do something every day that many men don’t.  They give an informal ‘computer test’ to their spouse to see where they are in the structure of his priorities: “Are they above his work or below his work, above the children or below his children, above his hobbies or below his hobbies?”  If the wife does not win that computer test, guess who loses.  The husband does, because the wife cannot blossom and respond to him from the depth of her being.  Every day, the husband needs to honour or add value to his wife in practical, specific ways.

Many men know how to be men, but not husbands.  The word ‘Husband’ actually comes from the term ‘Husbandman’, which means ‘gardener’.  We as husbands are called to ‘garden’ our wife, to nurture her, care for her, and put her first under God.  You can find out more about the ‘H.U.S.B.A.N.D.’ acrostic by checking out Dr. Gil’s book ‘How to Be a Godly Husband’ .

For Wives, Dr. Gil and Dana Stieglitz have developed the acrostic ‘R.A.D.I.C.A.L.’ which identify the top fourteen needs of one’s husband (Respect, Adaptability, Domestic Leadership, Intimacy, Companionship, Attractiveness, and Listening).  Along with the Marriage DVDs, Gil and Dana Stieglitz have co-written a book “Building a Marriage of Great Joy” which explains how to be a ‘RADICAL’ wife

Gil and Dana teach that respecting or acknowledging the strengths of one’s husband meets a deep need, but is not always easy for women to do.  In the same way that wives want their husbands to give them unconditional love, husbands need their wives to give them unconditional respect.  As the Good Book puts it in Ephesians 5:23, “Husbands, love your wives and, Wives, respect your husband.”

 

I am so pleased about Dr Gil’s  book Marital Intelligence that brings together all of this material into one helpful book.  My prayer is that those hearing about these resources will not just be hearers of the word but doers of the word who put this into practice in their own marriages.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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I Love You, I Love You, I Love You…

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Who can figure out this mysterious, intangible reality called ‘love’?  It won’t show up under a microscope, an ultrasound, or a CT Scan.  But most of us know in our heart of hearts that love is real and love matters deeply.  Without love, something dies inside.  With love, something miraculously comes alive.

In the mid-1970’s, my wife and I were part of a soft rock band called ‘Morning Star’ which played for five years throughout BC.  We were also part of a concert promotion group entitled ‘LivingStone Productions’.  One of our favorite rock musicians that we brought in to the Queen E Theatre was the late Larry Norman, the father of GodRock.  One of his songs ‘I Love You, I Love You, I Love You’ impacted us so deeply that my sister and future brother-in-law sang it to each other at our wedding.

“We can be together now and forever
I love you, I love you
Hey, can you hear me, I’ve got to have you near me
I love you, I love you
I was lonely till you came along
Now you’ve got me singing your love song
I love you, I love you, I love you….”

It is not enough to sing a love song once at one’s wedding.  We need to re-sing it every day in a thousand ways.  After 41 years of marriage, I have learnt that love needs to ‘have legs’.  Love needs to be practical.  Love is taking out the garbage.  Love is driving the kids to school .  Love is doing the dishes when you are feeling exhausted.

The Good Book says that it is not good for man to be alone.  I too can sing ‘I’ve got to have you near me…I was lonely till you came along’.  A loving marriage is a gift beyond description, a gift of intimacy, caring, and hope.  God knew what he was doing when he invented the miracle of marriage.

“Life is a mystery, love is a dancer
I love you, I love you
I had a question, you brought the answer
I love you I love you
Oh but I need you so
I could never let you go
I love you, I love you, I love you…”

No one can figure out love.  It just is, or it just isn’t.  Love brings a contentment that makes no sense.  Love is stronger than death.  Thirty-three years later I realize more than ever how deeply I need my wife, how much she calls forth the best in me and our children.  My wife, to put it frankly, is irreplaceable.

“I was lonely once but then you came along
And you gave me love so I wrote down this song
I wanna spend my life with you like the angels on high
You’re the morning star, you’re the Son in my sky.
I love you, I love you, I love you…”

All of Larry Norman’s music pointed to Love beyond love, Life beyond life, Hope beyond hope.  My wife and I have discovered again and again that the heart of our marriage is Love, the love of God found in Jesus Christ.  May each of us discover the heart of love, the morning star, the Son in the sky.

 

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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Say No to Bitterness in Marriage

by the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird_MG_1233

All married couples want a relationship filled with joy and intimacy.  Sometimes the disappointments of life can steal our joy and leave us with the root of bitterness.

Hebrews says that bitterness will defile and harass our most valuable relationships.  Bitterness can leave our hearts hardened and cold.  Without realizing it, we end up exchanging a heart of love for a heart of stone.  Hardening of the arteries can be not just a physical thing, but sometimes a spiritual and emotional reality.

Cecil Osborne once said: “Marriage is the Ed_Jan2most rewarding and the most difficult relationship known to man.”  Studies have shown that no marriages are free from occasional marital conflict. The famous marriage researcher Dr John Gottman commented recently: “when Julie and I do our workshops with couples, one of the main messages we give is that we’ve found that really good marriages, people who are really happy, have terrible fights, where they’re thinking at the end of the fight: Why did I marry this person?”

Some marital problems never go away, but the wise couple doesn’t get gridlocked on these unsolvable problems.  They refuse to go bitter inside. The AA Serenity Prayer expresses this wisdom of ‘the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed.”  No one can really change or fix one’s spouse. It is always better to work on oneself, which requires ‘the courage to change’.

How we interpret the meaning of marital conflict is just as important as the conflict itself.  Our values and hopes for the future profoundly affect how we navigate the challenges of marital conflict.   It is vital that married couples do not give up on their ideals and dreams.  This is why Dr Gottman encourages couples to explore each others’ dreams and hopes, with an aim to create shared meaning.  Higher expectations for romance and passion have been linked with increased marital satisfaction.  Sometimes in a desire to get along, spouses give up something essential that actually fuels the romance and passion of their lives.  Bitterness is often about the death of our dreams.

marriage-ringsOne of the ways out of bitterness is through the use of gentle, self-effacing humour.  Aggressive humour like sarcasm kills marriages.  Blaming and mocking seals the coffin on your marriage. Dr Gottman found that successful marriages have on average five times more encouraging behaviours than negative behaviours.

Encouraging behaviours do not just have to be the extraordinary, like taking our spouse to Maui or to Crete.  Despite what Hollywood sometimes implies, a healthy marriage celebrates the ordinary, not just the extraordinary. After thirty-two years of marriages, my wife and I are learning afresh the joy of simple pleasures: taking regular time together for peaceful walks, for chatting and listening, and for physical exercise.

While doing my doctoral courses, I was pleased to discover that the social sciences have verified the benefits of forgiveness in healing marriages.  Dr Grace Ketterman found that couples who refuse to forgive pay a heavy price: “The physical costs of unforgiveness may include hypertension, chronic headaches, high blood pressure, cardiovascular ailments, and gastrointestinal disorders, to name just a handful.  Because negative emotions have a depressive effect and can suppress immune function, unforgiveness may even have an indirect link to major and severe disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.”  Jesus’ words ‘forgive and you will be forgiven’, say Ketterman, lie at the heart of marital harmony and health.  She speaks both as a psychiatrist of the Christian faith and as a victim of infidelity who chose to forgive and remarry her husband.

Research also indicates that shared spirituality can help protect against the roots of marital bitterness. Ordinary practices like attending church, reading the bible and praying together have been shown scientifically to strengthen one’s marriage.  Sadly I have found that many couples view the idea of praying together to be too intimate.

heartbreakBefore my spiritual breakthrough at age 17, I viewed marriage as just ‘a piece of paper’.  Research shows that couples who view their marriage as something that God has joined together are more likely to act and think in ways that protect their marriage. I have discovered that God invented marriage and believes in it; therefore marriages are worth fighting for.

Anything that we believe in, we invest in. I admire the courageous couples I know who have been willing to go to marriage counselors like Bonnie Chatwin.  There is no quicker way to make progress on marital bitterness than to go for professional help.  Social science studies prove that counselling is much cheaper than divorce lawyers.

My prayer for those reading this article is that our marriages may be sweet and full of joy, and that any roots of bitterness will be eradicated through the bonds of love.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-author of the award-winning Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD,102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. TheBattle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca