Engaged Encounter Part II: Three to Get Married?

Encounter With Me

God Doesn't Make Junk

As individuals, we must accept and love ourselves as a unique person created by God, before we can love and accept another. This presentation provides an opportunity to discern our personal qualities by reflecting on how we project ourselves to others, how others see us through the compliments we receive, and the person which God created.

I deepen my self-awareness by honestly acknowledging and accepting the unique qualities, both positive and negative, that I bring to our marriage. This self-acceptance and love of self is necessary in order to truly love others and to recognize the deep love that God has for me.

  1. What are some of the specific qualities I want others to see in me?
  2. What good qualities do others see in me? (e.g. compliments I receive)
  3. How do I see myself? (What is my self-image?) What do I like about myself? What do I dislike about myself? When I'm really down on myself, I see myself as…
  4. Do I really believe "God doesn't create junk?" How does my answer affect the way I feel about myself?
  5. What specific characteristics do I see in myself that make it more difficult for others to know and love me?
  6. What imperfections can I easily accept in others, but not myself?

The content here wasn't really problematic, but it felt a bit like some warm and fuzzy feel-good self-help lecture by Stuart Smalley. "I'm good enough,
I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me." I also felt that there were several missed opportunities to reference Scripture. One example would be "Love thy neighbor as thyself". It's pretty hard to love your neighbor if you don't love yourself. I'm sure you could think of many others. Feel free to do so in the comments.

Encounter With We

Love is a Decision

There is a constantly recurring cycle of romance, disillusionment, and joy that all couples experience in their relationship. Love is not based totally on feelings. Love is a decision, which must be made daily. A daily decision to love, regardless of our feelings, can lead us to "true joy".

Married life involves a continuous cycle of ups and downs referred to as romance, disillusionment and true joy. In this recurring cycle, love is not dependent upon feelings, but on a decision to love which moves us beyond disillusionment and leads to true joy.

  1. When have I experiences romance in our relationship?
  2. When have I experienced disillusionment in our relationship? (alienation, separation, or preoccupation)
  3. When have I set aside my feelings and made a conscious decision to love you?
  4. When have I experienced a time when my decision to love you led us to true joy?
  5. In what areas of our relationship do I realize that loving you takes a decision?
  6. What are some ways you and I are alike? What are some ways you and I differ? How do these play a part in our cycle of romance, disillusionment and joy?

*sigh* Another missed opportunity. Why was there no mention of this cycle occurring between God and His chosen people or God's most important "decision" to love – Christ's birth, death, and resurrection? How about about Christ's love for His bride, the Church? Also, this is as good a juncture as any to point out that "we" should have included God. There should have been an "Encounter With Three".