How To Maintain A Happy and Healthy Relationship – 9 Cs

July 23, 2020

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 A Happy and Healthy Relationship that is Good, Sweet, and Long Lasting is Possible!

But they can’t be bought, people have to intentionally make it happen.

The following tips can help you and your partner create and maintain a happy and healthy relationship.

Let’s dive in.

She gazes at a diamond ring through eyes filled with tears of joy and hope.

He stands on the stage, promising to love his new bride with all his heart, for the rest of his life.

As they walk down the aisle amidst cheers of congratulations, the happy couple sees their future spreading before them like the endless sparkling sands of a good tropical paradise.

Crystal waters lap softly on the beach of their life, while palm tree shades them from above.

Life is good; their hopes have come true.

The Disney ideal of “happily ever after” has come to their own doorstep to stay.

But only a few months later, after the newness has worn off, many couples find themselves staring at the sands of their life in confusion.

Most couples begin to wonder if they’ve been dumped on a deserted desert island rather than a tropical seaside resort.

They realize that they packed for a vacation, whereas real relationships are the adventure of a lifetime.

Expecting nothing but fun, happiness, romance, and fulfillment, most have made very few preparations for marriage.

They expected a beach vacation—not a wilderness survival camp.

The good news is that no matter what stage you are at in your relationship, you can always gain new tools and skills.

As a participant in the wilderness survival shows on television, you can still choose the carefully selected tools you will need to brave the white-waters of life with your spouse.

Most happy and healthy relationships have certain characteristics in common.Your relationship can be strong, meaningful, fulfilling and exciting if you understand and practice these basic and proven principles.

As you gain the abilities you need to overcome danger and adversity, you will find joy, even in the most remote and desolate deserts of life.

“When you pursue God’s purpose as a couple, then everything else you value in life – such as happiness, love, and satisfaction – will fall into place.”  – Dr. Tony Evans. Kingdom Marriage.

Nine C’s of a Happy and Healthy Relationship are Crucial Resources for Every Couple’s Survival. 

Each individual C is a tool for your tool belt as you launch into life’s adventure with your spouse.

1. Commitment

commitment 9cs how to maintain your relationship

The first C on how to maintain a happy and healthy relationship is Commitment.

No one would survive the wilderness without commitment.

The kind of person who bails after the first stubbed toe or splinter is not the person that would be chosen for these reality shows.

Braving the wilderness requires an unvarnished commitment to continuing to work toward surviving and thriving.

In the same way, good relationships take work, perseverance, and the willingness to stand up under difficult circumstances.

First Corinthians 13:7 says that “love… endures all things.”

The Greek word “hupomeno” means that we experience difficulty with calmness and bravery.

“Tough love” is commonly used to refer to rebuke, discipline, or natural consequences, but it can be used in another way in relationships.

Tough love is a kind of love that is strong, durable, and stands the test of time.

It’s not like dollar-store tableware or a cheap toy that breaks with the first use.

It doesn’t quit or fall apart when the going gets rough and tough.

In the words of a pastor with many years of experience, love must keep “going through times of difficulty with a determination to continue.”

2. Communication is the Second C of a Happy And Healthy Relationship

communication -9Cs - happy and healthy relationship

Imagine what would happen to a team of wilderness survivors if there were no communication.

Food was being carefully rationed, but the team leader forgot to communicate this fact to the other team members.

Imagine the frustration and anger—and danger—that would ensue when the leader discovered that a large proportion of their food had been consumed.

Communication is essential in relationships of any kind.

Mike Bechtle said, “Watch for baby elephants in the room. If you let them stay, they’ll get really, really big.”

In other words, the “elephant in the room” starts small, and it is vital to communicate regarding uncomfortable issues before they grow unmanageably large.

The Bible stresses the importance of good communication.

James 1:19 says, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” ESV

This verse emphasizes that relationships should provide an environment where each person feels safe.

Friends and spouses should provide a proven track record of listening to each other’s concerns

so that each person feels safe bringing issues into the light in a timely manner.

When communicating, dig a little deeper than you think you have to.

Don’t just tell your partner that you’re upset that he or she never looked up from his or her computer while you were talking to them.

Steve Call encourages people to ponder their frustrations long enough to become aware of past hurts and vulnerabilities that may be making your partner or friend’s behavior seem intolerable to you.

If you were ignored consistently by your parents, being ignored by others in your life may be a particularly painful experience for you.

Mentioning these dynamics to trustworthy friends and partners can help communication stay open and honest.

3. Compassion

compassion 9Cs of a happy and healthy relationship

After you have communicated with your spouse or friend, compassion is critical.

We need to treat the story they have shared with honor and dignity.

Seeing others’ perspectives is critical to successful relationships.

If your friend or spouse shares a personal story or trigger related to their frustration with you, Reject the temptation to say,

“Well, too bad. Get over it. I’m not the person who hurt you.That’s not what I meant.”

Instead, take a moment to see the situation through your spouse’s or friend’s eyes.

Speak with kindness, acceptance, and understanding.

Jesus provided an excellent example of compassion in the way he treated others.

Matthew 9:36 says, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” NLT

The phrase “moved with compassion” means that Jesus felt compassion in his gut, in his inner being.

Despite his followers’ confusion and helplessness, Jesus loved them deeply.

Your spouse or friend may be confused in their anger and frustration. They may be helpless against the triggers of past pain.

Our reaction should not be anger and hatred. Our reaction should be and should exhibit compassion.

4. Compromise

compromise 9c - happy and healthy relationship

After you and your friend or spouse have communicated about the reasons behind your frustration and demonstrated empathy and compassion for one another, it is important to find a middle ground.

Consider our example of an individual who experienced visceral fear and abandonment when her friend didn’t look up from her computer.

Communication can lead to compassionate and helpful compromises.

Her friend or partner who was in the middle of a work project on the computer could verbalize; “I am working on an important work project with a deadline.

Could I finish a few more paragraphs? After that, I will give you my undivided attention.”

James 3:17 says that Godly wisdom is ”peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others.”

Compromises are needed on a desert island: the priorities, opinions, and perspectives of each person must be taken into consideration.

In the same way, compromising with others’ wishes in relationships is a sign of maturity and wisdom.

5. Courage

courage 9c

Few people have escaped from harm.

In this sin-tainted world, everyone has been a victim of abuse, hurt, betrayal, or harm of some kind.

Especially in cases where a partner has been abused in the past, Dan Allender discusses the intense courage necessary to walk into the “waters of death.”

It takes bravery to wade through the “confusion, suspicion, darkness, and betrayal” that past harm has brought to the relationship.

In an article on the 9Cs of how to maintain a happy and Healthy Relationship, it is appropriate to mention the courage required to wade into the “seas” of darkness and harm in any relationship.

Imagine a survival team that was required to swim through a poisonous chemical spill in order to make it to shore.

Most would do all they could to avoid this difficulty.

But if the chemicals had polluted the only avenue to safe harbor, they must dive in–no matter the cost.

The words, “Love… bears all things” have become almost cliché, rolling off our tongues at weddings or offering catchy words to put on a Teddy bear poster.

But if we take a moment to pause and consider these words from 1 Corinthians 13:7, we realize that they have a deeper meaning.

The word “bears” in Greek means “to cover closely (so as to keep water out).”

Envision yourself carefully covering your struggling friend, or partner with a waterproof jacket as you swim through those sordid waters to bring them safely to the shore.

This act takes courage, a vital element in any successful relationship.

6. Confidence

confidence 9c

Another emphasis from 1 Corinthians 13 is that “love believes all things.”

Clearly, God does not encourage us to believe every fragment of information that we find on the internet or every false claim that a deceiving and conniving spouse wants to lead us to believe.

But there is one person that we can believe all the time: God.

“God is the cord that not only keeps you together but also keeps you strong and able to do all He has designed for you to do and enjoy.” -Dr. Tony Evans. Kingdom Marriage

Do we believe that God has the power to heal this relationship?

Also, do we give others the benefit of the doubt, believing their word whenever we can?

Do we have confidence in the other person, trusting that they will resolve this issue to the best of their ability?

Or do we approach the other person with doubt, assumption and suspicion?

A seasoned pastor once said that believing all things means that we “believe all things related to beauty and truth.”

It means “crediting the best motive in each other and directing others to Christ with their sin, believing that anything is possible with the work of God.”

When we support others in this way, we will often experience growth and resolution that we never dreamed possible.

7. Covenant

covenant 9c

Poisonous chemicals, starvation, and isolation are tough.

But nothing beats the destructive power of a hurricane.

These deadly storms have the power to rip apart the strongest of buildings.

In life, what will keep your marriage intact during the storms of life?

When typhoon gales beat against your marriage, nothing less than a covenant will hold it together.

 Dr. Tony Evans in his book, Kingdom Marriage said; “Marriage is not merely a social contract; it is a sacred covenant.

It is not simply a means of looking for love, happiness, and fulfillment.”

Marriage is a Covenant, not a Contract.

A contract is an agreement made between two parties because they fundamentally distrust one another.

Business partners make contracts with one another to hold each other to their word in case of a disagreement.

Contracts are based on limited liability, seeking to protect one’s self from harm or infringement.

If both parties decide to change the terms of the contract, they can modify it at any time.

A covenant, however, is based on endless trust and security.

It cannot be broken when one of the parties wishes to change the terms.

A marriage covenant is created before God and is permanently indissoluble.

In Malachi 2:14, ESV, God mourns the broken marriage covenants of his people:

“The LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.”

God takes marriage covenants seriously because he takes His own covenants seriously.

The covenant God made to Israel – ie -US could not be broken, even when Israel wished to desert God and follow other lovers.

Startlingly, God could not even break His own covenant, even when it cost Him endless pain and betrayal.

Centuries later, He still holds out His promise of love to His chosen people.

The New Covenant, won through Jesus’ blood, welcomes trusting sinners into a relationship with Him.

He is their husband, and they are His beloved and beautiful bride.

God emphasizes to us that He will never abandon us or break His covenant.

The God that created us wants a marriage relationship to be a reenactment of His powerful covenant to us.

8. Companionship

companionship 9c

Can you imagine the difficulty of surviving in a vast wilderness—alone?

All you have is yourself, your gear, and the wide-open sky full of danger and promise.

Now imagine that even one friend joins you in your survival experience.

A friend who encourages you, supports you, laughs with you, spends time with you, and lifts your spirits when the going gets tough.

In any human endeavor, companionship is key.

Humans were created by God to live in relationships with one another.

In his book, Reconnect, Steve Call makes this memorable statement: “Play together to stay together.”

His prescription for marital struggles is playing together three times a week for ten minutes.

Playing could involve sitting together to drink coffee and watch the sun go down.

It could involve watching a movie, going on a bike ride, giving a simple hug, or talking about things that are mutually enjoyable.

Even though relationships are hard, the difficulty doesn’t have to have the final word.

Make time to enjoy your spouse or friend. Play together.

Provide companionship.

9. Caring Shines Like the Sun

The last of the Nine C’s on how to maintain a happy and healthy relationship.

Caring shines like the sun peeking out from behind storm clouds.

Make time to enjoy your spouse or friend. Play together.

caring 9c

Caring is the sweet rainbow after the rain, but it can be overlooked.

To know that someone cares about you is one of the most powerfully motivating forces in the universe.

Life can be tough sometimes, and it’s easy to throw up our hands in despair:

“I don’t even care,” we may grunt.

When storms beat through our desert island and destroy the Hollywood dreams we once had, it’s easy to become cynical, cold, and calculating.

“Like I cared,” we snort to the broken pieces of our dreams, floating out to sea.

That’s when the powerful words, “I care,” become so crucial.

“I care about our relationship.”And, “I care about the way you feel.”

Or, “I care about how I hurt you and how I can do better.”

Also, “I care about your hopes and dreams. I simply care.”

If someone cares, life is no longer unmanageable.

Lovingkindness breathes courage up our spines.

We feel like there’s nothing we can’t do if we know that someone cares.

As you practice the Nine C’s of a Healthy and Happy Relationship, the rigors of survival begin to seem less fierce and threatening.

You will start to find the hills exhilarating, the mountains breathtaking, and the open skies welcoming.

Your love for each other becomes a shelter from the rain and a fire to warm chilled spirits.

As you cover one another with love and companionship, you’ll  find that the challenges become lighter and that both of you become braver.

We wish you the best of luck on your adventure together.

Why not start today to implement the 9 Cs?

As always – Sending lots of love and blessings your way………..

 

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