Alpha Marriage Group
August 29, 2018
By Rev. Matt Driggers, Pastor of North Campus Connections
Learning how to leverage your past to create intimacy is just one of the many topics we will cover in the Alpha Marriage Group starting on October 7th. The past rarely stays in the past. More likely, it creeps into your present and invades every area of your life. It affects the way you parent, the way you relate to your spouse, your work habits, and even your vices. Despite the pervasive nature of the past in the present, very few of us have ever taken an in-depth look at how our history interacts with our spouse’s history to affect our current relationship.
My mentor is fond of saying, “the cost of an unresolved past is missing the present and fearing the future.” It’s true–an unexamined past shows up in our relationships like cousin Eddie from National Lampoons’ Christmas Vacation. It wreaks havoc on our professional lives, our family relationships, and our marriages. Combining the pasts of two individuals to make a family is one of the most complex and oft-overlooked aspects of marriage.
Genesis 2:24 reads “For this reason, a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The writer of Genesis makes two people becoming one sound so easy. Buy a dress, order some flowers, find a preacher, say “I do,” and presto: two people have become one. Experience and common sense tell us it’s just not that easy. Perhaps, since Genesis 2 depicts a pre-fallen world, it was that easy once. However, we live our days somewhere between Genesis 1 and Revelation 22, and the aspect of “becoming one” with a spouse is infinitely complex.
One of the things contributing to this complexity is the collision of two histories. For everyone, the past is complicated. Our past experiences create raw spots or emotional sensitivities that, when activated, lead us to feel deprived, distant, or even deserted from the person we care about the most. It’s no coincidence that those closest to us can activate our raw spots the most. The greater the emotional closeness, the greater the emotional vulnerability and the more heightened the sensitivity to feeling emotionally deserted. Once we become aware of our raw spots, we can learn to leverage them to create intimacy rather than distance.
During the upcoming Alpha Marriage group, you will have the opportunity to create a life graph with your spouse. A life graph is a graphical depiction of the highs and lows of life. We will then provide you with a set of questions to help you and your spouse discuss how your life histories contribute to current sensitivities and struggles in your relationship.
Ignoring our past never works, and just being aware of it doesn’t take us far enough. To ignore your history is like playing Whack-a-Mole with our emotions. No sooner have we pushed a memory or emotion down in one area of life than it pops up in another, often without warning. If we stop the emotional journey at the level of awareness, we are left understanding why we are the way we are but without the knowledge of how to move closer toward the person, husband, wife, and parent we want to be.
During Alpha Marriage, we want to help you move past awareness to discover how to leverage your past to create intimacy in your present and bring peace to your future.