Ok, here are the next 2 marriage concepts I have, as someone in recovery, sees that steps 3 and 4 apply to it. Alcoholics Anonymous and its Twelve Steps have blessed mankind for over seventy years.
In those years, millions of people in over 180 counties from all over the world have successfully used this great spiritual fellowship program. Most of those who have succeeded in the Alcoholics Anonymous program attribute their success to the spiritual nature of the Twelve Steps.
These are the ones who thank God for their release from addiction slavery. They know their release was beyond their ability because they often sought their self-healing by will power. Will power always failed them.
Freedom from addiction came only after they met Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Step Program. I know for sure that Step 3 can be one of the most difficult and confusing steps. Step 3 says, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him.”
This implies that first you have to come to the decision that there is a God, and then decide what that is for you. That has to happen before you can turn yourself and your marriage over to Him. When and if the day comes that you come to believe in a power greater than yourself you have taken the hard step.
When you have the stressors in a marriage, and of course I am speaking as one who has turned will and life over to God, it is so comforting to know and feel good about praying about it. How this helps your marriage is when you and your spouse have a strong faith and belief in God you are able draw strength from the intimacy you two share in that faith.
There it is your spiritual connection to your spouse that is inspired by God. Nothing in my opinion says closer intimacy than deep within spiritual connection to a spouse. Turning your hurts, habits and hang ups over to the care of God is incredibly up lifting and provides the peace you are looking for in your marriage.
Making a decision must be joined with knowing what to do with the decision. There must be action! Make your decision, preferably with your spouse when it comes to family and marriage issues, and praying. Can you pray this prayer to your higher power? You must if you are ever going to enjoy the benefits of applying this step.
Step 4 says “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step 4. A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke. Taking a commercial inventory is a fact finding and a fact facing process. It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock in trade.
One objective is to disclose damaged or unsalable goods, to get rid of them promptly and without regret. I am not saying treat your marriage as a business, I am saying that if you will do this inventory together you can find little or big issues about your marriage that are just not working.
If your approach to issues sparks only heated arguments then something has to change. Take a personal inventory as well; have you said I love you today? Have you complimented you spouse today? Do an inventory together; do you two feel disconnected? Is there a way you could be more helpful to each other?
Ask “what is it that you need from me?” Remember my wife and I concord a 7 month separation, what did we do? We did exactly the same thing with our lives. We took stock honestly. First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure.
Being convinced that self (not alcohol but self) manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us. We also considered its common manifestations. Our inventory showed that alcohol was a symptom and coping mechanism.
Wichita Falls has several self help groups from Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery meetings for those seeking a faith based approach. Remember, if nothing changes…nothing changes.