Stoking the Spirit in Your Marriage (Video Series)

A Video Series for Improving Your Marriage

Family Fire is proud to share a series of videos on growing intimacy in your marriage from Pastors Deb & Steven Koster. Based on their long-running series of in-person marriage seminars, these videos walk through skills and fundamentals everyone can use in their marriages. Several videos include downloadable worksheets as lighthearted homework and conversation starters. Filmed in their Grand Rapids B&B, the Parsonage Inn, the Kosters welcome you into their home for some casual conversation about stoking the fire in your most intimate relationship.

1. Why this Matters

This introductory video explores why talking about investing in our marriages even matters. We are broken jars of clay, but God can shine light through our cracks as we live our lives together as family. Our marriages are the most important human relationships we’ll ever have, so let’s make them as great as they can be.

Optional Handout: Commitment: Taking Stock of Your Marriage. We didn't discuss it in the video, but it's a fine tool for starting a conversation.

2. Communication: Listening as Hard as You Talk

Why is love blind? Often it’s because we love the idea of a person more than the actual flawed person we eventually come to know. Love will inevitably disappoint unrealistic expectations, and communicating well is the key to building a strong relationship between real people. But we learn to communicate with different styles, so forging a new style in marriage is one of the first tasks of any couple.

The handout with this video is Communication: Styles in Your Home Growing Up

3. Communication: Deflective Listening

A surprisingly simple truth is that the listener controls the conversation. How one responds with feedback changes where a conversation will go. We learn many informal ways to listen that are not helpful in intimate relationships; these are Defective ways to respond. Deflective Listening is common for making small talk but poor for gaining a deeper understanding. In this video we’ll explore Reflective ways to listen that are far more powerful for important conversations.

The handout with this video is Communication: Ways to Respond

4. Conflict: Expect Conflict & Anger


Your spouse is married to a flawed person, so disappointment, misunderstandings, anger, and conflict are inevitable. Conflict should be a chance to grow deeper in your understanding of one another. Often, we fight big about small things because there are deeper underlying issues that drive the conflict. Learning to accept our anger and focus it productively is an important skill for marriage.

The handout with this video is Conflict: Negotiating Ways We’re Alike, Ways We’re Not

5. Conflict: Resolving Conflict


Resolving conflict begins with you. You control only you, and you can choose to engage conflict well (or not). Sometimes it’s about recognizing differing expectations, sometimes it’s deeper. This video explores some tools for entering and resolving conflict well.

The handout with this video is Conflict: Resolving with XYZ

6. Conflict: Rules for Fair Fighting


Everyone fights, so how do you fight well? This video explores ten rules for healthy arguments. Each rule includes a principle for fighting well and a scripture of guidance to equip you to resolve conflict in a way that builds and strengthens your marriage.

The handout for this video is Conflict: Rules for Fair Fighting

See also the free full ebook Ten Rules for Fair Fighting

7. Commitment: What is Marriage?


What do you think of when you think of marriage? What is it like? Is it something you consume? Is it a contract like in business? Is it a covenant of commitment between two spouses and God? Is it an act of God that can never be broken? What does the bible say about the nature of marriage?

8. Commitment: Boundaries


Genesis teaches that newlyweds leave their parents and cleave to one another as if they were one flesh. Being in a marriage means drawing a fence around the two of you, keeping some things out and keeping some things in. Learn how to invest in your marriages by setting good boundaries.

9. Connecting: Intimacy & Forgiveness


Strong communication and resolving conflict well are skills needed to build intimacy. Forgiveness is a hopeful outcome for conflict, but what exactly does forgiveness look like? And there are many kinds of intimacy--emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual--how do they work together to build marriages?

10. Connecting Emotionally: Love Languages


How do you give and receive love best? What fills your emotional fuel tank? Do you prefer words, time, gifts, actions, or touch? Which expression does your spouse prefer? We can’t love well when we’re empty, and it’s in your best interest to know how to fill your spouse’s tank well. Emotional intimacy is a key foundation for a thriving marriage!

The handout for this video is Connection: How Do You Receive Love?

11. Connecting Physically: Sexuality


Is sex something you take? Or something you give? What does it mean that the Bible describes spouses as “one flesh”? What are foundations for a good sex life? Explore with us some aspects of a Biblical view of sexuality within marriage.

12. Connecting Physically: Six Qualities for Great Lovers


What makes for being a good lover of your spouse? This video considers deepening your physical intimacy in marriage through communication, tenderness, responsiveness, romance, anticipation, and variety.

13. Connecting Spirituality: Shared Spiritual Practice


Spiritual intimacy is a vital component of strong marriages. Shared spiritual practice is the most correlated factor in long-term marriages. Growing together intellectually, emotionally, and physically are all important and related to one another, as is spiritual intimacy. Explore how to grow closer together as you grow closer to God!

The handout for this video is Connection: What Do You Admire?

More free resources on marriage and parenting are available at FamilyFire.com/resources

 

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