I will confess...pizza sounded GREAT for dinner tonight, so I convince my youngest son to eat pepperoni pizza with me. (It didn't take much convincing!) I headed down to our Papa Murphy's and got a cheap ole pepperoni pizza. Quite possibly, the whole reason I wanted to go to town to pick up a pizza is just to drive past the recently "Leased" sign put into the window of the soon-to-be physical home of StacieStoneyCoaching! And I always say, God has perfect timing, because as I drove past my new little spot, I was listening to my favorite radio station, K-LOVE (101.7 here in Centralia, WA!) when I heard today's segment of "Closer Look" that talked about the importance of marriage counseling and premarital counseling!
The pastors on "Closer Look" were talking about how important it is to seek premarital counseling, and marriage counseling. They said that any Olympic athlete, or any athlete for that matter, knows they will be better equipped for the game when listening to, and following through, with what their coach has taught them.
Marriage Coaching (which is, really, what I like to call it because it sounds so much more positive!) offers three very distinctive tools to any relationship. First, coaching offers ACCOUNTABILITY. I can not tell you how often, in my past, I would tell one of my friends all those irritating things that Josh was doing to frustrate me. Rarely did my friends say, "Well gee Stacie, perhaps you need to look at this perspective instead." NO. They, being the good friends they are, took MY side and more often than not, that only validated for me that I was, of course, RIGHT and Josh was WRONG and why didn't he see it that way??? A coach, on the other hand, does not "Take Sides", is a neutral party, and has the main goal to have a couple see one another's thoughts and perspectives in a safe and positive manner.
Second, coaching offers for couples a ROAD MAP.
How often have you set out on a vacation and you think you know where you are going, yet get lost somewhere along the way? Even with our built-in Satellite GPS in each of our cars, Josh and I still lose our way to our destinations sometimes. That is true in any relationship- you think you know exactly where you are both headed for your futures, only to find out one of you took a different fork in the road. I will confess again, I was married once before and I KNOW that was our biggest issue. When I realized we were not even traveling on the same highway anymore, it was really hard to find our way back. Well, obviously, we never did. I learned a lot from that experience, and I pray that I can help others with their road maps so they never travel so far away from their significant other that they become lost. Proverbs 11:14 says, "Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." (ESV)
Therefore, it seems pretty wise to seek help from a coach that keeps you accountable and on the road of life safely!
Third, and probably most important, a coach will be able to offer a marriage a better chance of success by teaching a couple HOW TO COMMUNICATE positively, effectively, and lovingly. I'm sure you have heard the staggering statistics that 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. When I was completing my Master's Degree in Christian Counseling and Coaching, I devoted one of my papers on the fact that research was wrong. Guess what I found out? Statistically, 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. Research has proven this time and time again. Sad, but true. God hates divorce. In Malachi 2:16, we read
"For I hate divorce!" says the LORD, the God of Israel. "To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,*" says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. "So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife." (NLT)
And yet, divorce still exists. Learning the right ways to communicate will better prepare couples for a lifelong "happily-ever-after." Almost all of the Christian weddings I have attended have at some point added this verse to the ceremony-
"What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Mark 10:9 (ESV)
God is rooting for every couple's "Happily-Ever-After"! So is every marriage coach! (and for my third confession tonight, that is EXACTLY why I wanted to become a coach, to help others find successes in their relationships. Josh and I have benefited from marriage counseling. It was life-changing. I want others to have that, too!)
So, to re-cap, ACCOUNTABILITY, a proper ROAD MAP, and learning effective COMMUNICATION are all great skills a coach can provide couples for premarital coaching or marriage coaching. A good coach will teach you how to dribble and shoot, and great coach will teach you how to win the game while showing great sportsmanship along the way! (Okay, so really, I DID have to put in an actual sports coaching analogy to help prove the point! And confession four- I am a varsity high-school Cheer Coach...but I thought basketball might be wider known!)
And to finish off my confessions for the night, I ate two slices of that pizza. And the wellness coach in me is torn- while it's acceptable to have a cheat day and eat what you crave once in awhile, it's also a horrible idea to do that if you know the food with not agree with your digestion system, cravings or not! With that being said, I am going to drink a ton of water and eat VERY clean tomorrow...my tummy already hurts! (and that will lead to a wellness blog later on, I am sure!)
And here's a testimony from a client on premarital coaching! (Just in case you needed to hear from someone OTHER than me on the importance of coaching! Enter smiley emoji!!!)
"Best decision ever! Nothing compares to being "coached" on how to have a successful relationship. We want to be a winning team, and Stacie helped us see many areas that will need extra (and delicate) attention. Even with knowing one another for years, there are still many things to discover about each other and Stacie helped guide us through these life trials without any errors. I feel stronger and more confident opening up and working through things with her help. She is a gentle soul and great listener. Her guidance is deeply appreciated!"