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#16 – Showing Up For The Test

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Ep. 40 - Podcast Thumbnail

When people show up for their marriage, it’s somewhat akin to taking a big test. There are those who show up after having paid attention in class, doing their homework and studying for the test who arrive on their big day feeling prepared and excited.

Conversely, there are others who try to simply ‘wing it’ and go on ‘faith’ without much preparation at all. They are typically the ones who are most nervous about committing to another person because they simply don’t know what’s going to happen, as they are coming in with many blind spots.

Sammy Uyama discusses how to prepare well for your big day so you can stand before your spouse when the time is right with clarity and confidence that your future is going to be amazing!!

 

Episode Transcript:

Andrew Love: Welcome back, everybody to another episode of Love, Life, and Legacy, a show where we help you navigate through these hyper-sexualized times in which we live. So, in today’s episode, you’re going to get a full break from me after this. And Sammy is going to give you a solo cast all about showing up. You want to show up prepared for the biggest tests of your life for sure. And what is one of the biggest – if not the biggest test ever – marriage. And you don’t want to show up unequipped. You want to prepare so that you can enjoy your time, enjoy the moment and move forward with a lot of confidence. So Sam is gonna get into that. Let’s enjoy ourselves together.

Sammy Uyama: Welcome everybody to another episode of Love, Life, and Legacy, a show about sex. As always, we’re here to help you navigate the world of sexuality in this modern-day era. And we do that by offering a perspective on the topic of sex that’s transparent, tried, tested and true. Now we talked about God; He is a buddy of ours, someone we care about a lot. But if you don’t consider yourself a religious person, that’s okay. If you put yourself in the thoughtful person category, this is a great place for you. And it’s your host Sammy Uyama, together with… just kidding. It’s just me today, guys. We have a special solo episode for you. An opportunity for me to share some of the things that have been going on in my mind. So the topic for today’s episode is, drum roll, please… Showing up for the test. And what I mean by that is showing up for the test when it comes to making that commitment of marriage. And a few weeks ago, we had our big marriage blessing ceremony. Something in our church community. A big shindig where people come around from all over the world to commit together with theirs, their fiance. Commit to a lifetime. Commitment to one another in marriage. And it’s a great occasion. People are happy and celebrating. And we did a whole episode on the Blessing, what it is, previously. So if you’d like to tune into that you’re free to do so. And when I was at the, at the Blessing, I was walking around, congratulating couples, talking to them, seeing how they’re doing. I, there’s a consistent theme or two different kinds of people I would meet. There were the people that were very enthusiastic and excited and just ready to move on to the next stage of their life together with their partner. And there were people that were nervous; they’re making this commitment to the next stage, but they weren’t really sure how it was going to go and they were hoping for the best. That’s kind of the only thing that they could bank on, is just that things would work out in the end. And I was reflecting on what causes these two different kinds of responses from people at this same event and experiencing the same thing. And I settled on a concept that Andrew talks about often. It’s about showing up for the test, and likening it to when you’re in school, you know. Imagine your student and you’ve got a test and it’s a really important exam – the midterm or the finals or whatever you want to call it – and you show up at your desk, and you’re sitting down. And when you know, you put in the work, and you studied and you’re prepared, that experience is that you feel calm, collected, confident, and you know, things are gonna go well. Versus when you show up, ill-prepared, you know, you slacked off, you didn’t put in the work, and you got hot chills, or no what’s it called, cold chills, that’s what that is. You are anxious and all you can really do is hope for the best that you circle… that it’s multiple choice, you circle the right answers, or there’s something that you have some idea what they’re talking about. And this is the exact same thing that happens in many areas of our lives, and particularly when it comes to marriage, that marriage is actually something that you can prepare for. And that’s actually a novel idea. If you think about it, I know in our, our faith circle, it’s pretty common concept to prepare for the Blessing, prepare for being married, which is really amazing. Just that it’s ingrained, it can be ingrained in people to think that this is something I need to grow myself towards.  What I’ve experienced in kind of the rest of, you know, more, other circles of the world is that you know, marriage is something that kind of just happens. You live your life, and you go about what you go about. And you stumble on someone that you like, and they happen to like you back. You do get married, you decide to grow your life together, and it’s just kind of come as you are, however you are in that moment. That’s just what your spouse is going to deal with and what you’re going to be like in your relationship. And maybe people decide, you know, they decide to grow along the way, and they do things to make a good relationship. But this concept of being very intentional about during my singlehood, I’m going to prepare for this most important relationship in my life. That’s really, something really novel. But I feel that I think that if people took that on more would make such a big difference in the quality and success of marriages in the world. So I want to share that with you guys. What does it look like to prepare for the test of marriage?  So I’d like to propose an idea to you guys is that the purpose of singlehood, the purpose of being single is actually preparation for marriage. And I don’t know what people think about that. That’s just what I think. I think that marriage is such a great, for me, it’s been such a great experience. Something that they, everyone, if done well, could get a lot of fulfillment from. And I think it’s something really worth preparing for. And it’s just a natural part of the cycle of life. You know, being single is preparation for being married. Once you get married, it’s preparation for having children. Once you have children, you’re raising them and preparing them to grow up to be, have their own lives to be independent, and great people in their own lives. And then you have grandchildren and then you just prepare to die one day. And not in a bleak way, but I think this is just the beautiful natural cycle of life. And of course, along the way, you do, a lot of fun things happen. And you do things just for the sake of that they’re great. But the underlining theme and direction of life is, is progression and development through the different cycles of life. And everything that you experience in marriage is a direct result in it’s the fruit of the seeds that you sow while you’re single, and so on. That time period when you’re a single person is really crucial phase of life in order to have a successful marriage. So I just want to share three areas I think are important in order to prepare for marriage and to be able to show up to that test and feel confident in the results that you’re going to have. So I want to share three areas I think are important to work on in order to prepare for marriage. I’m sure there are many more, these are just the first three that came into my mind.  The first one is the importance of growing your character. And what I mean by this is your reliability, your integrity, your honesty. What makes you someone that people can relate to, can trust in, and rely on. And the best framework that we have for how to go about this is what we call the High Noon lifestyle. You know, these are the virtues that we promote, and that’s practicing honesty, grace, integrity, accountability, courage. These five elements, working on implementing these into your life. And if you focus on that, the result will be great. It will be someone that is able to have real, genuine relationships with other people that will be able to listen to others and provide that kind of true and real, like real love to other people, not because you like what they give you or how they make you feel, but you give love to them because you love them. And you’re, you’re someone that they can share their inner world with, the parts that they feel are unlovable. And also experiencing that for yourself. First and foremost, is that you have people in your life that you share your inner world with and see all the things that you feel maybe not so lovable about yourself.  Next is the importance of developing effective communication. And this one kind of came out of the left-field for me. I’m not so sure why this one stood out above other things. I think it’s just that when I speak with young couples in particular who are going through some challenges or difficulties, oftentimes it just comes down to inability for these two people to communicate well with one another. And when I say communication, it’s not about being able to talk and express what you think really well. The heart of communication is good listening, and being able to genuinely listen to what the other person is trying to say. So focusing on your relationship. Being someone that provides the mood or provides the freedom for other people to say, honestly, what’s really inside of them. So when you’re single, are you able to have good communication with people? Of course, are you able to say honestly what’s there for you and share it in a way that people can understand and comprehend? But more importantly, are you someone that allows others to share honestly themselves? So growing your character, learning communication, good listening.  Lastly is having a healthy relationship with sex and sexuality. The difference between having, being married to someone and having a roommate, you know, this is, this is the thing that defines marriage. And if you don’t have a good relationship with this, then it’s gonna cause troubles in your relationship with your spouse. And so there are two sides to this. The first is that sexual integrity is that you’ve got good sexual habits you’ve anchored in your, your sex drive, and, you know, this can be such a really amazing and awesome part of your marriage with someone. But if you have bad sexual habits, then you know it will put a strain on a relationship. And rather than channeling all the energy into your spouse and creating something together, it gets diluted and it gets, you know, thrown in other directions. And the second part is your perspective on sex and your attitude towards sex, having a healthy mindset around it. So this is you know if you have all these ideas of like, you know, maybe you experience things as a child, that makes the topic of sex very traumatic for you, or very sensitive. Or maybe you just grew up really shy around it. And so it’s difficult to talk about, you know, but when it comes to a relationship with your spouse, you know, this needs to be a blank canvas that both of you guys can freely go back and forth and share with one another about your ideas and your, your values and your opinions and your challenges and your desires. And so preparing in that way to whatever you can do as a single person to get a rein in on your, your sexual energy, your sexual desires, your sexual integrity. And then also be very mindful of what is they, the beliefs, and the attitude you have towards sex. Is it, do you really see it as something that is life-giving and a joyful and wonderful part of a marriage with someone that you deeply trust and have such an intimate relationship with? Or is sex a burden? Is it something that’s kind of dirty or something that’s embarrassing, or it’s something that shouldn’t be talked about? And if you can bring the right kind of relationship with sex into your marriage and your spouse does likewise, you’ll explode in your relationship in more ways than one. It’ll just be a contribution and be a great source of energy for you and your spouse.  So just really quickly, those are the few things I wanted to share with you guys. What does it take to show up ready for the test of marriage is growing your character and you know, always that you can do that. It’ll just be a plus. So really investing in that. Learning effective communication. Of courses sharing what you want to say efficiently and succinctly to other people – something I need to work on. But more than that, being a really good listener and lastly, having a healthy relationship with sex, really getting clear and what is the purpose of sex and what role does it play in my life and my relationship with my future spouse. Thank you everybody to this special solo-side with me, Sammy Uyama and you listening. If you enjoy this, got some value out of it, then you can subscribe to our podcast and we have many more to come. Usually, it’s Andrew and me together. But once in a while, I think we’ll break off and give ourselves some room to share some of our own opinions, and what’s bouncing around are mostly empty brains. And find out more at highnoon.org. That’s where we keep all of our podcast stuff, and we’ll see you next week.

 

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Another stimulating episode as Andrew and Sammy talk about how important it is to have accountability and fidelity in your marriage. Based on a high-profile story of a pastor from a mega church whose affair led to his dismissal from the ministry and his marriage and family life almost crumbling.

Married for 13 years, these two have grown a lot and discovered many things about themselves, their work, and each other. Apart from being the fuel for families to mend their relationships, they also became a role model for couples working in the same environment, believing that learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses will help create that perfect balance in marriage and relationships. 

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