Marriage Connect exists to enrich lives by equipping and empowering individuals to cultivate life giving relationships.
Marriage Connect was inspired by a heartfelt longing for deeper relationships in every area of life. The quality of life is determined by the quality of relationships. One hundred years from now, the measure of your legacy will be the lives that you have touched. MC is dedicated to enriching lives by equipping and empowering individuals to enhance the quality of their relationships. In the spiritual arena of life, our purpose is to promote an ever increasing depth and intimacy in each person’s relationship with God. In human relationships, our purpose is to equip and empower people to experience love in an environment of mutual respect, caring, nurturing, and encouragement.
At Marriage Connect we believe that most of the relationship problems that bring individuals and couples in for coaching/counseling are actually symptoms of deeper root issues. Root issues typically fall into three categories: emotional, spiritual, and spiritual strongholds.
In the movie “Brave Heart” there is a battle scene where William Wallace (Mel Gibson) gets an arrow in his chest. He breaks off the shaft of the arrow and throws the feathered end away. Wallace then jumps on a horse and rides after the king. He is oblivious to the broken off arrow that is still sticking out of his chest. All of us have experienced trauma that shot emotional arrows into our hearts. Too often we, like William Wallace have broken off the shaft, thrown the feathered end away, and went on with life as usual. The problem is we still have a broken arrow sticking out of our heart and we react to stop the pain when someone wiggles the arrow. The people who most often wiggle the arrows are the ones that we love the most.
We do not randomly experience emotions; they are always attached to thoughts. As thoughts pass through our mind, we experience the feelings that we have attached to them. Feelings are always attached to thoughts! The feelings come as we filter our thoughts through our personal belief system (PBS). Our PBS in simplest terms is what we experientially believe about our self: it is our perceived identity. The personal belief system (PBS) is a combination of our experiences, the input of others, and our interpretation of the previous two factors. Our interpretation is based upon our perception which may or may not have anything to do with truth. To us, perception is reality.
Spiritual strongholds arise from our interpretation of our experiences and the input of others, especially the authority figures in our life (e.g. parents, teachers, coaches, pastors, etc.). There are two common spiritual strongholds: lies and vows. Lies are false beliefs that we hold to sense our traumatic experiences. Examples of lies are: I am worthless, it was my fault, no one including God will ever love me, etc. A vow is an action plan that we make to protect ourselves from being hurt again. Examples of vows are: I will never trust a man, I will ever let anyone see me cry, I will never open my heart to anyone, etc.
Root spiritual issues arise as we develop mechanisms to numb the unresolved emotional pain. Some of us withdraw while others push people away to escape the emotional pain. We cover the pain (medicate) with drugs, alcohol, extreme sports, shopping, chocolate, pornography, and any number of other things that reduce the pain. Some people cling to bitterness and thoughts of revenge in an attempt to manage the pain. As long as the arrows remain, the pain management techniques will eventually fail.
Therefore, emotions are indicators of underlying root issues in our PBS; much like the check engine light on a car tells us there is a problem under the hood while not revealing the specifics of the problem. While they do not necessarily indicate the truth, emotions reveal what we really believe about ourselves at a heart (subconscious) level. We cannot consistently live in a way that is inconsistent with what we experientially believe about ourselves. We believe that true freedom only comes when individuals identify and resolve the root issues.
Marriage Connect coaches/counselors assist individuals and couples identify and resolve emotional and spiritual issues, and spiritual strongholds. Our goal is to create a Spirit led environment of love and acceptance that opens hearts to receive God’s healing. MC coaches/counselors use biblical tools, such as forgiveness and prayer, to guide individuals to freedom. We also use Neuro Emotional Technique (See description below). At Marriage Connects we focus on finding and resolving issues and strongholds, but we also understand the importance of providing tools for cultivate life giving relationships. Those tools include communication skills and conflict resolution techniques. We also encourage couples to engage in activities that strengthen their understanding of each other and their appreciation for each other.
Neuro Emotional Technique
Emotions such as fear, anger, grief and many others can negatively affect us long after the original event that caused them. When our body fails to “let go” of these emotions we can find ourselves with unexplained aversions, self-sabotaging behaviors, destructive beliefs, and phobias and many chronic physical problems. We use an approach called Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) to identify, and help you let go of, “stuck” emotional patterns. NET is a mind-body stress-reduction technique that uses a methodology of finding and removing neurological imbalances related to the physiology of unresolved stress. NET is a tool that helps improve mental and physical health.
While much is understood about the structural and biochemical aspects of the triangle of health, the mental/emotional aspect is often overlooked when working with physiology. In fact, many people are unaware that we may actually have emotions stuck in our bodies. Here's how it works. Normally, a person has an emotional response to a significant life event and after the event his body returns to a normal state of being. Sometimes, (particularly if the event was traumatic) a person's body will hold on to the emotion, locking it into his nervous system as neuro-emotional complexes (NEC’s). This causes less than optimal wellbeing.
Our emotional reality can dramatically affect us.
If we are in a weakened state due to poor nutrition, stress or physical trauma, everyday emotions may not resolve naturally. Later in our lives when we experience a similar situation, the old emotional response kicks in. We rarely see the link between the past event and our present situation. We always refer to all past memory events as an emotional reality, like a dream that may not be true, but our body thinks it is. NET can help identify the unresolved real (or imagined) event and help your body release its lingering emotional charge. For good!
People used to think emotions resided entirely in their brain. Now we know other parts of the body can hold emotions too. Ever felt butterflies in your stomach before a speech, refer to something as a "pain in the neck" or felt a "lump in your throat"? Clearly, emotions happen in our body, not just our brain! Neuropeptides, the large protein molecules that contain emotional memories, are found in the blood, lymph, intestine and every tissue and organ of the body. Scientists originally called them neuropeptides because they expected to find them only in the brain and nervous system.
Using NET, we find these stuck, negatively charged emotions stored in your body and help you release them. It is fast and fun. And it can dramatically improve your emotional responses.
NET Frequently asked questions
Are stuck emotional patterns universal?Yes, we have found this to be true. While our emotions bring richness to our lives, many times they don't fully resolve on their own. When they don't, their residual presence can diminish our health, affect our relationships and sabotage our success.
Do all emotional traumas result in Neuro-Emotional Complexes (NEC's)? No. Many emotional traumas are not involved in NEC's and therefore resolve naturally. For example, one person may have a few weeks or months of grief in the event of an unfortunate loss of a loved one. This grief usually resolves in a natural healing process, and the person again goes about their daily life. Yet another person may have grief for decades. It just does not seem to extinguish. This is called protracted grief.
Does this take the place of counseling? No. Locating and resolving these NEC’s from the past does not take the place of counseling. Actually, we have found that by using NET in addition to the other pastoral counseling methods enables people to release the emotions that are stuck in the original triggering event more quickly and completely.
How do emotions get stuck in the body? It seems emotions do not resolve properly at times when our body's resistance is compromised. If the energy of the emotion is not felt and expressed, then it is not discharged and gets stuck in the body. Our job is to find these unresolved emotions and help you finally discharge them in a healthy way.
How Does NET find and release these stuck emotions?Finding and balancing these stuck memory loops is done with the help of simple muscle testing. This helps determine if your body is in harmony with a particular concept that is linked to an unresolved emotional event.You will form a mental picture, or "snapshot", of the original triggering event. Your body will assume an emotional state similar to the way it originally reacted. This helps your body release the unresolved emotion linked to the event. It's simple.
After the correction, many people report feeling that a heavy weight has been lifted from their shoulders. If things become too personal or uncomfortable, just say the word and the session can safely end. You are always in control. NET is safe, effective and a natural way to quickly identify and resolve chronic emotional components of past events.
Marriage Connect coaching/counseling provides one-on-one instruction for individuals and one-on-two instruction for couples desiring a program tailored to their specific needs. We do most of our coaching/counseling in what is called an intensive format: we meet for fifteen hours in one week with couples and nine hours in one week with individuals. Two to three hour single sessions are also available upon request.
Explore Marriage Seminar
Every marriage can be described as thriving, surviving, or somewhere in between. We firmly believe that every marriage can be better. Our desire in presenting this seminar is to put the spotlight on marriage. This fast paced, informational, experiential, and interactive two-hour seminar will stimulate reflection, evaluation, and discussion of many aspects of marriage. The topics are pertinent for almost everyone: people who are, have been, or hope to be married. The seminar is designed to guide you to:
• Explore your views of marriage – What is it supposed to be?
• Examine the condition of your marriage – Where are we at?
• Clarify what you want for your marriage – Where are we going?
• Create the marriage you have always wanted – How do we get there?
Equip Marriage Seminar
Couples and individuals who come for coaching/counseling almost always express a desire to get new tools for their relational toolbox. They want the right tool to fix their communication problem, to rekindle the love that has waned, or repair tattered family relationships. At the Equip Marriage Seminar you will discover new tools and learn new ways to use old tools. This seven hour interactive experience is designed to guide you to personally develop and apply tools that will empower your relationships and enhance your life. In addition to tools, you will also learn tactics (activities) that will revolutionize your marriage. Incorporating these activities into your marriage will help move it to the next level and keep it growing.
Experience Marriage Retreat
The Marriage Connect Weekend couples retreat is a weekend getaway experience designed to guide you to personal transformation. The experiential and interactive format allows you to explore your personal beliefs and discover areas of unresolved brokenness. The objectives of the weekend retreat are to experience transformation that unlocks the freedom to experience deeper intimacy with God and mutually satisfying relationships with family and friends.
Marriage Connect Training Conferences equip those who desire to provide encouragement and support to people and help them move beyond their comfort zones and empower them to reach their full potential. Attendees will take home tools to use in their own journey and in helping others on their journey.
Building Community – Couples Connect Groups
Couples Connect Groups help couples connect with couples in authentic relationship. Marriage Connect Groups create an environment where every person can experience love based upon mutual respect, caring, nurturing, and encouragement. This environment not only allows, but encourages individuals to be authentic in sharing both the successes and struggles of life knowing that your group has your back.
A Couples Connect group is a place where each member is seen as a person not a project; a unique, integral, and essential part of the whole. The need to hide behind masks out of guilt, shame and fear of rejection is replaced with the freedom to be you. It is a place of grace where we are loved more not less as we become real with one another.
Couples Connect groups are neither program based nor curriculum driven. They are groups of couples simply “doing life together”. It includes laughing together and crying together, sharing dreams and sharing heartaches, celebrating victories and carrying burdens, but most of all caring deeply for one another.