How Curiosity Can Strengthen Your Relationship
Marti Wibbels, MS, LMHC and Alan Wibbels, MA
Throughout our 54 years of marriage, we’ve discovered it’s vital to keep being curious—about God, each other, and life. “Curious,” according to Merriam-Webster, “connotes an active desire to learn or to know.” Curiosity results in ongoing exploration and learning, which can help your relationship grow. If you’re not in a relationship, being curious can help you be aware of how to develop vital relationship skills.
We’re able to develop curiosity when we:
- Live in God’s love, allowing His love to regulate and control our interactions: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6, ESV). 1 Cor. 13:7-8a (AMP) continues, Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. Love never fails.
- Forgive each other, continually walking in love and conscious obedience to God. Keep short accounts, applying God’s Word to your daily life and concerns: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed (James 5:16, NLT). Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you (Eph. 4:32, AMP).
- Live in a state of wonder, focusing on God (not people, events, or circumstances), allowing God to provide for each moment’s needs. Keep getting to know each other, realizing you’re created in God’s image to bring Him glory. For those who are married, determine your relationship will become an ever-deepening friendship, reflecting Jesus as one in Him. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have had made known to you (John 15:15, ESV).
- Creatively enjoy life, allowing God to be original with His plans for you! Exercise, serve, communicate, investing your time, talents, and finances to glorify God as you fall in love with Him together. Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation (Mark 16:15, ESV). As Jesus prayed, As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world (John 17:18, NASB).
- Rejoice, expecting God to work, even (especially) when problems occur. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them’ (Psalm 126:2, ESV).
If you’re unable to move beyond relational conflict, please know you’re worth getting the help you need! Ask your pastor, priest, or rabbi to recommend professional counselors near you. Or, you could work through Core Healing from Trauma, a biblical counseling workbook for individuals or groups, available on Amazon . You can also watch “Strengthening Your Core,” a 12-week video series on YouTube or subscribe to my blog below.