Volunteers/GM/Soul mates - 5/05
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Sat May 28 20:01:48 EDT 2005
- GENERAL MOTORS CORRESPONDENCE
- SECRETS OF A SOUL MATE
- SMARTMARRIAGES QUOTES
I'm assigning volunteers today and realize I could still use about five
more. They don't have to be students. If you know anyone that would like
to attend Smart Marriages but can't afford the tuition, have them email me.
I can also fit them into a dorm room to help with costs - hotel would be
less than $20 a night. - diane
- GENERAL MOTORS CORRESPONDENCE
Fun to read the back and forth on this mistress ad. - diane
> From: James Hurley
> To: General Motors
> Corporate citizenship?
> Your 'find your style' ads are socially irresponsible and promote damage to
> marriages by making having a mistress socially 'cool'.
> I am a family therapist. Have you any idea of the damage involved in an
> The ad is so offensive that I have chosen to vote with my money. I recently
> bought a 3/4 ton Chevy. I will stop buying GM products forthwith.
> I have copied the billboard from the net and posted it in my office with
> appropriate comments. My clients are not amused.
> Please do explain to me how you see the ads as socially responsible.
> Pull the ads.
> From: Susannah Krug, General Motors Customer Assistance Center
> To: James Hurley
> Dear Mr. Hurley,
> Thank you for contacting us recently regarding our "Find Your Style"
> advertisements. We appreciate you advising General Motors of your
> concerns and providing us the opportunity for review as we recognize
> individuals have many different views.
> Feedback from customers, such as you, is very helpful to us. We have
> documented your concerns and will be forwarding your comments to the
> appropriate department for their consideration. Thank you again for
> taking the time to let us know how you feel.
> If you have any product or dealer related questions or concerns, feel
> free to contact our General Motors Customer Assistance Center at
> 1-800-222-1020 Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.,
> Eastern Time.
> If you should need to contact us in the future, simply reply to this
> message or call our General Motors Customer Assistance Center at
> 1-800-222-1020. Customer Relationship Managers are available Monday
> through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Eastern Time.
> Again, thank you for contacting General Motors.
> Ms. Susannah Krug
> Customer Relationship Manager
> From: James Hurley
> To: Susannah at General Motors
> Thank you for your reply.
> I am still awaiting your response with regard to the way in which you see
> this ad as it relates to your corporate citizenship: "Please do explain to
> me how you see the ads as socially responsible." GM's expressed desire to
> be a good public citizen is admirable. I am extremely interested to hear
> how that relates to the promotion of a car for the 'mistress'. Please
> respond to that issue.
> I am fascinated by your remark that 'individuals have many different
> views'. As I understand it, in many states adultery is a criminal
> activity and is virtually everywhere seen as a betrayal of marital
> bonds. Could you explain whom you have in view as you market a car as
> suitable for a mistress?
- SECRETS OF A SOUL MATE
It may be time to become what you -- and your spouse -- really long for
By Tim Alan Gardner
Christianity Today International
Are you married to your "soul mate"?
Katie didn't think she was. The day she walked into my counseling office she
believed that little fact was her ticket out of a passionless marriage. All
she really wanted from me was confirmation that Scott was not her soul mate.
Since God wanted her to "be happy" in marriage, she wanted me to bless the
idea that her happiness would be found when she was freed from her current
spouse to find her one, true soul mate.
A soul mate isn't something you find; a soul mate is someone you
intentionally and prayerfully become.
"I don't love Scott," she told me.
"Well, what about your three children?" I asked.
"The kids will be fine," she said confidently.
I had my work cut out for me. How could I help her see that she already had
a soul mate? She just needed to redefine her understanding of what a "soul
There's a lot of discussion about soul mates these days. It's splashed
across romance novels, the main story line in movies, and all the rage among
celebritieseven some Christian ones.
For many, the idea of having and being a soul mate conjures notions of God
bringing together two lost hearts who experience the end to their loneliness
and realize complete compatibility in all the deepest longings of their
being. They experience conflict-free conversations, sometimes even without
talking, discover reams and reams of shared interests, hobbies, and
passions, and finally (of course), spend days upon days of heart-stopping,
hand-clinching romantic walks on the beach. No hardships, no struggles, just
starry-eyed wonderfor the next 80 years together!
I must admit, that does sound pretty enticing, especially the beach part; my
wife and I love walks on the beach. I also fully buy into the idea of God's
miracle of marriage and its God-designed intention to bring an end to
loneliness. But frankly, the rest of that description sounds like something
elseand that something else is just plain impossiblewith anybody.
Defining "soul mate"
The philosopher Plato is often credited with the "soul mate theory." He
believed that prior to birth a perfect soul was split into "male and
female," and that to be complete they must find each other and "reunite
their souls." That explanation fosters the notion that there's only one
person in the world who can truly be my "soul mate." Furthermore, it implies
that there's only one person in the whole world I could be happily married
to, and therefore only one person with whom I can be "truly happy."
Thus, in the movie Jerry Maguire, we watch Tom Cruise say to Renee
Zellweger, "You complete me."
And that's what Katie believed. In the midst of her career, her husband's
career, three kids, multiple church activities, and a fast-paced life that
had no time for the marriage, they definitely suffered a loss of passion.
They had grown apart. They weren't feeling in love. No wonder they were not
experiencing a "soul mate" marriage.
But what Katie and Scott missed is that a soul mate isn't something you
find; a soul mate is someone you intentionally and prayerfully become.
In Genesis 2 we find the familiar first "not good" of Creation: Adam was
alone. It's there we discover that God created the problem of loneliness,
and it's there we discover that God created the solution to loneliness:
deep, authentic relationships and, even deeper, the intimacy of marriage.
Then throughout the Bible, God gives us the simple yet powerful details on
how to have a great marriage, telling husbands to love their wives, and
wives to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33), both intentional choices.
Even more amazing is that out of all the possible illustrations God could
have chosen, he picked the relationship between the husband and the wife to
exemplify the soul-deep intimacy he desires with his bride, the church
In my counseling work and in my own marriage, I've discovered that only by
accepting that charge to represent Christ in our marriage can we find the
soul mate experience for which we long. Our loving God wants his married
children to experience deep, loving, soul-touching relationships in
marriage. That kind of connection is accomplished only through committed
My wife, Amy, and I are very much in love. We have a great marriage. But
nobody sees us 24/7/365. They see only the "public face," not the couple
zillion times I've done my "the world revolves around me" dance. They
haven't seen the myriad times (I think the number's higher than Amy does)
that lightning bolts have blasted out of my wife's eyes causing my head to
explode and my body to incinerate right on the spot. Really. What I'm saying
is this. Amy and I have a very real marriage. We disagree, we argue, and we
get frustrated with each other. But even in those times, we work even harder
at treating each other with love and respect.
Yes, we love each other. But we fight. We are not compatible in every way.
Sometimes we think our differences outweigh our similarities. There are many
times when we have to make changes and personal sacrifices for each other
(one of us more than the otherand that's just because he needs to do it
more). We're in love and are soul mates. Why? Because we work at it. That's
why Amy and I are soul mates.
Work, what work?
Most people don't like the idea of having to work for a soul mate. But
here's the reality: to have the soul mateand the marriagewe're looking
for, we must work. I hate to break it to you, but Plato was wrong. God
designed real and lasting love to be something you do, not something you
mystically have. Working at it is built into the system.
"Falling in love" is a great thing. When I fell in love with Amy, that
"spark" in my gut was wonderful. But as everyone can attest, soon into
marriage, I discovered that without working to fan the flame, that spark
After the spark and the commitment of "till death do us part," we had to set
our future course as husband and wife, and commit to remain soul mates.
Certainly, we must talk and talk and talkand pray and pray and pray. But we
also had to learn healthy ways to resolve conflict, deal with and discuss
marital expectations, take marital education courses, and even get a
marriage mentor. I know it doesn't sound a lot like "just falling in love
for life," but that's how we learn to stay togetherand thus experience what
it really means to have a soul mate.
In their book, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, Drs. Les and Leslie
Parrott put it this way: "The sacred secret to becoming soul mates is
pursuing a mutual communion with God." The key is the word pursuing. We
pursue something by choice. We create a mutual communion by intentionally
working at it. Couples who are true soul mates get that way and stay that
way by continually choosing to go deeper in their relationships with God and
The rest of the story
After listening to Katie and assuring her that I truly did care about her
pain, I confirmed that God did want her to have and be married to her soul
mate. I also shared that marriage is a phenomenal gift from God; there
should be a connection between wives and husbands that's deeper, more
intimate, more personal, and more "soul touching" than any other
relationship we have. Married couples should experience a sense of being
"joined at the heart," connected for a future purpose, and be "more
complete" with their mate than without them. I stressed to her that yes,
married couples should be soul mates.
But then I shared with her the rest of the story. If she wants a soul mate,
she can look within herself and to her husband. She can use work, prayer,
commitment, and selfless love. She can reignite the flame with the man God
wants to be her soul mate; the man she's married to right now.
As you can guess, Katie wasn't enthusiastic about my response; as a matter
of fact, she didn't like it at all. However, countering her notion that the
"kids would be 'fine,'" I convinced her to prayerfully give intentionally
loving, respecting, and serving her husband a 40-day try. And I meant 40
days of "regardless how you feel" purposeful choices. The result? Let's just
say she's now married to her soul mate, and her children live with Mom and
So the real question isn't, "Have you found your soul mate?" The real
question is, "Are you working, everyday, to become even deeper, more
connected, and more in love soul mates?" God desires for us to have a soul
mate. And the one he wants us to have is the one to whom we already said, "I
Tim Alan Gardner, MP regular contributor and author of The Naked Soul: God's
Amazing Everyday Solution to Loneliness (WaterBrook), is director of The
Marriage Institute (www.marriageinstitute.org).
Copyright © 2005 by the author or Christianity Today International/Marriage
Spring 2005, Vol. 22, No. 1, Page 24
Tim Gardner will present three times at Smart Marriages - once on Permanent
Passion (very much on the soul mate target) and twice on "Marriage and the
Workplace" Maybe we should send him to talk to General Motors. - diane
- FROM THE SMARTMARRIAGES.COM QUOTES PAGE
> Ann Meara of the comedy team Stiller and Meara observed awhile
> ago in a New York Times interview of her 30-plus year marriage,
> "Was it love at first sight? It wasn't then - but it sure is now."
> New York Times
> For most people, a life lived alone, with passing strangers or passing
> lovers, is incoherent and ultimately unbearable. Someone must be
> there to know what we have done for those we love.
> Frank Pittma
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