« Courageous » Study – Lesson #1 »
As the Bible study is based on the movie "Courageous" which speaks of having courage in many aspects of our lives, the title of the 1st meeting was "It takes courage to fight for his family."
For this first lesson we discussed the stressors that we experienced in our work and how they had an impact in our lives. We evaluated them on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 signifies a very slight negative impact and 10 signifies a major negative impact in our lives) and then we put our answers on a table to compare them with those of the others.
Spouses were also invited to participate in the exercise to see if they were affected by the same elements as us and if so, to what extent.
The questions were:
- To what extent are you affected by all the time you have to invest in work (work schedule, court testimony, training, special units, over-time) that causes several absences on public holidays, birthdays, sports activities of your children and family days?
- How much are you affected by the difficulty of getting back to calm at the end of your work day from down marked adrenaline or the horror images that remain impregnated in your thoughts (this also includes regular consumption of alcohol for relaxation or sleep)?
- To what extent are you affected by the psychological effort to always be on alert for whole days that results in tendencies to spend whole evenings sitting in front of the TV in your favorite armchair?
- How are you affected by the lack of relational desire after a bad day?
- How much are you affected by the "familiar" identification with the other agents of your agency and the afternoons spent with them rather than with your families?
- How much are you affected by the stress associated with your place in your organization (Your rank / position on a special unit or a new police officer who finds that the days pass too fast vs. an experienced police officer who thinks only at retirement)?
- How much are you affected by the financial stress that leads you to do a lot of over-time and/or to find you a second job in parallel?
- How much are you affected by the frustration of people lying to you, stealing, exploiting others and refusing to assume their wrongs?
- How stressed are you due to political pressures, promotions given to others, inability to take days off from work due to lack of staff, or lack of equipment adapted to your job?
- How much are you affected by judicial stress, seeing the criminals come out of jail even before you finish your report or criminals acquitted for a technical error while you spend a lot of time on a file?
We then invited people to focus on the 3 stressors that had the highest scores for group discussion. In our case, it turned out that questions 1, 3 and 4 were the ones that affected us most.
It was also interesting to see how certain things might not affect us when our spouses felt greatly affected by these points.
We invite you as a couple to do this little test at home and compare your answers to see if a certain stressor could have serious implications in your marriage.
In addition, when discussing as a couple at home, try communication tricks such as giving value to an object (eg a pencil) and as long as the person has that object in hand, they have the right to speak and the other person must listen. Then when the person is finished, he/she passes the object to the other person and he has to repeat what he understood in his own words. Then once done, it is the turn of the 2nd person to speak and the 1st person will have to summarize what he/she will have understood later.
Make a line/scale from 1 to 10 and circle the number you entered for each question. Then find "YOUR" middle and not the middle between 1 and 10 (which would be 5).
In the society which we live in, we are taught much that we are equal and that everything must be done 50% on each side. However when we are married, the 50% rule does not exist but there is only one integer. So if for example a police husband gave a value of 4 to question # 1 and his wife gave him a value of 8, "THEIR" middle will be 6 which has a value of 1 more than the middle.
It would therefore be unjust that the husband should only reach the 5 while starting from 4 while his wife should make greater sacrifices to go from 8 to 5. To this end, the husband will have to do a little more effort to join the 6 as of his wife and all 2 would have the impression of having made an equal effort and having taken into consideration the needs of the other.