In the Marriage Boot Camp we use games, drills, and exercises to illustrate, teach, and help people grow. We are able to understand more about a person by how they play a game than years of talk therapy will ever show.
Do you play with integrity, or do you cheat? Can you handle frustration? Are you overly competitive? Do you give up quickly? Are you selfish? Are you a team player? Do you blame? These questions can be better answered by observing how a person behaves more clearly and what a person says.
On Tuesday Jim and I had the privilege of having lunch with Juan Pablo Galavis and Nikki Ferrell, The newest Bachelor couple, and we got to see them in action, but you might not know that by how the lunch has been reported.
On Wednesday, Jim and I labored through five separate interviews with five different magazines about our lunch with Juan Pablo and Nikki. All of the different media outlets presented the information accurately but left out one incident that I thought was significant so I’m using this blog to give you, as the say, the rest of the story.
As we were in the midst of an intense conversation, our lunch was interrupted by a little girl. She was about six years old and she came and stood at our table, awkwardly glancing up then looking at her feet and didn’t say a word. Jim and I looked at each other and before we could do anything, Juan Pablo jumped up, went over to the little girl, got eye level with her and with a big smile said, “did you want our autograph”? She nodded shyly and equally spontaneously, Nikki jumped up and joined in the interaction. They chatted with her about the Bachelor and the little girl excitedly told them that she rooted for Nikki all season long since they are from the same state. They took pictures then scrambled for paper so that Juan Pablo and Nikki could give her a real autograph. Juan Pablo hugged her and kissed her on the cheek and I thought she was going to die for having been kissed by Prince Charming. Then just as quickly Juan Pablo and Nikki rejoined the lunch conversation and we picked up where we left off.
This little vignette told me more about Juan Pablo and Nikki than two and a half hours of conversation. They are sweet, authentic, big-hearted people. They are also not without flaws. Many of the things that they have been criticized for have some grounding in behavior. Juan Pablo is a strong, aggressive man. He is opinionated and is used to being in control. These character traits indicate the gift of leadership but, if not tempered by compassion, could also make you obnoxious and self absorbed. Nikki is very soft, nurturing and supportive. These character traits indicate the gift of mercy and compassion and if not tempered by strength and competence, could turn you into a doormat under enough stress.
Every one of us would show our less-than-attractive side if we had cameras following us around 24/7, for weeks on end, trust me, I know from experience. I thank God every day that I lived out my early adulthood before the internet. Also, every one of us has the opportunity to become more than we are today.
The key is this: Iron sharpens Iron. Use all the junk that life throws at you as an opportunity to be sharpened. Never be a victim. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Look for the small kernels of truth. Then learn to forgive. Release the people who have harmed you so that YOU can be free.
It is our humble opinion that there is sufficient maturity, openness, and willingness to grow to make this a powerful, and healthy relationship. Add to this a growing faith in God, and you have all of the ingredients necessary for a happy, long-lasting relationship. I pray that Juan Pablo and Nikki use their celebrity to advance their gifts and impact others for good.
May God expand your influence for good and continue to bless your relationships!