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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Use your brain, not your heart, to manage relationships successfully

The Love School's first class of 2014 started with an extended play-time during which the 12,000 guests who filled the Coca-Cola Dome at Northgate on Saturday, 15 March 2014, enjoyed a variety of entertainment before Renato and Cristiane Cardoso, co-authors of the best-seller, Bulletproof Marriage: Your shield against divorce, shared insights and wisdom on how to love intelligently and manage relationships successfully.
The book was written to help singles prepare for marriage and to offer couples practical tools to address the inevitable problems which occur when two different people from diverse backgrounds join together in marriage. The Love School seminar added value to Bulletproof Marriage which has sold 1.8 million copies worldwide and features on the South African best-seller list, selling almost 10,000 since its launch last month.

Renato Cardoso said that it is clear that marriage is under attack, relationships are crumbling and divorce is a global pandemic causing people to lose faith in marriage. He said: "Broken relationships result in damaged self-esteem, regrets, feelings of failure, self-loathing, disappointment, hurt, suffering and hatred. The impact on individuals and families is devastating."

The authors shared that the first 12 years of their 23-year marriage was rocky because they based their reactions on emotions, letting their feelings manage their relationship. As divorce was not an option, they agreed to find workable solutions to their problems which saved their marriage and restored their loving relationship.

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Renato Cardoso explained that although great advances have been made in science, medicine and technology in the last 100 years, many people continue to live in the past, treating their relationships as matters of the heart. He said: "Love and the heart have become synonymous. This belief is perpetuated by popular lyrics which suggest that the heart controls relationships, but the heart's function is to pump blood round the body; it is not equipped to manage marriage. Allowing emotions and feelings to control decision-making, results in disaster and couples tend to fight about everything and nothing. When we run on feelings, we react emotionally. We are not making progress when we approach our love life with our heart and not our brain," he stressed.

The Love School and Bulletproof Marriage offer an invitation to stop doing love with the heart but to use your brain. The authors encouraged everyone to keep up with the times and understand that the brain is the seat of intelligence, the place where decisions are made. Renato Cardoso said: "The brain is capable of being in charge of relationships. How does the brain do this? It thinks. It doesn't react. It looks for a solution and works through challenges intelligently."

Cristiane Cardoso told the capacity crowd that because she wanted to feel loved, she made demands on her husband and believed that because he was not paying her enough attention, he did not love her anymore. She said: "When he did have time for me, we argued. I learned to stop imposing my will on my husband and worked on myself. I stopped complaining and became more pleasant. He noticed me and was more interested in me. Both of us focused on what needed to be changed in ourselves rather than trying to change the behaviour of the other person. Everything changed when we put our brains in charge!"

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The authors shared five things which need to change to ensure successful relationships:

1. Stop associating love with the heart and associate it with the brain. You will still feel emotions, but feelings will not run the decisions in your life. The brain will.

2. Stand in love. The popular expression "fall in love" indicates a downward movement. Love is meant to lift you up. Any relationship which makes you fall is not good for you.

3. Wake up to what is happening to those who are sleeping around and co-habiting rather than getting married. People involved in promiscuous behaviour are dying, they get sick, they feel betrayed and are often hurt. These relationships without commitment are destroying people.

4. Think for yourself. Stop following the crowd and succumbing to peer pressure. Make decisions that are good for you.

5. Fight for your marriage and stop fighting in your marriage.

Renato and Cristiane Cardoso urged everyone to pray, think, act and use the mind that God has given to seek wisdom and enlightened answers.

They encouraged women to value themselves and men to value their wives saying: "Smart men know that they need their wives. When your wife is fulfilled, confident and happy, her value increases and so does yours."

Closing the first class of the Love School in South Africa, Renato Cardoso said: "Keep learning valuable lessons to enhance your relationships. Find good examples of marriage partnerships and follow them. Keep feeding your brain about intelligent love and do not succumb to the worldly norm of feeding the heart about love."

Bulletproof Marriage makes an ideal gift for a couple planning to get married, or for those wondering why they said: "I do". It is available from Exclusive Books at R202.

For further information, please contact Nametso Mofokeng at the UCKG public relations department on .

Universal Church of the Kingdom of God's press office