Have you ever found yourself comparing your marriage to somebody else’s and thinking … our marriage has gotten a little stagnate … our sizzle has fizzled. Or, if you’re a deep thinker … you’ve asked: “What’s missing from our marriage?”
If so … you’re not alone. Many couples hit this wall of frustration. That’s because successful marriages are more than just raising great kids … working to pay the bills … and tackling the everyday issues of life. Fruitful marriages are built by couples who enjoy what researchers call “shared meaning.” So let’s take a minute to talk about what that means.
Shared meaning is just that … you and your spouse share the same beliefs and values, you’ve set the same goals for your lives and marriage, and you enjoy doing the same things together. It’s even found in the Bible … Amos 3:3 says: Can two walk together without agreeing on where to go?
So where are we as Christ followers supposed to be going? Hopefully we share a united understanding that God wants us as individual spouses to love Him with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength. That core belief, or great commandment, challenges us to set a mutual marital goal of helping each other, as individual spouses, become the man and woman that God wants us to become. This will not only help us as individuals … it will strengthen our marriages.
Because when we talk together about our faith, values and dreams we deepen our connection. We’re sharing our hearts … our inner most thoughts. Setting a regular time to talk together about these things will deepen your intimacy … emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Setting realistic marital goals is another way to help put two spouses on the same path … and get them moving in the same direction. We see lots of couples who are busy pursuing their individual goals and careers … living in the same house … sleeping in the same bed … in essence two ships passing n the night … feeling totally disconnected. That’s because they aren’t yoked together by a common goal for their relationship.
Working together to achieve agreed upon goals will help us become stronger couples … having a common purpose. For instance, your goal might include ministering together at your church, or volunteering to serve in the community as a witness. Honestly, if you’re actively talking about what you want to see your kids look like when they leave home … and you’re working together to raise your children to love and serve God, you have a great goal. These goals put the two of you on the same path . . . moving in the same direction … giving you a shared meaning!
So, has your marriage lost some of its sizzle? If so why not start developing some shared visions by asking these key questions: “What are our core beliefs and values? What is the purpose or goal of our marriage?”
Set a time to get together to talk about what your marital goals, values and dreams are. It won’t happen in one conversation so set up a regular time to focus on these crucial areas of connection. These talks will deepen your intimacy and give you and your spouse a sense of purpose and happiness that you may be missing.