The vow of partnership
We, not me. The vow of partnership says our marriage will be about we and not me. It’s the foundation for a marriage based on mutual commitment—a marriage that’s built to go the distance. But what does partnership really look like on a day-to-day basis? Let these ideas help you begin to see ways you can serve your spouse throughout your marriage.
The Complete Package
Did you ever consider that some of the characteristics you love most about your spouse might come from the same place as the things that get under your skin? Maybe you enjoy his spontaneous, carefree nature but get frustrated by his lack of planning and organization. Perhaps you appreciate her perceptive take on your experiences at work, but wish she wasn’t so sensitive at home. There’s no a la carte menu when it comes to marriage—your spouse is a package deal. This week, take some time to discuss your differences with your spouse. How can God use those differences to complete you two as one? How are you are uniquely gifted to serve your spouse? What can you do this week to put those gifts into action?
Uncovering Your Family Identity
Here’s a great topic for dinner conversation this week: what defines you as a family? Successful families have a vision that is driven by core values. What are four to seven values that drive you (or should drive you)? Think of things like generosity, compassion, integrity, etc. Then, find a way to creatively document these values and revisit them regularly to stay on track.
The fine art of apology is a marital must. Learning how to do it well can transform your relationship. Yet if we’re really honest, many of us would say we struggle with apologizing. Here’s the cool thing about apology: it’s something all of us can learn…and marriage gives us the perfect environment to practice our new skill! There are lots of great resources available to help (some as close as a quick “how to apologize” web search). Here are a few basic pieces to a sincere apology:
- Describe the situation – who, when, where, what you did.
- Acknowledge the damage done and the feelings you caused.
- Say what you should have done differently.
- Commit to changing your behavior and ask for forgiveness.
In marriage, submitting to each other is a commitment to being on the same page as your spouse. It doesn’t mean you’ll always agree, but you’re willing to put in the time and effort it takes to get there. Are there areas in your marriage where you and your spouse are more untied than united? Sex? Money? Kids? What can the two of you do to tackle those issues? If you just can’t see eye-to-eye, don’t overlook the tremendous value in seeing a Christian counselor. (www.pathseekercenter.org) They can help you work out the kinks in your relationship.