Think about a couple you know who have a good marriage. Got them in your mind?
Now answer this question: How did they get that good marriage? Maybe you could ask them.
Let me tell you what I don’t think you will hear: “It just happened” or “It was easy.” If you do hear those responses, let me know! My experience is that a good marriage takes work. An Awesome Marriage takes a lot of work. If you want to be a lawyer or a doctor, for example, you know you will spend many years in school. If you want to learn a trade and excel at it, you’ll spend a lot of time as an apprentice or studying it and getting training. Yet, we often just expect we’ll somehow be able to skip the effort and still end up with a good marriage—the second most important relationship we will have in this life! Think back to the days of your engagement period. How much time did you spend planning your wedding compared to preparing for marriage? Your wedding and reception lasted only a few hours or so, and then they were quickly over. Don’t get me wrong. I am not against the wedding you always dreamed of. I just want your marriage to get a greater focus.
We seem to go into marriage thinking it will just happen or that we will work it out on the fly. That just does not seem to work very well, especially considering the fact that over half the couples who take marriage vows also sign divorce papers. My point is this: An Awesome Marriage takes a lot of work, and—here is the drum roll—it is more than worth it! Next to Jesus, your marriage is God’s greatest gift to you. In order to have the marriage of your dreams, you need a plan to get there. Otherwise, you will spend year after year frustrated.
Rate your marriage on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the best it could ever be. Unless you gave your marriage a ten, it can be better. If you rated it as one, two, or three, it may be time to make that appointment with the Christian counselor. If it is good but not great, how about completing one or two courses in Awesome Marriage University? Wherever your marriage is today, it will be in the same place or worse next year if you do nothing. Get with your spouse. Make a commitment together to work on your marriage—to be purposeful about it. If you do, I promise you that this time next year, you will be up a notch or two or more on your marriage rating scale and your dreams of an Awesome Marriage will begin to come true.