When a couple marries, they stand before family and friends and make a BIG promise to one another. While some people write their own vows, most couples promise to love “for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, until death do us part.”
Yes, we were all naïve when we got married. No, we didn’t fully realize what we were signing up for. But we promised our spouse’s friends and family that they could trust us with their loved one’s lives. We led everyone to believe that divorce was not an option. We vowed to be trustworthy. When we live up to that promise, it’s a beautiful thing.
But, when real life meets whatever glamorized view we had of marriage, we have to make a daily decision to Practice Your Promise.
ACTION STEP 4: PRACTICE YOUR PROMISE
Maybe you (or couples you know) have faced challenges so deep that you have considered or are considering divorce. Here’s the hard truth: Depending on the circumstances, maybe you should separate or even divorce. Situations involving abuse or unrepentant or ongoing faithlessness may warrant it. But divorce is not the solution to most people’s marital problems. (In fact, divorce often makes things worse.)
So how do we do it? How do we faithfully practice what we promised? We believe it rises and falls on a mindset.
THE ME MINDSET
The Me Mindset is constantly asking this question: “Is this marriage working for me?”
To one degree or another, most couples experience a time when their “us” is not working for them. We all do things that annoy, hurt, or grieve our spouses. But the question, “Is this marriage working for me?” can be relationally lethal.
We need to change the question to one that has the potential to turn almost any marriage around and that will help us practice our promise. It requires a change to the Us Mindset.
THE US MINDSET
The Us Mindset asks a better question: “What am I doing to make this marriage work?”
This is not a question for your spouse; this is a question for you. What am I doing to make this marriage work? Although you aren’t solely responsible for the state of your marriage, you can make a huge difference.
Marriages are made up of micro moves. The sum total of those micro moves equals the current condition of that marriage. When we constantly ask ourselves, “What am I doing to make this marriage work?” and then act on the answers to that question, it’s a beautiful thing for our US.
The common denominator of thriving couples is an US mindset.
Being on each other’s team.
Willing to serve each other.
Giving each other a break.
Making time for each other.
Communicating love and appreciation for each other.
Practicing what they promised.
So challenge the married people on your team and in your church (as well as yourself) to start with the question: “What am I doing to make this marriage work?”
For more in-depth information on how to help the couples in your church practice their promise, check out the new book Your Best Us by Ted Lowe at OrangeBooks.com. In this insightful yet practical book, you’ll find four steps to improving your marriage in order to find Your Best Us.
This article is an adaptation from Your Best Us.