Award-winning college football coach, Lou Holtz, provides this wisdom, “If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things—you don’t have enough goals.” In many respects, reading this quote points people to organizational visions and mission statements or even personal bucket lists. I contend that this axiom provides much more rich insight than just clear metrics for our companies or our personal pursuits. The wisdom of this quote also applies to our marriage relationships.
We immediately understand setting annual goals for our organizations and companies. It is very easy for us to understand the necessity of setting personal goals and even walking through vision board exercises. But I am not sure that we hear a lot leaders encouraging couples to set annual goals for their marriages. It is probably not a common phenomenon to hear individuals being encouraged to have a BIG vision for their love relationship. But the truth is that when a husband or wife has low expectations, are bored with the current state of their relationship, and there is no current fire existing within the relationship – I would contend – that there is no big vision for that relationship.
We see the effects of this today. Unstable relationships, infidelity, incompatibility, emotional storms, together-but-lonely syndrome, and a host of other realities that exists in today’s culture. And the truth is, it is not just because this is what comes with marriage. Again, I contend, it is because there is no big vision for what God can do through that relationship.
What is a big vision for marriage? It is thinking short term and long term about your relationship and considering what could God do through you and your spouse to impact your home, future generations, and the world around you. It is considering the question, “God, what miracles can be performed through the combined gifts of my spouse and I?” Let’s be clear, God is not interested in people getting together just to have pillow talk. He has a goal in mind for that relationship.
God is not interested in people getting together just to have pillow talk.
One of the hindrances to even asking this question is selfishness. With a wrong view of marriage, it is very possible that many remain selfish and only look for, “what I can get out of this.” When a spouse can begin to live beyond themselves, they are now on the path towards a big vision for that relationship.
What’s the solution?
1) Ask the right questions.
You will always end up at the right conclusion when you ask the right questions. For many, the questions in marriage include, “What can I get my spouse to do for me?” “What should my spouse be doing to make me happy?” “What do I deserve?” Better questions for your marriage include, “Why would God allow us to connect?” “What is our combined purpose as a couple?” “What individual life challenges have we experienced that can become a combined platform for our lives?”
You will always end up at the right conclusion when you ask the right questions.
2) Consider the evidence.
Discovering your life purpose helps you discover your relationship purpose. The evidence that you must consider and uncover is what you naturally gravitate to. The clues to this answer lie in what gives you your greatest joys and what motivates you to jump out of bed in the morning. This insight is the evidence to what good may come through your relationship and establish the legacy of your lives.
Discovering your life purpose helps you discover your relationship purpose.
3) Be bold enough to stretch.
All of us know individuals and couples who have shared great ideas for their lives, read lots of books, and sat through many trainings and/or consultations, only to have those ideas die out from being left alone. Make no mistake about it – as James 2:17 says,
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
There must be corresponding action and action plans that accompany the vision.
Our relationships as husbands and wives is bigger than just nice houses and cars, having cute children, taking family vacations, having sex, or even, taking holiday pictures. While those are good short term goals, it is much bigger than that. God has a goal for us getting together. It is our challenge to discover that goal – and then live it out. Let’s go, we’ve got work to do!