The Bible is clear in Proverbs 29:18 that people perish if they don’t have a vision. Unless we are living for something that is bigger than ourselves, and unless we focus on specific, written goals, we won’t succeed in our lives. When we get married, it is no longer simply about our lives and vision, but a new vision emerges. Couples in the early stages of marriage might find that they are completely content with just being together all the time and that they need little “extra-curricular” activity to keep them happy. For almost all relationships, however, those days pass, and if a marriage is healthy, love deepens into a flourishing partnership. Marriages need visions too. Just as we would waste away our lives as a single if we didn’t have specific goals, we can also waste away our marriages if we don’t take the time to come together as husband and wife and find something to work toward that will outlast our marriage.
We’ve all seen marriages that are stagnant. Maybe you’ve seen it growing up in your home. Your parents are still married, but living different lives and spending little time communicating. Maybe you’ve noticed it in couples at church or in your community. They seem to care for each other, but they don’t show signs of a deeply communicative or loving relationship. Couples don’t get to this place overnight. Little by little, life happens, and if goals are not established (i.e., written down and agreed on), days, months, and years will pass with little direction and few victories. Having a vision for your relationship, and causes that you and your spouse can firmly stand behind, will give purpose to your relationship and goals to work towards together. Having shared goals, and working diligently to complete them, will build intimacy in your marriage. Intimacy is not only sexual. Emotional and spiritual intimacies are even more important in a marriage than sexual intimacy.
When Eric and I got married, we wanted to begin our new life together standing behind something bigger than us. As a part of our wedding invitations, we added a plea for our guests to consider giving to the Blood:Water Mission. This project, founded by Jars of Clay, focused on bringing fresh drinking water, via building new wells, to Africa. We gave 100% of designated funds and 20% of all other monetary wedding gifts to the project. We will never know who we helped, or how many people we helped by sponsoring the project, but the endeavor took the focus off of us and placed the focus on the needs of others. It was an amazing way to begin our marriage and it set a precedent of giving in our relationship, which took the focus off of what we could gain from being married and put the focus on what we could give as a result of being married.
We believe that the work we do with singles and couples through preengaged.com and the counseling services we provide has altered, and will continue to alter, families forever. Our goal is to glorify God by helping couples prepare well for marriage – and those who complete our program will know each other well. Additionally, for our part financially, we are committing in 2011 to give 10% of our annual net profit to Freedom 4/24 (please see our page “A Charity We Support“) in order to free women from a life of bondage and slavery. So, when you hire us for pre-engagement or premarital counseling services, you can know that you are also helping to support the freeing of sexually exploited women in Southeast Asia.
One can put a thousand to flight and two can put ten thousand to flight (Deuteronomy 32:30). Two people can do far more good than one person can if they are in agreement and working towards the same objectives. As you look towards your future marriage, or as you consider your marriage (if you are already married), think of how you want your relationship to outlast you. How do you believe God would like to use your marriage for His glory and His purpose? What eternal impact are you going to make? Your marriage can leave a legacy that will outlast you and bless future generations. We hope it will!