She had the cutest grin. Though ten years older than my mother, she was as adorable as any child. My mentor and spiritual mother, “Miss” Betty, had one of my favorite marriages. In fact, watching her interact with her husband, Mr. Dave, had a lot to do with my decision to go into relationship counseling. I wanted that kind of a marriage and I wanted to help others have it too. (Back to her grin…)
As her neighbor, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit her often. She listened to everything which mattered to me. She walked with me through every boyfriend struggle. She talked to me about the Bible and cooked with me. She was a class act and a patient woman (I visited her a lot from the time I was eight until I moved out at twenty-one). As we were talking one day, Mr. Dave’s van pulled into the garage and her face lit up. Her special smile broke out and she squealed with delight. “He’s home!” She met him at the door with affection and was ready to bring him refreshments. She loved being his wife and serving him. They picked on each other; and, they were endearing. They called each other bun (short for honey bun). If only they would have had written a Couple’s Creed. Their creed is one I would have loved to read.
Though not perfect, Miss Betty and Mr. Dave gave a young girl like me something to emulate. They made me want to be a good wife and have a good marriage. How exciting to think you and your future spouse can be that couple to a young man, young woman, or several young people. Do you want the next generation to look back on your marriage and say, “I have always wanted what they have. They showed me how marriage ought to be.”?
Let constructing your Couple’s Creed be step one in becoming that couple for others.
Five Simple Steps to Constructing Your Couple’s Creed
Step One: Clear Your Life of Distractions. Whether you write this in five shorter stages, or one long one, be sure your phone is off, your chores are done (or postponed), and you are fully present with each other with no other distractions.
Step Two: Pray Together. This may even be the first formalized statement you two will make as a couple; so, some disagreements or tough conversations may come up as a result. If you have discussed various topics throughout this year as we have been exploring them, then you may have less to talk over. But, either way, going before the Lord in prayer before taking on any project is always a good idea.
Step Three: Pull Out Your Creed Notebooks! Just as you have so many weeks before, take out your trusty notebooks and review the answers to your questions. Place stars by topics or questions which stand out to you.
Step Four: Prioritize and Organize. Categorize your statements by importance (e.g., faith, then family, then friends, etc.) or by similarity (e.g., all community-related statements in one section, all education-related statements in another, etc.). Write down as many belief statements as you would like.
(Note: If you do not believe a statement, do not agree with it simply to move on with the process. To say you believe something when you don’t, or to withhold your true feelings through silence, is lying. You are declaring your beliefs to yourself, your partner, to all who see your creed, and to God. If you do not believe something, or you are not sure if you believe something, be brave and willing to explain. Don’t add it just because the other person wants you to do so.)
Step Five: Take Your Belief Statements and Write them into Paragraph Form. Once your belief statements are formed, you can type them into paragraphs. Though you can leave them as a list of statements within a paragraph, consider making your sentences flow rather than leaving your text choppy. For example:
- We believe Jesus is the Son of God (cf. Matthew 3:17).
- We believe Jesus was fully God and fully man (cf. Hebrews 2:17; Colossians 2:9-10).
- We believe you must believe on Jesus to be saved (cf. John 14:6; Acts 16:30-31).
- We believe we are called to spread the good news of the Gospel (cf. Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:8).
We believe Jesus is the Son of God, not just a good teacher or prophet (cf. Matthew 3:17). We believe He was fully man and fully God, and we must repent and place our faith and trust Jesus in order to be saved (cf. Hebrews 2:17; Colossians 2:9-10; John 14:6; Acts 16:30-31). As Christ-followers, we are called to spread the Gospel to the world, and we can begin with our family and neighbors (cf. Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:8).
Your Couple’s Creed can be as brief or extensive as you would like. Be mindful of the length and font style and size when displaying it in your home. You will want the text large enough to be seen, so determine how much frame/wall space you will need for it. We recommend somewhere around four or five paragraphs.
What Does the Bible Say?
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:14-15, ESV)
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:14-17, ESV)
And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6, ESV)
For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth – as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’ – yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (I Corinthians 8:5-6, ESV)
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23, ESV)
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. (I John 5:12-13, ESV)
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32, ESV)
Have a Blessed Week!
As you go throughout your week, we hope you will begin construction on your Couple’s Creed. Yes, it will be work to put it together, but it will be rewarding work – and likely a bonding experience. If for no other reason, create your creed so you can know each other better (even if you are not planning on displaying it). And, while you are learning about each other, you can also get a glimpse of how well you work together on a project. So much can be gained from this process! (We would also love to see your Couple’s Creed! Contact us and share yours with us!)
Stay warm and happy writing!
A Few Quotes for the Road
Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you. – Anonymous
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it? – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Is anything preventing you and your significant other from writing your Couple’s Creed?