What makes your insides light up? Here are several words, consider how you feel when you read them: Teaching. Preaching. Singing. Signing. Counseling. Writing. Studying. Playing. Spending. Saving. Eating. Cleaning. Connecting. Reading. Delivering. Creating. Evangelizing. Competing. Inventing.
Even if nothing on this list evokes a positive emotion within you, something in this world tickles your fancy. What causes speak to you? What would you be willing to march in a parade to promote or protect? What makes you want to stand up and fight? What inspires you? What charges you up to act?
Getting in touch with your talents and passions is important because they are at the core of who you are, and who you are is going to shine through in your marriage. If your calling and your sweetie’s calling do not complement each other, one or both of you are likely to shelve your passions if you decide to get married. Or, if you both run hard after separate passions, your connection is likely to suffer. (Eric offers a service to help people learn their calling. To find out more, go to Learn Your Calling.)
You don’t have to have the same personality to get married, but you need to have complementary core values, goals, dreams, passions, and callings – complementary, not identical. They should work well together.
What Goal or Passion Brought You Together Initially?
Without goals, it is hard to carry on with life. People need to strive for something. Goals are such a deep part of ourselves that we often bond with people who share the same goals and passions.
Eric and I met in an undergraduate psychology program. After getting to know each other for a short while, we both discovered we had a passion for studying people and personality, and a love for relationships. He wanted to do pre-marital counseling and I wanted to do marriage counseling. After a while, I decided that I too preferred working with pre-marital couples.
Along with our love for psychology and helping couples prepare well for marriage, we both shared the same faith (though we had some differing theology which we discovered after marriage) in Christ and the same desire to, as our Marriage and Family psychology professor put it, “make babies for Jesus.” ~smile~
What goal or passion bonded you and your sweetie together in the beginning of your relationship?
What Goal or Passion Connects You Now?
Now that Eric and I have been married a while, our goals and passions have expanded and taken on new forms. PreEngaged started from a vision Eric had, but he had not thought of it before we got married. Because we both love seeing healthy, prepared couples walk down the aisle, we can both get on board with this vision. However, if I didn’t care about relationships at all and felt called to work at an endangered wildlife sanctuary, Eric and I would probably experience some intense frustration. His vision could take off without me, but it is a ministry that works best with a husband and a wife teaming up together. So, if my half of the team refused to “play,” it would make Eric’s dream a lot harder to come to fruition. If my passion was for endangered wildlife, that would not make me a horrible, selfish spouse. It would just demonstrate that our passions were not complementary.
Couples will have different hobbies and interests, but marriage is so much easier, and connecting is so much more effortless, when both parties have one or more core passions in common. After you and your sweetie have been married for a few years, take a look at your life and ask “What goals and passions are connecting us now?” If you cannot think of any, plan a goals meeting. Talk about how you can refocus and get back on the fast track towards achieving your goals.
Going after goals and passions together is a great way to do something with your marriage besides existing together – and it is a fabulous way to maintain an emotional connection.
Do You Share the Same Eternal Goal?
Growing up in church, I saw a lot of couples who did not exactly share the same passion for teaching, exercising, or singing, but they did share a core passion for their faith. When people come to faith in Christ, and their hearts are changed, their faith becomes the center of their lives. No longer is everything about them, but they want their lives to glorify God and point others to Christ. When a person is saved (i.e., born again, regenerated), a new passion is born.
Do you and your sweetie share the same eternal goal? Are you both passionate about your faith in Jesus Christ? Is the desire to please Him and bring glory to His name the driving force in your decisions? If you don’t share the same eternal goal, I absolutely do not, under any circumstances, advise you to get married.
Men: You need a woman who can and will help you fulfill God’s call on your life. Do you believe the woman you are dating is willing and able to fulfill that role in your life?
Ladies: Ephesians 5 tells us that our husbands are to be the head of our homes. This means he will be your spiritual leader. Is the man you are dating someone who you trust to lead you and your future children spiritually?
Let’s say for the sake of argument that you marry someone who shares your faith. Maintaining a Christ-centered marriage will be the best way to ensure an ongoing emotional connection. Two people can be married and love God but not share their passion with each other. There are couples everywhere who study the Bible separately, pray separately, and spend time working in separate ministries. There is nothing wrong with any of these pursuits, but marriages can be so incredibly strengthened (not to mention more effective) when couples share their love for Christ together – reading His word together, praying together, ministering together, and maybe even going on missions trips together.
The single best way to stay emotionally connected is to passionately pursue your eternal goal together. Collectively, serve God with all your might. A threefold cord is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
As you and your future spouse endeavor to make your connection ever stronger, remember to keep the air cleared of resentments, have a lot of fun together, and keep your eyes on the eternal goal. Make these three practices a priority, and you will enjoy a deep and satisfying connection with your precious, future spouse. ~smile~
What are you and your sweetie’s most significant passions? Do they complement each other?