“Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” – Luke 6:21. 

Every couple is different, and there are so many little things that make up a happy, healthy marriage. Only God really knows where your relationship stands and what your future may hold, but, having shared values is crucial for a relationship to thrive and grow. In many ways, they define who you are and as a result, refine your relationship. Couples that don’t share similar values, tend to share disappointment and resentment.

Many people believe that good communication is the key to a successful marriage. Communication is vital, but if couples’ values are significantly different, it’s unlikely that even the best communication will be enough.

If one spouse values a simple lifestyle and the other values accumulating wealth, it doesn’t matter how well they communicate, there will be regular opportunities for conflict. If one spouse values their faith and the other doesn’t,  there will most likely be issues.

Another important common value is one’s attitude towards having children. One partner may really want children and feels marriage would not be complete without a child, while the other is ambivalent or, worse, thinks children would impinge upon their lifestyle. Good communication can only clarify the two different perspectives, not solve the problem. Likewise, if one spouse believes that career is the top priority and the other puts family first, the couple will either fight or go underground with general dissatisfaction or anger. Yes, communication is vital, and if couples don’t have good communication skills, learning them can be a marriage saver. But if the values are significantly different, it’s unlikely that even the best communication will be enough.

But what if we have been married for some time, is it too late to find shared values. The answer is that prevention is always preferable but seldom is a situation hopeless. God is still doing the impossible and the improbable falls within that. As in all facts of life, Biblical principles will serve you well.  Following these principles will improve any marriage. Even the strongest marriages can benefit from periodic reminders of how they can demonstrate their love and respect for one another. The lack of shared values can have a cumulative effect over time and can result in a level of bitterness and unforgiveness that they cannot see a path forward through the hurt and pain. They believe the spouse is the primary cause. They have little hope that things would change. 

Each person needs to accept their contribution to the state of their marriage. Each needs to be willing to change whether or not their spouse is willing, for we can only change ourselves. In most cases the culprit is self-centeredness. When we learn to die to self, amazing things can happen in a marriage 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is it so important to have shared values with your spouse?   
  2. What can you do this week to get on the same page as your spouse in some areas where you may not share values?