The Vow: The vow of pursuit.
It is a common story: boy and girl fall in love and get married. The husband and wife work together to build their family. Soon one, two and maybe even three kids join the family. The husband is busy making a living to support his family. The wife is both woking part-time and trying to keep the little ones happy and healthy. Years pass by. The husband and wife have gotten into a routine; they talk less and fight more.The kids have grown and left the house. Husband and wife are now just roommates sharing the living space, they don’t know each other anymore. It has become a marriage of convenience. What causes the change?
Bottom Line: Actions, not intentions, determine your destination.
Something To Talk About:
There could be several reasons for the above scenario, but one of them is the couple probably stopped pursuing each other. Every husband wants to be pursued by his wife and every wife wants to be pursued by her husband. Once married, many couples neglect the mission of pursuit. The dating stage of any relationship is naturally filled with pursuing activities. We want to actively demonstrate to our potential spouse we are interested in them. But we then stop pursuing them because “we’ve caught them.” We need to always pursue our number two in order for them to see they are pursued, valued and cherished. Here are three main points to consider:
- Say It (When you think something good): Every married person can use some encouragement. Sometimes we do get it right, and say exactly what our spouse needs to hear from us at that time. But in far too many cases, we are too busy or we lack the commitment to say the things we used to say all the time when we first got married. No matter how long we have been married, we should be more aware of the words we say or don’t say. We should be more attentive and intentional to our spouse, and look to encourage them with our words, and follow them up with our actions. How often do we say, “I love you.” When was the last time we husbands stopped our wife in her tracks – whatever she was doing – made eye-contact and said, “I love you?” Or when was the last time we said, “I’m proud of you.” Or “you are beautiful/handsome?” Or that “I thank God for you everyday.” Don’t assume your spouse knows how you feel. Pursue your spouse with words of affirmation.
- Do It: (When you think something special): When most married people think of “doing” in marriage they tend to gravitate to the big things, providing income and security, raising kids, etc. But it can also be the little actions that are one of the most important and simplest keys to having a happy, thriving marriage. It turns out that these smaller actions almost always tell the opposite sex: “I care about you.” And once your spouse truly believes that you care, you are on the right road. Little things, like saying thank you. Changing a light bulb or making a special dessert or taking the kids to the park or planning a special weekend for just the two of you. Other little things could be holding his or her hand, or do something that tells your spouse I would choose you all over again. Write a thoughtful note or do something your spouse loves even if you don’t.
- Be it: (When you want something different): What matters most to God isn’t what you do; it’s who you are. So pursuing certain accomplishments in life isn’t nearly as important as becoming the person God created you to be. Often we stop focusing on ourselves and point the finger at our spouse. We complain about what our spouse is or what he or she is not. That is sideways energy. Our time and efforts are better spent on becoming who God wants us to be. if we want something different, we need to be something different. We need to model the behavior we are seeking from our spouse. In other words, we need to let go of the person that you don’t want to be. Stop chasing after the versions of yourself that will only interfere with you becoming the person God intends you to be. To get what you’ve never had, you must do what you’ve never done. To get what you once had, you must do what you once did.
- What are your top five life priorities and in what order?
- What’s something crazy you’ve done for love?
- Do you believe you entered into marriage with realistic expectations? Why do so many marriages become one of convenience after a few years have passed?
- What makes you feel pursued? How does this impact the way you pursue others? What’s something you know you ought to do to pursue a godly marriage? Is anything holding you back? What do you do to let your spouse know that you love him or her?
- What are the obstacles to saying the right things at the right time to our spouse?
- Is there ever a gap between your intentions and actions. Share a story of how you overcame this.
- “If you want something different, be it.” How could you put this into action right away?
Take one Thing Home With You:
Let’s take a moment to play a game of what if. What if we said the right things at the right time to our spouse. What if we encouraged, uplifted, strengthened, and reinforced our spouse with not only our words, but our actions. And what if who we are becoming screamed commitment and devotion to our spouse? It doesn’t mean we won’t trip up occasionally and even fail, because after all we are not perfect. But when a marriage is first Christ-centered, and secondly pursues our spouse through encouragement, through our actions and being an example, and through a servant’s heart it will stand the test of time. Take this message to heart and I believe your marriage will have more joy than you thought possible.