There’s one question everybody knows they will be asked from time to time. It’s thought provoking yet simple. Challenging yet straightforward. When you hear it, you know you should have an answer, but few have clarity to answer it well.
“What do you want your life to look like five years from now?”
Since we’ve been discussing marriage the past three weeks, let’s apply this question into the context of your marriage:
“What do you want your marriage to look like five years from now?”
Stop and think about that. What would be ideal for your marriage? Let’s refrain from thinking of ‘perfection’ (such a dangerous word), and just focus on what would be ideal. You don’t have to be too specific. Provide just enough detail so that when you share this with your spouse he/she understands your desires.
How much time will you get to spend together every week? What will your friendship look like? How will you be growing in holiness together? What will you do for holidays? Vacations? Family gatherings?
Now, take an opportunity this week to write down your ideas in the form of a story. Simply title your story, “The Best is Yet to Come…and My Ideal Marriage would be to…” and write it out. Keep it short. Under 1,000 words.
Take as long as you want to work on it. Maybe a day. Maybe a week. The more you think through what you really desire in your marriage the more ideal it will be.
Just remember, your spouse is going to be doing this activity as well. Chances are, they may have different ideas. Different desires. Different expectations. So here’s what you’re going to do…
After you’ve both had plenty of time to think through things on your own, take an opportunity come together and discuss your thoughts. Maybe you’ll discover you’re not as far off as you thought. Maybe you’ll be way off! Either way, focus your conversation around one simple question: “What changes can we make so that these stories are a reality for our marriage?”
As you discuss it, you’re going to write a new story. One you both agree on. The story of YOU gets set aside. The story of US begins to be written. Not only do you write it down, you begin to live it out. As you do, your experiences together become magical, not mundane. Expectations become more than normal, they’re natural. As you live this out you’ll begin to know and be intimate with your spouse in ways deeper than you imagined. Continue this story long enough, and you may one day help other couples re-write their story.
Don’t get me wrong…
Your story may change from time to time.
It may need to be refined.
In some seasons, rewritten.
But it’s your story, and you’re writing it together.
You’re living it together.
You’re experiencing it together.
Most of all, you’re enjoying it.