Many couples look to February to rekindle feelings of love and tenderness with the annual attention given to Valentine’s Day. We invite you to place a focus on your marriages, not just for a single day in February, but well beyond, so that your relationship can continue to be strengthened throughout the entire year.
At a recent ICC Couples’ Café, the attendees had the opportunity to test their relationship skills. Although the primary objective was to assemble seven puzzle pieces together, skills such as communication, discernment, and problem-solving were necessary to complete the exercise successfully. No one had a reference, guide, or bigger picture of what all 300 puzzle pieces would look like fully assembled. The purpose was to draw similarities between this puzzle exercise and how couples go about their married lives together.
Many of us are handed random pieces in life and sometimes, chaotically, make them fit together without any kind of reference or guide to direct their paths. In the following article by Jimmy Evans, “The Power of Vision For Your Marriage”, we are challenged to consider what our common purpose is for our relationships’. So take a look and see if developing a mission statement for our marriages can remove some of the randomness of life and live out your married lives with vision.
– Eddie Martell
Eddie and his wife, Florrie are the Directors of our marriage ministry, Threefold Cord
From the article:
I tell couples all the time that they have to have a vision for their marriage. If God has a purpose for your marriage—and I believe He does—then vision is letting God reveal to you what that purpose is. It’s asking, “God, why did you put us together?” and listening for the answer.
Why is vision so important? Here are five reasons.
First is clarity.
It’s understanding why God put you together. It’s impossible to know if you’re successful if you don’t know what it is you’re trying to accomplish.
Confusion is the opposite of clarity, and God never creates anything to operate in confusion. God wants to operate in light. He will speak to us and give us clarity if we’ll let him.
Second virtue of vision is energy or passion.
If you don’t know the vision for your life and marriage, it’s hard to get excited about it. Once you identify a vision, both of you will pursue it with enormous energy.
When God gives us a desire, He equips us to pursue it. Karen and I love what we do. We wake up every morning excited about using our skills and talents to help marriages succeed.
Third virtue is purity.
Without vision, people cast off restraint. They fall into sin. People without vision are vulnerable to negative guidance. Rather than living your life attempting not to fail or struggling not to do bad things, with a vision you’ll live doing good things. That’s a huge psychological difference.
Fourth virtue of vision is unity.
Couples fight because they don’t see eye-to-eye. They have competing visions—that’s what the word division means. Two people cannot walk together unless they’re in agreement.
It is impossible to succeed in marriage when a husband and wife are divided. Rather than both of you having your own way of looking at things, a single vision for your marriage means you both have the same focus. This is essential.
Fifth virtue of vision in marriage is victory.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.” Without revelation—or vision—we become unmoored. It’s like a runner in a race who doesn’t know where the finish line is. How will she win?
Victory is only possible if we have the goal in sight.
With these virtues in mind, I instruct couples on a regular basis that they should take a vision retreat once a year. It’s important to spend several days together without kids so you can seek God and listen. My vision retreat guide, The Mountaintop of Marriage, walks you through this process step-by-step.
Few things are as healing, bonding, and significant in a marriage than these times of retreat. You pray together. You communicate. You talk and listen. You sit in God’s presence until you hear His voice.
Then you go back into the “real world” and pursue His vision for your marriage. I hope you’ll consider taking a vision retreat with your spouse. I’ve seen it change marriages forever.