Tuesday, April 25, 2017

You Can Have A Maximum Marriage

In my last blog, Caught In A Snowstorm In Japan, I promised to share how Michelle and I overcame challenges in our marriage of over 35 years, especially when we were caught in relationship storms.

We are no different from most, if not all, couples. There were many storms in our life and storms still blow on us.. Some storms were unexpected and came from external sources, and others were created by us when we became careless with each other. Either way, the storms blew and sometimes with lightnings and thunders. But thank God that over the years, Michelle and I became good students to handle the storms appropriately. 

The keywords are handle appropriately.

Our definition of handling storms appropriately is that the end result must be like the beautiful sky that breaks through after the storm blows over. In more realistic words, when we handled our storm appropriately, Michelle and I grew stronger in our relationship with each other. When we didn't, we lost time and suffered emotional pain.

This is what we found out. To handle storms appropriately, Michelle and I needed to have a bigger cause than just wanting to handle the storm itself. We needed to know why we want the storm to pass us. We needed to understand what that beautiful sky after the storm means to us. We needed a compelling reason to want to rough out the storm as a couple. In short, Michelle and I needed a vision for our marriage - the reason why we want to stay married to each other ...... a vision to move us from simply being husband and wife to be lovers for life!

We found and agreed on why we want to stay married to each other for the rest of our life. In fact, we found our motivation in four parts:

1. Perfect Match - There is no one better for us than each other.

This reason touches upon a vital, spiritual part of our life: in our imperfect self, we believe that God has made us the perfect match for each other. Believing this means that Michelle and I agree that there is no one better to be each other’s life partner. We acknowledge this because of our imperfections, knowing we will not always live up to each other’s expectations. Yet, we know that no one else could do better. Remembering this reason gives us hope and strength to overcome our imperfect personalities, as well as the pains and troubles that come during difficult times in our relationship.

2. Love - We truly love each other and want to grow old together.

When we planned on getting married to each other 35 years ago, our love for each other was the strongest reason we had (at the time). Discovering other reasons to remain married didn’t decrease the importance of that love. They actually made that love grow! Through both the good and the bad times during our marriage, we grew more in love with each other. Love is a powerful reason to stay together.

3. Effective Ministry - As a couple, we can better serve God’s master plan to bring people into a love relationship with Him.

It wasn’t something we had talked about, but Michelle and I grew into this reason: using our marriage as a ministry for our Creator. As Christian believers, we are both extremely grateful to God for giving us His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from death. Because He first loved us, we also want to love others. Having a common and unified heart of service for God, increased our love for each other. As we serve our Creator together, we are bound by His love. Anyone who experiences His love cannot help but love too. As we allow God’s love to flow through us, we enjoy pouring out our lives for others.

4. God’s Idea - God is even more committed to our relationship than we are!

We acknowledge that we are in a tripartite union together – God, Michelle, and I. And, surely what God has joined together, no man can separate. We decided that, for us, divorce is not and can never be an option. Despite all the ills of the world, this reason, that is, marriage is God’s idea, keeps us determined to become better lovers. It also allows us to overcome our disagreements and motivates us to live a life that honors the Creator. Because He loves, we love! We are motivated to look beyond each other’s failures, selfishness, and bad habits for a greater cause—God’s love and His design for marriage. Having His big picture clearly etched into our hearts, we are energized to love each other more.

These four reasons help us grow in our relationship. Remembering them has helped Michelle and I stay true to each other and happily married, despite challenging times. We constantly remind each other by declaring these reasons verbally.

We want to live our the rest of our life together as lovers! We want to have a Maximum Marriage, and by that I mean a marriage that is fun, enjoyable, meaningful, significant and fulfilling what our Creator has set for us to be and do. We are not there yet, but the journey is getting more enjoyable each day for us, even when the storm comes. We are definitely on our way to have our Maximum Marriage.

I have just launched a book this week (25 April). Guess what is the title?

Yes, it is Maximum Marriage - From Husband and Wife to Lovers for Life. What you read above is an extract from the book. Check it out! To buy copies, send an email to enquiries@maximummarriage.net

Come and join Michelle and I on a journey to your Maximum Marriage. You can!

God bless.


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