By Steve Arterburn*
In the whirlwind of romantic love’s passion and dreams, we can sometimes forget that it’s not all about us and our relationship. A marriage needs to be based on something deeper: not only shared values that match your priorities in the various seasons of life, but a God-given, sustaining vision that you can live out together.
God had a purpose for making the two of you one: he knew you could accomplish more together than you would have separately. Perhaps the best boost to your marriage, then, involves not just a shared mission that gives you a lot of time together, but focusing your sights on a shared outward mission.
One couple has intentionally chosen to host a church community group within their home, not because there was nowhere else to meet, but because they feel called to communicate the love of Christ through the ministry of hospitality. Another couple plans family missions trips so they can serve others together and reinforce that outward focus for their kids.
Evelyn and James Whitehead learned long ago that God calls his people to an important truth: “Marriage must be about more than itself because love that does not serve life will die.” Too much inward focus on your own marriage and family can breed any number of ills: boredom, selfishness, narrow-mindedness . . . and ultimately, spiritual atrophy.
How are you as a couple (and as a family, if you still have kids living at home) serving life? Especially the life of others? The only nonnegotiable value is commitment—to God, to others, and to each other. You are not committing to one unchanging set of priorities, because these can shift with the circumstances of life. You are committing to the one you have promised to cherish for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health . . . and to God’s calling for you as a couple . . . and to the service of others. You are committing to serving life! Make that your first priority today.
Today’s Thought based on 1 Timothy 4:10
“A spiritually alive marriage will remain a marriage of two individuals in pursuit of a common vision outside themselves.” —Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage
He Reads: Ecclesiastes 4:4-8
She Reads: 1 Corinthians 2:12-16
"Creator of us all, help us to discover and live out the vision you have for our marriage. Amen."
* Steve Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and host of the # 1 nationally syndicated Christian counseling talk show “New Life Live” heard and watched by millions on over 180 radio stations nationwide in addition to Sirius XM Satellite radio and now seen on television on the Family Net and NRB networks. Steve is also the founder of the Women of Faith conferences attended by over 4,000,000 people. He also serves as a teaching pastor at Heartland Church in Indianapolis.