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Thursday, July 26, 2012

I write a lot about what I think the purpose of marriage is. It is the thing that drives what I do here.

The truth is that what you do in your marriage is also driven by what you think its purpose is, whether consciously or unconsciously.   

What you do follows from what you believe your purpose to be.

So here I have a very important question that I want you to genuinely wrestle with today: What do you believe the purpose of your marriage is?

The Purpose of Purpose

As I said, you have more or less formulated a purpose for your marriage already (as you have for rest of your life). And you are already living according to it.

But if you haven’t actually given thought to this question of your marriage’s purpose, then chances are you are more-or-less living on marriage with an un-programmed autopilot, meandering your way toward an unacknowledged destination, taking an unknown route.

If, then, you are living according to some purpose, isn’t it much better to actually be purposeful about it?

So here is my challenge to you. Complete this sentence:

The purpose of my marriage is ____________.

I encourage you to give some serious thought and prayer to this little sentence. It’s CRITICALLY important.

The Path to Purpose

Doing this one thing, doing it carefully, carries with it the potential to radically impact your marriage journey.

Here are a few pointers about finding your purpose:

  1. Don’t just write down the first thing that pops into your head – take your time, wrestle with it.
  2. Don’t put down what you think you “should” – it needs to be something that you personally believe in.
  3. Don’t just copy something you heard someone else say (even me) – someone else should not define the purpose of your marriage.
  4. Ideally, it is something you and your spouse should discuss and pray over together – but that is not an absolute requirement, especially if you are not in a place where that kind of conversation would be possible and fruitful.
  5. It’s okay if you and your spouse each have unique aspects to your purpose statements, as long as they complement each other. 
  6. Purpose and mission are two different things. Not everyone agrees, but I think of it this way: a purpose statement is more about how you believe, whereas a mission statement is more about what you do. Put another way purpose is why behind the what of your mission.
  7. Ultimately your marriage purpose statement should be something you can get behind with your whole heart

Talk with your spouse, write a draft, edit it, pray over it, edit it some more.  Once you have crafted a statement you are happy with, write it down somewhere prominent where you can refer to it often.

If you are comfortable with doing so, I’d love to have some of you share what you came up with in the comments below. 




Image credit: The Legacy Project

4 comments:

Paul Byerly said...

Scott - Great question!

The "easy" answer is "The purpose of my marriage is to glorify God." But what does that mean?

A better answer, for me, would be that "The purpose of my marriage is show others what marriage can be."

upwithmarriage said...

I like this question, it forces us to stop and think. Sometimes we get too familiar in marriage and the daily routines and that can cause us to forget what it's really all about.

There are as many answers to this as there are different ways to ask it. For me the answer depends on what I'm walking through (what the particular season is).

Today, my answer would be: Living out and putting flesh on the the promises that I made on my wedding day.

Jan Stevens said...

I think this is a great challenge for couples, especially those who are married. I agree with you in saying that not everyone really thinks about what the purpose of their relationship is, but that they should. Having a purpose, in my opinion, makes a marriage that much stronger because you know why you are doing it, why you are working hard to make it work. Having a purpose will, in a way, give more meaning to your meaning because you will know what you are fighting for. So thank you for posing this challenge to us, and I'm sure everyone is working on their marriage's purpose along with me.

Scott said...

Thanks to all of for your comments!

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