How to Make Marriage Awesomeness A Reality
Monday was officially question night. We mentor a small group of newlyweds, and we spent the evening talking about some of the trickiest questions from the first year of marriage. The discussion wandered around and then, when one guy was explaining why he and his wife make such extra efforts to connect, he replied,
“Well, we want to cultivate a culture of awesomeness in our marriage.”
The room erupted in laughter, not because we found the motivation for connecting amusing, but because we found the perfect vision for a great marriage:
Cultivate A Culture Of Awesomeness
Think about this statement. The temptation is to jump to the end and think about being awesome. We can form a culture of average or awesome. Does anyone want to be average? Who wouldn’t want awesome? However, the definition of “awesome” likely varies between couples (I’ll save my own definition for another post). Still, I think there is a bigger principle at play. The “ah ha” idea is that we have the opportunity to shape, or “cultivate,” our marriage environment. Cultivate is a gardening word meaning “to prepare and use a soil for growing plants,” but it also works in the marriage context. There are lots of examples, but these are three major buckets.
1. Be Intentional
Great gardens don’t happen when you stick a plant in anywhere there’s open soil; great gardens are designed. The same is true with marriage. Awesomeness is most likely to happen when you proactively make decisions which strengthen your connection with your spouse. Are you intentionally investing in your marriage or do you just “expect” the relationship to work out well?
2. Have a Strategy
Of course, it’s not enough to WANT something, you have to create a specific plan. In a work environment we are reminded that “good is the enemy of great.” The same is true at home. Greatness Awesomeness won’t happen if you don’t have a specific plan for making what you have better than average. I think of this as the “Master Design” view. Do you have a vision for making your marriage great?
3. Stay Diligent
When you cultivate a garden, you notice what’s happening. You guard against weeds, pests, and erosion. The same is true in a marriage. You show up. You pay attention. You focus on the health of your relationship. You allow space for your spouse to grow and develop. Remember the words of Andrew Young, “people don’t change, they grow.” Feelings always trail behaviors. Awesomeness doesn’t develop overnight, but it can be grown. Your marriage won’t FEEL amazing until you cultivate awesome habits. I’m glad the newlyweds were here to remind me!