More than anything else, it’s the culture of your marriage that determines the course of your marriage.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
So goes the popular adage credited to business guru Peter Drucker. It means that for a business to achieve its goals, it must have a culture that is consistent with those goals. Having the right culture is even more important than having the right strategy or plans.
Every business has a unique culture. Every marriage does too, whether you realize it or not.
Your Culture Sets Your Course
The culture of your marriage is simply the prevailing atmosphere of your relationship – those key characteristics that define your marriage.
The notion that culture trumps strategy, tactics, and plans is as true in marriage as it is in business. It’s important to understand and adjust your culture so you can tell if it is going to take you where you want your marriage to go. If you want a stronger, more passionate, more intimate relationship, you’ll want to create a culture that is consistent with those ideals.
5 Questions To Help Frame Your Culture
Maybe you’ve never really thought about your marriage as having a culture. We’ve got five questions you can consider together to help you assess your marriage’s current culture to see if it lines up with the kind of marriage you want. In case you aren’t clear what we mean by the questions, we’ll offer a few of our answers as an example.
1) What are your goals?
Start by talking about the kind of marriage you want to have and the key characteristics you want to define your relationship. Also, consider what are you working toward as a couple for the future. What are your hopes and dreams? If you don’t identify your goals and actively pursue them, it’s not likely you be able to reach them.
The main goals of our marriage are:
2) What do you believe about your marriage and your spouse?
I’ve heard it said that right thinking leads to right doing. What you believe about your marriage and spouse eventually will work its way into your words and actions. So it’s critically important to get your thinking right.
Here are a few of the things Jenni and I believe about our marriage:
- We believe God is for our marriage- that our marriage matters to him and that we have his backing and support.
- Our marriage is a sacred covenant that mirrors the covenant between Christ and the church.
- We each believe in the other’s love and that the other has our best interest at heart.
3) What do you value most in your relationship?
What are the important operating principles of your marriage and home? Do you share these values in common? What are you willing to sacrifice to see these values upheld?
Our values include:
- Having our marriage, our home, and our individual lives centered in God, seeking him together
- Honor and respect in our words and actions
- Maintaining intimacy and connection in our relationship
- Having a shared spiritual life
4) How would you describe your general attitude toward your spouse and marriage?
What is your general posture toward one another and toward your marriage? What emotions are stirred in you when you think of your spouse? How do you feel about the future of your marriage?
We strive for an attitude that is:
- Positive (rather than negative)
- Supportive (not critical)
- Encouraging (not discouraging)
- Guided by the Holy Spirit
5) What are your priorities?
How you invest your time, energy, and finances tells a lot about your culture. Jesus said, “Where your treasure lies, there your heart will also be.” (Mat 6:21) How you allocate your physical and emotional “treasure” tells a lot about where your heart is.
Our priorities include:
Sit down together this week and discuss these questions. Judge for yourself whether you have the culture you want and whether it will take you where you want to be tomorrow.