When it comes to working on your marriage, “Why?” matters most of all.
In my previous post, I prompted you to reflect on your marriage from several different perspectives as you move into the year. What should stay? What should go? What do you want more of in your marriage this year?
As you think about ways to take your marriage to new levels in 2019, start by asking yourself “Why.” Why? Because why matters a lot.
Let me explain.
Why Start With Why?
In my 2016 post “What’s Your Why?” I told you about management guru Simon Sinek and his book “Start With Why.” Let me cut to the chase and briefly draw the marriage application of Sinek’s the three-part golden circle theory of “what, how, and why.” (Watch a short version of Sinek’s Ted Talk where he explains the golden circle.)
When it comes to making changes in our marriage, most of us start with “what.” We identify the ways we want to see our marriage change, grow and strengthen. We then consider “how” to bring it about by figuring out what we should do differently. But as Sinek suggests, many never consider the most important of the three questions, “Why?”
Easy as 1 – 2 – 3
The most impacting and lasting changes in your marriage come about when you start with “why.”
- Why – Why answers the question, “Why does my marriage exist?” What is its purpose – its ultimate goal? Why is the most significant question, because it’s the driving force behind doing the “how” to achieve the “what.”
- What – Based on your answer to the “why” question, consider what dimensions of your marriage you want to improve on in the coming year that will move your marriage toward its purpose. It could be fostering a better sense of connection, or deepening passion, or improving your sex life. Maybe you’d like to see your relationship grow in things like kindness, grace, trust, and freedom. Regardless of the current state of your marriage, there’s always more. Go for more!
- How – What things do you plan to do differently in the coming year to help make your “what” desires become a reality. You can’t do as you have always done and expect to see a different result. You might join a marriage group, read a relationship book (like my new book, Pump Up the Passion!), or change things up in bed to break out of your sexual rut. “How” is your gameplan to up your game.
I believe the fundamental “Why” of my marriage is for my wife and me to enjoy maximum intimacy in every dimension of our relationship (physical, spiritual, emotional, etc.), thereby portraying the image of Christ and the church, enjoying the fruit of the oneness that is ours.
The “Why’s” of intimacy and oneness are founded on our identity as the bride of Christ and are what God has in his heart for every marriage.
If your “Why” includes things like your own personal happiness, or having your needs met, or even getting your spouse to love you more/better, think again. It’s time to let go and surrender yourself to the deeper why of intimacy and oneness. When you seek intimacy first, it often bears fruit like happiness, pleasure, satisfaction, and feeling loved, but these are a by-product, not the motivation.
Let your desire for a deeply intimate marriage motivate you to grow your marriage this year in amazing new ways. Since you and your spouse are one, you might as well figure out ways to enjoy your oneness to the full.
As you seek to improve your marriage this year, know that the kind of intimate oneness Christ wants with us, his bride, is available to you in your marriage. Start there.