The Most Important Word in Marriage…

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The other day I was at Starbucks and over heard a couple meeting with a professional wedding dude.  A PWD is a guy who officiates the wedding for a fee, but has little investment in the marriage.  After he was finished, I weaseled my way over and struck up a conversation with this couple.  I am so excited to say I will be investing in their lives together through a several sessions of counsel and then at their wedding.

Here is one of the first questions I will ask a couple when we meet.  “What would you say is the most important word in marriage?”  Trust.  Love. Respect. These are the most common answers I get and they are near the top of the list, but there is another word that I believe trumps them all.  It has never been guessed by any of the couples I meet with, but once we spend some time they always leave agreeing this word is indeed the most important word in building a thriving and healthy marriage.  Wanna know what it is?

The bible starts with this phrase, “In the beginning God created the heavens than the earth.”  What follows is an account of creation and each action is followed up with the phrase; “And God said it was good.”    When God had done the majority of creating He spoke a familiar phrase, “Let us make man in our image.”  It was after this God noticed that something “Was not Good” and what was not good was that man was alone.

I imagine it unfolding this way:  God is standing there, looking around He notices there are boy dogs and girl dogs… boy elephants and girl elephants… boy alligators and girl alligators… boy tigers and girl tigers…  Moving his gaze to the boy person He says, “this is not good, we need to make a girl person.  Someone who is a suitable helper…”  God made a women to be his…  wait for it.  Are you ready?  Here it comes…  PARTNER.  The most important word in marriage is PARTNERSHIP.

God created from and for Adam a partner who would be “one with him” in all that God set before him.  This new partnership is what would cause a man to leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife.  PARTNERSHIP.

Two people working together for a common goal or set of goals with shared values and commitment is an awesomely powerful team.  When I work with couples I ask them if they have a goal for their relationship?  I ask them if they could share a mission statement that is similar enough to show they are at least on the same things.  Most couples have never even thought about it much, nor can they share something without just making it up on the spot.

One of the reasons money is such a nightmare for so many couples is they are not partners in their finances.  So the conflict of finance comes between them, creating division, rather than the two of them tackling this issue together.  One reason so many couples see their marriages end is they were never partners.  They loved, trusted and even started off with a powerful and sincere commitment to never stop doing these things, but they never became partners in the same things that would keep their marriage from ending.

Over the next few blogs I think I will share some thoughts about partnership.   Thanks for taking time to read these thoughts that seem to boil over in my head.  Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on August 25, 2010.

4 Responses to “The Most Important Word in Marriage…”

  1. LOVE this.

    I always tell prospective marrieds that the most important word in Marriage is FRIENDSHIP, but this works well, too. I mean, if you’re not friends, you won’t make it, and too many people end up being married to people they don’t even LIKE.

    Thanks!

  2. What a great post! Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  3. I had a Russian bully approach me in Moscow citing the litany of old-school traditional stream of “woman sinned first, man was created first, woman is to submit to men, she is only the “helper,” and she is the weaker vessel. So women are not as strong as men, yes?
    I replied, “Then you need to ask me a question: Which one is stronger, the helper – or the one who needs help?”
    He said, “This ees goot question.”

    I thought it was too . . .
    Just a thought.

    • That is an awesome question. One of the distinct advantages of a healthy partnership is appreciation for differences.

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