Skip to main content

The State of the Union

No, not the President's speech last night.  I didn't watch it.  Why not? If John Piper can present eternal truth in the excellent manner which he does every Sunday in under an hour, there's no reason to listen to the President politic for more than an hour.  Also, for those of you who think I'm just hating on President Obama, I never watched Presidents Bush (either one) or Clinton during the State of the Union.  Why? It's supposed to be a presentation to Congress about what the President has done for the country, what results he has gotten, and what are his plans for the current situation.  It's been nothing but political grandstanding for years when it is supposed to be about facts and realities.

Which comes to my point.  The state of the union I'm thinking about right now is the state of your marriage union.  Whether you have one now or intend to have one in the future, your marriage is something to stop and think about.  If you've got one, it's something to stop and talk about.

Many of us that are married know that.  We've been told that over and over again by experts that we need to occasionally take stock of where our marriage is, where it has been, and where it's going.  That part of the advice is sound.

The problem is, we've taken a page out of the Presidential playbook.  We've changed our need to address the state of our marriage into a political effort.  It's occasionally a self-promotional "look how awesome I've been" effort.  More often, it's like the typical Presidential State of the Union: here's what's wrong, and here are all the ways it's not my fault.  We then follow it up with good sounding, but vague, statements of intent.  Of course, those statements usually are conditional and often involve things that are completely beyond our ability to control.

I'd like to challenge you to something: sit down with your spouse and consider your marriage.  Not like a politician does, but openly and honestly.  What things are strengthening your relationship? What things are hampering it?  What specific things are you doing to strengthen your marriage?

Then, honestly, try and brainstorm 10 things that you will do that are measurable that will improve your marriage. They don't have to all be noticeable by the other person, just that you know you can  see if you have done them.  Then, take that list of 10 and reduce it to 5 items.  Ask your spouse to choose 1 they want you to commit to doing, and you pick 2 additional.  Do this together and then get back together in a few months to talk about it again.

If you're not married?  Consider asking someone you trust to give you guidance on things you can do now to strengthen the relationship you'll have then.  At the very least, read or listen to something to strengthen your marriage.  I'd read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (linked at the bottom to Amazon.  It's an affiliate link: if a million people by the book, I'll get a million dollars).  Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliot is a good one as well.  If you're in a relationship, talk through these issues with the person you're with.

Too often we allow our efforts in marriage to be like a politician's speech: rhetoric, defense, inaction.  Do you want real hope and change? It begins at home.  With you.



The Five Love Languages Gift Edition: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.

First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…