Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Real Marriage"

If it weren't for our faith, Kem and I both agree we probably would have been divorced several years ago. We are both so stinkin' independent and driven... if we're not careful, we can drift into two different tracks in a matter of weeks.

We were out with some great friends (including this guy) last night and had some "real" conversation about our marriages.

Here are some of the lessons I've learned from our 13+ years:
  • Kem is for me. She wants me to have success in my career and ministry, be a great father, and to do life with her. In the early years in our marriage, I didn't get this... especially when we would fight. Be "for" your spouse.
  • Marriage is hard work. Really hard. It would be so much easier to be able to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, and accomplish whatever I want to go after. However, like most things.... easier is not better.
  • I didn't realize how low a low could be in a marriage. When we're in a bad place, life stinks. If we were to try to navigate out of all these times on our own, we probably would not have made it. Let friends in your life and be real with them. Get counseling. Press-in, be truthful and real. Don't go at it alone.
  • There are several things that are important to Kem that I don't get... I've found that "logically" explaining to her why those things shouldn't be important is bad. Sometimes really bad. Find out what she cares about and do that. :)
  • People are watching. Our kids are watching. The accountability that comes with leadership makes it all the more important that we work through our challenges. It makes me wonder, how many couples have pulled the plug because they simply thought it really didn't matter to anyone outside themselves?
  • I love how we talk about ministry, business, strategy, innovation, communications, and what we're learning together. For me, it's one of the top 5 glues in our marriage. We share and do life together overlapping and intertwining passion and purpose in what we do day to day, week to week. It's one thing to be in a bowling league's entirely different when you're on mission together.
  • I thought Kem was marrying me for my body. She wasn't.
  • I get great fulfillment working to help Kem in her strengths and watching her grow and thrive. Her mission has become part of mine. Are you all about your talents or are you encouraging and supporting your spouse in what they were created to do?

Kem's feisty, smart, fun, and a babe. I can't wait to see how our relationship continues to grow in good times and bad. She makes me a better man.


Jeremy Scheller said...

Very cool conversation. It's good to see good people being honest about marriage and who value pushing through the hard stuff.. Sarah and I have been to the brink as well, but with faith and god-implanted grace and love for each other, we push through the hardest stuff and we're always better for it...

I can guarantee my wife didn't marry me for my body... {She married me for my afro at the time!}

Aaron said...

outstanding post Mark

all of your bullet points are lessons that I am also learning (sometimes the hard way)

thanks for sharing

MCC said...

Sheesh...way to start off my Sunday morning....I'm teary eyed.

Erik said...

Coming from a young, unmarried guy, I'm glad I got to read this. The things you write about learning throughout marriage are incredible. Thanks for sharing!

Mel said...

Thank you. Because I need to believe it's possible and worth it.

Michael Buckingham said...

Wow, great post. I am constantly amazed at marriages not founded on Christ that survive...shoot I'm amazed that people even get married that aren't under his authority.

This is one of those posts that will be bookmarked, shared, and the source of some great conversations.

Thank you.

Bernard Shuford said...

Awesome post, Mark.

a husband said...

Very good stuff. Thanks for sharing, and your blog looks great by the way.

Marriage is still my most favorite thing that I've ever done.

Work at it. It's worth it.

Sovann Pen said...