The dominant question for humans isn’t what’s my purpose or why am I here, it’s what’s wrong and how do we fix it. This question shapes our worldview, our parenting, even our our relationships.
We live in a fix it society. As if everything going wrong in the world can be “fixed.” This idea is largely responsible for the consumerism in society. If you believe there is something wrong or missing in your life, then some company or industry has a product that will correct what’s wrong, or at least make you feel better about it.
Watch any amount of TV and you’ll be bombarded with this idea. I’ve even fallen victim to this with the ads on Simple Marriage – the ones that pushed for clean energy or “green” products (they’re gone by the way). I’m all for doing our part to take care of the world we live in, but focusing solely on what’s wrong is a black hole.
When it comes to marriage, this type of thinking is common. How often do you hear or say “When are you going to…?” or “You always…” Arguments in marriage come along due to focusing on what’s wrong.
It’s important to realize that in committed relationships, roughly two thirds of the problems are unresolvable. Two thirds!
With the amount of issues in marriage that aren’t resolvable, how do you create a lasting and passionate marriage?
It boils down to choice and focus.
First, choose to stick it out. Marriage is work, there’s no way around it. The conflict and struggle of marriage only increase it’s value. The things in life that you fight for have more inherent value due to the fight. Hang in there.
Second, what you focus on – grows. This philosophy is true. If you focus solely on what’s wrong, everything will appear wrong. Don’t believe me, watch only the national and local news and tell me how this affects your worldview. Better yet, watch CNN or FOXNews for 24 hours straight. You’ll likely think this whole world and everyone in it is evil incarnate.
Instead, focus on yourself and your contribution to the marriage. Ask this: would you want to be married to you?
One of the things I’ve loved to do since I was a child is snow skiing. And one thing I like to do while skiing is ski through the trees. The powder’s better, it’s quiet, and the added risk increases the adventure.
Want to know the key to skiing successfully through the trees? Don’t look at the trees! Instead, focus on where you want to go between them.
This principle applies to life as well. If you focus on where you want to go and your role in the process, by default you’ll avoid most of the pitfalls and issues along the way.
Interested in learning more about this? Pick up a copy of A Simple Marriage.