I was listening to Ronnie and Lamar Tyler speak in video 2 of their 3 part video series about transforming your marriage and one thing in particularly stood out to me. They said, “We literally NEED your marriage to work!” Now you may be thinking, “Well what does my marriage have to do with you or them?” Well, the truth of the matter is that your marriage matters not to just you but it matters to many other people as well. That’s why it is so important that we take them seriously, give ourselves the best chance at success and that we do what it takes to keep our marriages strong.
Here are a few people that your marriage matters to and why it’s bigger than you!
Yes I know the world has convinced so many of us that it doesn’t really matter if we are married or if we have healthy marriages. The idea of co-parenting has become popular because many want the children without the commitment to a spouse. Even if the institution of marriage isn’t a priority to you, and maybe it’s just “a piece of paper,” but to that child – the structure and security of that institution means a whole lot. Two parents, one household, and lots of love give children great peace and an environment they can thrive in with as little confusion as possible. Secondly, your relationship becomes the relationship they model and look at as a reference point. Children are so impressionable, and many times they just follow the game plan Mom and Dad put in front of them. I asked the question the other day, “If your children followed your lead when it comes to your relationship decisions then where would they end up?”
Lesson: Instead of selfishly thinking about how much you want to have that affair and making it all about your wants and needs, think about the child that needs you to keep your family together! Find some answers inside of your marriage before you go outside of it.
Your Friends and Family
People are so inundated with negative examples of marriage that it’s pushing them away from it. If it’s one thing I know through my coaching and audience, it’s that people still believe in marriage. They are just looking for positive examples. One of my most popular blogs was one entitled 6 Things People Don’t Ever Share About Marriage. I was amazed at the feedback I received about how much it meant to hear something positive about marriage. I get letters and emails from people saying how inspired they were and how they now have hope because they see that my wife and I are happily married. Notice I didn’t say PERFECTLY married, I said HAPPILY married. Your friends want to know they can be happily married and your family might be looking for a new example beyond what they have seen so far. Your marriage is powerful beyond you and your spouse and that power can be used for the betterment of others that aspire for the same thing.
Lesson: Instead of trying to live through your friends and their single lives, understand that many of those friends are secretly living through you. They want you to do the right thing in your marriage, so they can feel good about getting into one!
The abridged version of my mission for Xklusive Thoughts (coaching, speaking, and blogging business is) is “Better People = Better Mates = Better Relationships = Better Communities!” It is my belief that healthy relationships are foundational to the development of healthy communities. We hear so much negativity about single motherhood, the scarcity of “good black men” and all the other stats you are familiar with, yet in the same breath we also minimizing the need for marriage. Well, my question is, “How’s that working out for us?” Our communities need to see more examples of people loving each other, supporting each other, working together to build something and being unselfish toward one another. You see our communities suffer when we have dysfunction in our relationships, we continuously break up and disrespect the institution designed to raise our families in.
Lesson: If you want to see things get better in your community encourage people to want to build healthy relationships through positivity vs. spreading all of the negativity. People listen more than you think. Be realistic but avoid consistent negativity. If your experience is negative, focus on working to change it vs. complaining from the mountaintops!
“WE NEED YOUR MARRIAGE TO WORK!” Yes, that is the truth, but my point here isn’t to tell you to stay in an unhealthy marriage or to jump into a marriage quickly. My point is to tell you to INVEST in figuring out what it takes to choose a great partner, build a great marriage and secondly to INVEST in your marriage to keep it healthy and stable. It’s funny how we will invest in those good shoes, or we will take those classes to invest in our career progression and education, but for some reason we will WING IT when it comes to building good relationships and marriages. INVEST in building and sustaining healthy marriages; your children need it, your friends and family need it, and your community needs it. It’s bigger than you!