Judge Charles Brower once said, “Few people are successful unless a lot of other people want them to be.” I believe this is true for married couples as well.
If you want to have a successful marriage you need a lot of other people in your corner coaching you, caring for you, and cheering you on. Your marriage will be infinitely better with the help of other, healthy couples and individuals than it will be on your own.
When my wife, Sarah and I look for other married couples to spend time with here are the three types of marriages we tend to gravitate towards:
1. Couples ahead of us.
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:20 (CEB), “Listen to advice and accept instruction, so you might grow wise in the future.”
One of my all-time favorite inventions is GPS. As someone who is directionally challenged I frequently rely on the GPS app on my smart phone to guide me to my destination. Couples who are further down the road than you are like a GPS for your marriage; they can help guide you from where you are to where you want to be.
One couple that has been an incredible GPS for my wife and I is Paul and Renee. When my wife and I were adopting our first child five years ago they were our go-to couple. Paul and Renee have adopted four amazing children. When we shared with them that we were in the process of adopting our first child they lovingly took us under their wing and guided us through the ups and downs of the adoption process. Their guidance, kindness, and availability were invaluable to us. We don’t just consider them incredible mentors, but great friends.
Whether you’re struggling, surviving, or thriving in your marriage building relationships with couples who are healthy and ahead of you will greatly enhance your marriage.
2. Couples alongside us.
The Apostle Paul instructs believers in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV), “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…”
Whenever a building is undergoing construction or repair you will inevitably see scaffolding around it. The scaffelding helps to keep the structure in place while it’s being worked on. Without it, the building would collapse.
Couples at a similar life stage as you and your spouse can be like scaffolding for your marriage; they help strengthen your relationship while you work on your relationship. If there’s some work that you and your spouse need to do on your marriage (and what couple doesn’t have some areas to work on?) I want to encourage you to find other couples at a similar life stage to help support and hold you up.
3. Couples younger than us.
In speaking about wives who had been married for several years, the Apostle Paul wrote in Titus 2:4 (Msg), “By looking at them, the younger women will know how to…be good wives.” Paul wrote this to encourage Titus and the married women in his church to reach out to the younger wives in their congregation and help them succeed in their marriage.
One of my privileges as a pastor is to counsel other married couples. I’m not a marriage expert, but I enjoy the opportunity to share what I’ve learned from my successes and failures in order to help other couples have a healthy marriage. Regardless of where you’re at in your marriage you have something to share with couples who are younger than you. Share with other couples like other couples have shared with you (or how you wish they had).
No marriage can thrive in a vacuum. Every couple needs other couples to help them have a healthy and growing relationship. The more you invest in these relationships the better your marriage will be.
Question: Who has been instrumental in helping your marriage? Share your stories with us by clicking here.