On their 50th wedding anniversary, a couple summed up the reason for their long and happy marriage.
The husband said, "I have tried never to be selfish. After all, there is no ’I’ in the word ‘marriage.’”
The wife said, "For my part, I have never corrected my husband’s spelling."
MARRIAGE: A DEFINITION - Marriage is when you agree to spend the rest of your life sleeping in a room that’s too warm, beside someone who’s sleeping in a room that’s too cold.
In my pre-marital counseling I tell the couples, "With all due respect to the Marines, marriage is the hardest job you will ever love."
Many don't make it.
In 2005 there were 2.3 million marriages and 1.2 million divorces. (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
Almost 20 million Americans (9.9% of the U.S. population) are currently divorced. (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
About 50% of marriages today will end in a divorce. Statistically, 40% of first marriages, 60% of second, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
About 75% of individuals who divorce will eventually remarry. (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
After 10 years of marriage, it is predicted that only 25% of couples will still be happily married (Glenn,1996)
More than 1 million children are affected by divorce each year. (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006)
If building strong satisfying marriages was easy, everyone would have one – and hardly anyone has one! But over these next 6 weeks we are going to commit ourselves to making marriage a priority and to doing the hard work necessary to strengthen our marriages. I am excited about the impact this is going to have on our families and on our church family!
Our 40-Day Focus officially kicks off next Sunday, but we have been talking about attitudes I thought it will be good to use this as a transition Sunday and talk about the best marriage/relationship concept that I have ever found. It really helps clarify how healthy relationships grow and prosper.
Relationships develop and grow just like bank accounts. By that I mean you make deposits and you make withdrawals. When you put in more money than you take out that is called a withdrawal. But when you take out more than you have put in you overdraw your account.
If you understand how bank accounts operate then you can know how emotional bank accounts work. You have to invest more into your relationships than you take from them. The bigger the balance in your emotional bank accounts the richer your relationships will be.
How are deposits made?
One deposit is understanding the person. Taking the time and effort to get your heart and mind around who that other person is earns you a deposit their account.
Paying attention to little things will earn a deposit. Tending to details shows evidence that you care for that person.
A third way to invest into the emotional account of another is by keeping commitments. Promises are easy to make and harder to keep, but keeping them earns big dividends of trust in your account with them.
Deposit number four is clarifying expectations. One of the leading causes of major withdrawals from accounts is conflicting expectations. It is important to make sure the other person knows what you mean and not just hears what you say. Until you share identical expectations you have not communicated.
Living with integrity is a fifth way to make a deposit. If you are not consistent in how you live and how you believe, others will have trouble buying into you.
The final deposit is offering a sincere apology whenever you have to make a withdrawal. That can turn a potential loss into a possible win.
What price would you put on healthy relationships? What are you willing to invest to build better friendships? Have you checked the balance in your emotional bank account?