Invest in Love
Our ten year old son is a great rugby player. He spends hours in the backyard kicking the ball around, usually over the neighbours’ fence! He eats, sleeps and talks rugby. And if he’s not playing rugby, he’s watching it on TV or ‘playing’ it on the X-Box. It’s not surprising that he’s so good at it. The more he practices, the better he gets. And the better he gets, the more affirmation he receives. And with success and affirmation comes enjoyment, encouraging him to practice even more.
What’s true of sport, is also true of marriage. The more time and energy we invest in our relationship, the more skilled we become in loving, and the more successful and enjoyable our marriage becomes. Our success and enjoyment motivates us to invest ourselves even more in it.
Marriage as Mission
Successful couples have made marriage their mission. A mission is different to a job or a ministry. Unlike a job, a mission is a way of life that is motivated by deeper values than merely earning a living. While we may put considerable time and energy into a job, when we make something our mission, it becomes the focal point of our attention, the centre of everything else in our life. It doesn’t mean that we don’t do other things, only that these other things take second place to our primary focus: each other.
When we make marriage our mission, our spouse becomes the centre of our life, and everything we do, every choice we make, is evaluated in the context of what will best communicate our love for them. That’s really the mission objective: to convince our spouse that they are deeply loved and valued. It’s a big objective, but when we approach our marriage with the mindset of a mission, we can take it on with confidence and enthusiasm. Success breeds success and it gets easier to love even more generously with every home run.