Wednesday, March 24, 2010

fences & moats

As we continue to see a continual stream of marriages on the brink of blow up or melt down, its reminded me again of the importance of marital fences and moats. Given how committed Susie and I are to these practices, I'm surprised how few couples have them. Here's what I tell couples about my and Susie's own commitment to one another. . .

  • We are committed to avoiding solo one-on-one meetings with others of the opposite sex. This means no outside lunches. This means my assistant or any of our female staff and I are not alone in the office building together. This means counseling happens on campus behind a door with a glass panel in it. This means I don't even take female babysitters home. This is real inconvenient at times.

  • We are committed to total and open transparency in our schedules. We work off a shared calendar. We give one another the right to ask about our various appointments. This keeps us connected throughout the day. We know where one another is at and what we're doing.

  • We are committed to total and open transparency in all things electronic. Facebook and other social networking sites offer way too much opportunity for the development of inappropriate relationships. Susie and I have ongoing access to all of the other's email accounts, passwords and web histories. We believe that our trust depends on that type of transparency, not on the fostering and fighting for privacy.

  • We are committed to letting one another determine the boundaries of our virtual and real lives. This means we give one another the freedom to veto practices, behaviors, time/schedule commitments.

  • We are committed to sitting down at least weekly to talk about our lives, our commitments, our schedules and our children. When necessary we schedule the time. The more consistent we can be, the more fruitful and effective. Our lives our so busy that we need to do this in order to survive and thrive.

I think marriage in today's world requires this kind of vigilance and transparency. We believe this is what "oneness" is all about. There is so much undermining marriage in today's world. The enemy wants to destroy marriages. We need to fight for our marriages. These measures and more are part of the fight.

And beneath all these things, the key to a vibrant, intimate, committed marriage is a lifestyle of brokenness toward one another and before the Lord. The ability to humbly come to one another and admit that we've blown it, confess our sins and shortcomings and ask for forgiveness and commit to growth.

Do you have fences and moats around your marriage? If not, build some, dig some.

Are you broken before your spouse and the Lord in your marriage? If not, humble yourself and ask the Lord to take you there.

1 comment:

Nate Maas said...

Some good ideas. I think your last point about spending time together is really critical. It's easy to allow life to crowd out real time with each other, but I think it's vital to not just swap calendars and talk about troubles, but to make time for shared experiences and talk about "get to know you" kind of topics too. Building the relationship for me deepens my love for my wife which takes the strength out of temptations.

Thanks for sharing!