Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Great Marriages Require Significant Investment

The Wall Street Journal recently reported the costs for a typical wedding dropped by 32% during the recent recessionary times. Wow, sounds like the wedding business is in serious trouble right?  Well, consider that the drop means that the average wedding costs plummeted from $28,730 to a mere $19, 581 between 2007 and 2009. I guess we should all be encouraged that in 2012 it went back up to over $25K per wedding.

Now I suppose that if people have the money they should be free to spend whatever they want on their special day and arguments to the contrary are for some others to discuss. What concerns me is that based on the hundreds of couples I've worked with in marriage counseling over the years, very few people are spending that kind of money on their marriage even over years of matrimony.

In other words, too many spouses don't think it necessary to continue to significantly invest in themselves as a married couple. Their money and time soon go only to work, adding to their estate, caring for their children and pursuing individual hobbies and goals.

But like anything of value we must consistently ask ourselves what we're doing to make sure it holds its value.  How and where can we invest in the most significant relationship we have if we're married?

First, invest TIME. We must simply make sure that we have face-to-face time with each other on a regular basis, time that is uninterrupted and unimpeded as much as possible. As circumstances change (for example, children are born) we will have to get more creative with this but it can be done. Plan getaways and other special opportunities for just the two of you. In our marriage we have found it helpful to have a morning, evening or day of the week that is typically just for us.

Second, invest in PLANNING.  I've mentioned this in other posts but when you plan to together you also dream, have fun and get into each others hearts. You find out what is really important to the other person and get a chance to see them live out some things they really enjoy.  On a recent trip to Alaska I even learned that my wife had an even more special interest in photography than I'd know before and that led to getting her a better camera, lenses and other learning tools. It's been fun to watch her enjoy all that.

Third, invest in SERVING others together. Yes, it's time spent but it's also focusing on others. And when we do that we grow ourselves, become deeper people doing things that matter for eternity not just the present.

I'm sure you can think of other ways to invest in each other. The important thing is that you make regular deposits in your relationship. Trust me, the dividends will multiply for years to come, no matter what the economy is looking like!

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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