Yesterday at Kfirst was one of those messages that I’m not ready to leave. There’s so much to say about our “trends.” But what has weighed upon my heart and woke me up last night was the “trends” we find in our marriages.
A “trend” is a very simple concept that has become a “buzzword” in our age of social media. For most young adults to teenagers, a “trend” is the subject that many people are talking about at the moment. Yesterday I pointed to a story about Waffle House that was trending on Saturday. Some trends are silly. Some are indicators of where we are at as a society.
Some trends last an hour, some for days. Hashtags play a huge part in that as they link together social media posts into the “trending” topics. Even now, I can bring up Facebook and look on the right and see what people are talking about:
The most basic, general definition of “trend” is “a general direction in which something is developing or changing.” At Kfirst, we talked about that in a personal way. But the message of “Checking Your Trend” goes deeper when you realize that your marriage has trends. Marriage is a life of constant development and change. And if you want to know where your marriage is going, then check to see where your marriage is trending.
So much of your vision for what’s NEXT is based upon the trend of your heart right NOW.
Start with humility.
Often, I’ll ask people I meet with if they are teachable. If they are not, the meeting is over. Why? There’s no point of talking because there’s no room for growth. We are a society that is increasingly “other-people-aware” and less “self-aware.” So we start attacking and judging others so we don’t have to face the needed person change that may be necessary for the growth in lives AND our marriage. As Rick Warren says,
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
If couples exercised personal humility, they’d find an easier job experiencing marital unity. Why? Because humility is the place of pliability. It’s hard to work with material that isn’t pliable/moldable. Marriage grows best when there are two people are leading with humility and expecting change in themselves before they see change in each other.
Identify your trends?
Look at your marriage and identify what is healthy and what isn’t healthy. Why consider both? Because it’s the key to marital growth. Far too many couples only focus on the negative. When that happens, you get a sensation of hopelessness and you miss an essential parts of marital growth.
Looking at what is trending well in your marriage it does two things. First, it immediately builds hope. Seeing that something is “good” in your marriage is like seeing the sun sneak out on an overcast day. What sunlight (Vitamin D) does for your skin, hope does to your heart. Secondly, when you identify good trends, you get marital momentum. Good trends are not about coasting but building off of the healthy flow. Change is always easier when there’s momentum.
But what areas that are not trending well? Well, you can get lost in negativity or you can celebrate that you’ve identified what isn’t working. For some couples, that is a HUGE “win” in their marriage (identifying what trend isn’t working). Being able to admit together what needs help is a ginormous step in the right direction. And every “win” is a moment to build hope and momentum. Ride that momentum into the decision to change and/or get help in that area. Why the more you bring hope to the trends of your marriage, the more you feed the vision of your marriage and what it could be.
Please know this: most couples that say “our marriage isn’t working” are really looking at their trends. As I said before, if you want to know where your marriage is going, then check to see where your marriage is trending. If you need to have a hopeful vision, then you need to check (and change) your trends.
Pick one trend to deal with.
Many couples get lost in the overwhelming feeling of “everything that needs to change.” But let’s step back and take this in “bite-sized” pieces. Scripture says, “Don’t despise these small beginnings.” Pick one trend and work on that together. The teamwork and humility can be the catalyst to the hope you’ve been longing to feel.
How are you trending in these areas?
- Relationship Roles
- Sex and Intimacy
- Spiritual Intimacy
What’s going well? What needs help? How can you both encourage each other and grow?
Love you all. Praying for you.
Thanks for letting me ramble…
BTW: Check out my book. Click on the link below.