“To run fast, run by yourself. To run far, run with others.” African Proverb
My (Megan) Mother recently shared the above quote with me and I knew I wanted to share it with you. While I can’t say that I know much about running (besides a few 5k’s) I think the proverb is incredibly applicable to marriage. Here are some of my thoughts on what key elements are necessary in order to run far in your marriage.
1. Run with your spouse.
Marriage is not about competing ideals and individual pursuits, it’s about becoming one flesh. Knowing and being known. If we want a marriage that lasts we must find ways as a couple to encourage strengths and compliment each others weaknesses. Work together to build your best marriage. Find a stride that works for both of you.
2. Run with expectancy.
Expectancy is different than expectations. Expectations are dependent on other people, dependent on the details. We’ve already written a great deal on unmet expectations and how they impact marriages. Expectancy on the other hand, is a hopeful anticipation. Anticipation that we can run the marriage race, that marriage can be great and that marriage is worth the effort.
3. Run with knowledge. (And apply it!)
Marriage is not always easy. There are so many aspects to our individual lives that need addressed that when we add our issues to the issues of another person, well…you know. It can be really hard. That said, there are so many ressources that can equip us with tools that help us deal with the issues that serve to hinder progress in marriage. From books, to seminars, to blogs and podcasts there are countless avenues to increase our knowledge of how to improve, encourage and grow our marriage.
Part of running with knowledge also comes from running with and knowing other married couples. It’s important to have people in our lives who are supportive of marriage, who understand the difficulties and are willing to be open and honest about struggles. Surrounding our marriages with couples who can encourage us and support us, yes, that’s running with others.
4. Run with God.
Marriage after all is His idea. From the beginning, marriage has been set apart as God’s gift to humans. Marriage fulfills loneliness and longing. Marriage is the context for healthy families. Marriage is the ultimate earthly expression of His own love for us. If we want to run far in marriage, then we must know what the author of marriage has to say about it.
What aspects of your marriage do you believe are enabling you to run far? What aspect do you believe you may need to incorporate?