We all come into relationships hoping for the best case scenario where our spouses are able to meet our needs, wants and desires. We hope for sexual gratification, safety and security, support when we are emotionally spent, and a romantic experience as pick me ups to bad days. Men and women want different and sometimes, similar things in relationships. Men may want sex, food, and respect; they want to feel like the king of their home. Women, want to have the support of their man, to know that their relationship, possessions, and legacy are provided for and secure. They too, want to be respected for their careers, accomplishments, and dreams. Things that often threaten these wants and needs include a dull sex life, loss of income, cheating, poor boundaries, and fear from past experiences, to name a few.
Yet, even while we are in the relationship, what if we asked a question to the person we’re courting, dating, or have married about a plan. No, not just any plan, but a Relationship Plan. A man named Habakkuk, wrote one day while studying, that an important step toward gaining insight into any situation was to write a vision that was so clear, any individual who saw it, could understand their commission and position and work to accomplish that vision (Habakkuk 2:1-4). Does your relationship have a vision? Here are some important questions to consider answering if you don’t have one?
-What are we in this relationship for?
-What do we want other’s to say about our relationship?
-How long do we want to stay together?
-What are our wants and needs now?
-How will we handle when our wants and needs change?
-How does my emotional, spiritual, physical, cognitive appearance and processes impact us?
-How did you handle _______________ in the past?
-Who do you gravitate toward when there’s conflict between us ( a friend, family member, certain stress relieving practice)?
One thing about creating a plan and vision for your relationship, is that it means you must be intentional. It means your going to have to sit down, and think about your personal motivations, and what you want for each other. If you find that things are more self-seeking, than giving its not the end of the world. Better is it to be clear and transparent with your self and your partner, then to hide how your really feeling.
From biblical literature, in a book named Genesis, Adam and Eve had been living in a wonderful land where there was ultimate provision, safety, and security. There was literally nothing wrong within their relationship; you could say it was the picture perfect marriage. In it, there was time and place where they were so transparent with each other that it led to Eve sharing with Adam that she felt insecure and incomplete because of what she had been convinced of as an inadequate nature of her own competence and knowledge. Adam, in his own silence, could not provide vision or encouragement to reverse her feelings. Eventually it led to them losing everything.
In this, there is such a lesson to be learned by both parties if you’ve ever been here. The lesson of the “Bad Apple” as we’ll call it, is this: Communication is a by-product of Commitment to a Clear Vision. Relationships should never have a dull space of communication or commitment. Where there is a plan or a vision, there is ALWAYS something to talk about. Also, because relationships are in many cases, a discovery of ALL THINGS, there are so many questions that you should be asking each other to learn from each other. Lastly, APPLYING the practice of revisiting your Relationship Plan or at least initially creating one, will allow you to evaluate where your going, how long your willing to take, what you’ll do when you meet the goals, and how you hope to create again.
So… word to those couples, who are married or thinking about marriage: ALWAYS, IN ALL THINGS, APPLY a Relationship Plan to your life. It could save the essence of all you become.