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Category: Marriage

Prepared to Be Unprepared.


Are you prepared to be unprepared?

I was recently listening to an interview with Seth Godin who was reflecting that most memorable moments, the most important moments of life are the one’s we are unprepared for.

Think about that for a moment.

Were you prepared for your wedding day?
Were you prepared for the moment you held your child for the first time?
Were you truly prepared for the day you saw your dream become a reality?
Can you rehearse the moments of life that become the most meaningful?

If we are honest, some of the greatest things in our lives are things we could never prepare for.  Seth went on to claim that our obsession with preparation has gone too far.  Our need to be prepared has ventured too far into the realm where we are just naturally unprepared.  We don’t risk because we fear we are unprepared.  Is it possible to allow being unprepared to be a good thing?

“Parenting is always frontier.”

John Elderedge

In parenting, we are not always sure what is coming our way.  We don’t know what’s around the corner.  You get through the terrible two’s and there is the next phase waiting for you.  You are always on the border of something else.

So how do you prepare for life’s big moments?

Our only real option is to step fully into whatever life presents us.  To be in that moment.  Our preparation is who we are and who we are becoming.  Our preparation is everything life has taught us up to this point.  Our goal in these moments is to just get out of the way and be present.


Next week, I will be sharing some principles from Orange that I’ve found very helpful to think through.  The basic idea stems from a number and a scripture.

From the time a child is born you have approximately 936 weeks until they graduate.

To the point above, do you really think you can use those 936 weeks to TRULY prepare for the moment your son or daughter leaves your house…doubtful.

“Teach us to number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom”  Ps. 90:12

Based on these two things, Orange has identified 6 things that we can do over time to influence the life and faith of our kids.  Here’s the thing:  you have time.  Time from now until then.  Time to influence your child to become the person that can step fully into the unprepared moments of life, trust the God who brought them to this moment, and be present for whatever comes next.

Are you prepared to be unprepared?

Some Encouragement for Married Folks!

When I heard him say it, I immediately knew this was a different perspective than what many people hold and if I’m honest, different than the current perspective I had on the subject.  Parenting can be an all consuming task and therefore put significant strain on the all-important relationship with our spouse.  There are many days and nights where my wife and I have plans to spend time together or share a significant conversation when the kids go down, only to get to that point and throw in the towel.

“You want to talk about something significant or just watch The Voice?”  “I’ve got nothing left in the tank, let’s see what Blake Shelton’s up to.”

It’s not hard to see how we can drift apart or forget what it takes to make a relationship work.  That’s why I really appreciated what this guy had to say.  He was sharing how he and his wife were at the point where divorce was feeling like a very possible outcome.  They decided that wasn’t the route they were going to go and then he said this…

“We decided divorce wasn’t an option and we needed to walk in obedience.  Eventually our love caught up to our obedience.”

Our love caught up to our obedience.

I didn’t hear anything else he said that morning.  I just kept thinking about the implications of that kind of perspective.

Don’t Throw in the Towel

In, The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller shares that the perspective around the purpose of marriage has significantly shifted in our culture.  There is a growing pessimism around marriage and a quick survey of culture shows that not many feel like “walking in obedience” is worth it.

Keller shares that,  “Marriage  used to be a public institution for the common good, and now it is a private arrangement for the satisfaction of the individuals.  Marriage used to be about us, but now it is about me.

If it’s about my satisfaction, then why would I make the sacrifices it takes to walk in obedience and give time to allow my love to catch up to my obedient actions?  The current, and again, often pessimistic, perspective around marriage doesn’t make much of the institution.

However, longitudinal studies show that our current mood around marriage is not empirically supported.

“Most striking of all, longitudinal studies demonstrate that two-thirds of those unhappy marriages out there will become happy within five years if people stay married and do not get divorced.  This led University of Chicago sociologist Linda J. Waite to say, ‘the benefits of divorce have been oversold.'”

During the last two decades, the great preponderance of research evidence shows that people who are married consistently show much higher degrees of satisfaction with their lives…it also reveals that most people are happy in their marriages, and most of those who are not and who don’t get divorced will eventually become happy.  Also, children who grow up in married, two-parent families have two to three times more positive life outcomes than those who do not.”  The overwhelming verdict, then, is that being married and growing up with parents who are married are enormous boosts to our well-being.”

If you are struggling with your marriage, don’t throw in the towel.  Don’t listen to the many voices out there who would encourage you to seek your own personal satisfaction – we all know that is not lasting happiness.

Walk in obedience, seek professional help, or do what you need to do because it’s worth it.  Eventually, your love will catch up to your obedience.  I’m incredibly thankful for the perspective changing statement.


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