Oct 222014 1 Response

We Are In This for the Long-Haul

We aren’t promised tomorrow. We know that. Everyday is a gift and while we don’t appreciate every day like we should, we do regularly recognize the blessing of the moment—a quick conversation when the house is suddenly silent, the joyous moments when the family is having fun, the rare escapes when it is just the two of us, the feeling of blessed exhaustion at the end of the day.

As a pastor and pastor’s wife, we live in a routine awareness that what we have could be taken from us at any moment. I have performed too many funerals to live for too long in ignorance. I’ve been in too many ER waiting rooms when bad news has come. I’ve sat with too many individuals who desperately want what we have. (See: I May Not Be Married Tomorrow)

We know we are fortunate to have each other for this time and we know it will not last forever.

But we are in this for the long haul. It may not be God’s plan, but it is our plan. This is our approach: we don’t assume tomorrow, but we prepare for tomorrow.

The philosophy influences our marriage in two ways:

1. We don’t assume tomorrow. We appreciate today. We don’t take it for granted. We realize it is a gift.

By not assuming tomorrow, we are more likely to:

  • take a trip
  • go for a walk
  • recognize the moment
  • laugh
  • see the good

If couples aren’t careful, they can spend their whole marriages waiting to truly live and love. All their focus can be on tomorrow so that they never spend money today, never make memories, never enjoy each other, and never experience gratitude for what they have been given.

This is no way to live and no way to be married. (See: One Thing Great Couples Do That Others Don’t)

If we assume tomorrow, we will likely fail to appreciate today. What’s the point of having 10,000 tomorrows if we never appreciate any of them.

Consider the value of today in regards to your marriage. It may not be true tomorrow, but I know that today I have someone on my side, concerned for my well-being, working hard not just for herself but also for me, and while we may not get much time together today, we will make the most of every second we have.

2. We prepare for tomorrow. Unless God has other plans, we will be married tomorrow. It may not happen, but we plan on it happening. We are in this marriage for the long haul. That doesn’t mean forever, but it does mean for as long as we both have breath.

Planning on being married for the rest of our lives influences how we live.

By planning for tomorrow, we are more likely to:

Those who fail to prepare for tomorrow rarely stay married. They get overwhelmed by the challenges of life. They are shocked when the honeymoon phase of marriage diminishes. They are tossed by emotion and circumstance. They fail to grow, learn, or develop.

Consider what tomorrow holds for your marriage. If you will be married for the next forty years, aren’t there some things you need to change? Aren’t there some skills you need to learn? Aren’t there some disagreements that probably shouldn’t matter? (See: How to Stay Married in the Tough Times)

This perspective of living for both today and tomorrow has unique effects on our marriage. For example, we are more likely to spend money and to save money because we appreciate today and prepare for tomorrow. We are more likely to spend money on experiences, because we may not have time to make those experiences in the future. At the same time, we are more likely to save money because we want to be prepared for tomorrow. This spending and saving habit means we much refuse to spend money in wasteful ways or on objects which will not greatly influence our lives. Interestingly, you can both spend more and save more if you focus on what is important and refuse to waste money. (See: Money Can Make You Happy)

Living with this mindset has two main byproducts: gratitude and patience.

Gratitude comes from living for today. We have a deep appreciation for the opportunity we have been given.

Patience comes from living for tomorrow. Because we are living for the long-haul, we don’t have to fix or achieve everything today.

We plan on being married for a long time, but we are more than aware this could be our last day together. We never know what life has in store. By planning for tomorrow and appreciating today, we hope to have a long marriage and we plan on being grateful for every day we have.

How do you view your marriage? Do you err too much on ignoring tomorrow or too much on ignoring today?

What is one way you can live for both today and tomorrow?

 

One Response to We Are In This for the Long-Haul
  1. […] 3. Patience. There is no such thing as a good hunter who is impatient. Every great hunter has the a... kevinathompson.com/hunter-can-make-better-husband

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