Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Values, Goals and Interests

In a class I lead every Sunday we just finished up a portion of a book called Boundaries in Dating. I do some pre-marriage counseling and discovered something I intend to add to the sessions. I intend to ask questions about shared values, goals and interests. As they say in the book, it is possible to fall in love with someone that does not share similar values, goals and interests. When you marry someone that you have nothing in common with, it makes the marriage extremely difficult and often leads to divorce. I believe this is the core reason faithful Christians who have not encountered a moral failure (such as unfaithfulness) get divorced.

This idea helped me evaluate my own marriage. My wife and share similar values: we both want to be excellent parents, we both want to support causes we believe in, we both want to have a great marriage, etc. We share similar goals: we both expect our children to go to college, we both hope to one day live in Wilmington, NC, we both want to be successful in our careers, etc. While we have less similarities in our interests, if I had to pick one area of the three to disagree on it would be that one, especially because interests change. Some areas of agreement are: we are both interested in developing our faith and the faith of our children, we are both interested in our childrens lives and invested in giving them the best childhood we can, we both enjoy playing scrabble, etc. I wish I could get her interested in football and I'm sure she wishes she could get me interested in gardening, but I digress.

Here's the deal:
If you are single, it is important, no matter how shallow it may seem, to align yourself with someone who shares your values, goals and interests.
If you are married, it is essential to get on the same page if you aren't already, even if it means compromising what you like or dislike. Its worth it if it means saving your marriage.

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