happy couple

Establishing A Marriage Road Map

by Tara Payne

Marriage is God’s idea and it’s a good idea. While that is completely true it does not change the fact that sometimes marriage is downright messy. Every marriage has good days and not so good days.

When you put two imperfect people, with two different perspectives together, conflict is always a possibility. No, it’s a guarantee. One reason conflict happens in marriage is we come into the relationship with unrealistic ideas and uncommunicated expectations. This happens partly because of the way marriage is presented to us.

I love a good fairy tale just as much as the next girl, but the story always ends with “And They Lived Happily Ever After.”

How? How did they live happily ever after?

We never get to see the flip side of the fairy tale. We don’t see Prince Charming leaving his robe and sword laying all over the castle. We don’t get to see the days when Snow White, in fact, isn’t the fairest in the land. We buy into the idea that “happily ever after” just happens and that if “happily ever  after” doesn’t just happen, we have made a mistake.

Although conflict in a marriage is inevitable, we can do things to avoid some of it. The truth is we can have a “happily ever after” but we must put in the time and work for it. We must forget all our preconceived notions about what marriage should be and create the marriage we want. One of the ways we can do this is by beginning our relationship with the end in mind.

Begin with the End in Mind

According to Google, begin with the end in mind means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.

Alex and I realized we did this on our vacations. We love to travel, and we travel very well together. Some of the reasons we travel so well together are:

  • We both know where we are going (we have an ultimate destination)
  • We make intentional plans that will make our trip enjoyable. (rest stops, attractions, and snacks.)
  • We research where we are going and know what we want to do (setting common goals we can accomplish together)
  • We establish a road map when it comes to our vacations so they will be successful and fun!
  • Because this worked so well for our vacations, we decided to do the same thing with our marriage!

What would it look like if you did this intentional planning in your marriage? What would your marriage road map look like? Start with these questions.

  • What is your vision for
    your marriage?
  • What are your dreams and goals? Where is your marriage going?
  • What is the destination?

By sitting down together and establishing this road map you can guarantee that you both will be heading in the same direction. You can be intentional about making your everyday life with each other enjoyable. With appropriate communication and planning, you will achieve your marriage goals and arrive at your destination together!

So, what should this marriage road map look like? Honestly, it will be different for every couple but below is a part of the road map for our marriage. Hopefully, this will help you start yours.

  1. God is always number 1, He comes before and is included in everything.
  2. We go to church together every Sunday.
  3. A divorce is NEVER an option.
  4. We are to never say anything negative about each other to anyone- this includes family, friends, and on social media.
  5. We do not make big decisions if we are angry, tired, or hungry. (Being hangry is a for-real thing in our marriage- food is important)
  6. We ask for forgiveness and give it freely.

Our ultimate destination is to grow ridiculously old together. With this destination in mind and by following our road map above, we will make it!

Now do we handle every day perfectly- that would be a big no. We are imperfect just like everyone else, but we have a map we try our best to follow. We have a destination we are both traveling towards. The good thing about a map is when you do get off course or a detour happens you can always find your way back to the correct path.

The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18 that without vision the people perish. This is so true with marriage.

If we are not intentional with our marriage, it can perish. I encourage you to find time to sit down together and discuss your dreams, goals, and destination. Set your course. With your road map in hand, you will have a beautiful adventure. ❤

Guest article by Tara Payne
Co-creator of A Beautiful Adventure
A Christian Marriage Blog