Have you ever thought about the fact that people watch your marriage? They do. That’s one of the reasons we tell couples to hang around with other couples who make it a priority to always be working on their marriage. Do people see you having fun together? Do they see two people who date each other regularly, no matter how long they’ve been married? Do they see two people who hold and support each other through tough times? Do they see that you make God and church a priority? Just hanging around with couples like this and watching helps you learn how to talk to one another when you don’t agree, how to treat one another, and how to respond under stress.
So, when people watch you, what do they learn about marriage?
- Do they observe what it means to be good teammates? Do they see two people both contributing their strengths to the relationship so that more can be accomplished than either could do alone?
- What happens when you disagree? How do you treat each other? Would an observer see two people who still treat each other respectfully and are looking for common ground? Or do they see you belittling each other? Perhaps they see two people who run from conflict—who sweep it under the rug and hope it will go away. It is possible to disagree agreeably and still like each other through the disagreement.
- Do they see people who treat each other with common courtesy? This includes letting your spouse know where you are, being open about how you are spending your time and with whom, and any large expenditures you’re making. Common courtesies such as these put your spouse’s heart at ease.
Someone is watching your marriage. They are learning from the good things you do and also from the not-so-good things. If you have children or grandchildren, they are probably your number one learners. But you may also have neighbors, co-workers, and people at church who are learning from you. Even when you don’t know who it is, someone is learning from you. What are you teaching them? And, what excellent lessons would you like to teach them?