Orange Conference 2017: Breakout Notes
OUR BEST US
Breakout Notes for Wednesday, April 26th 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Speaker: Ted Lowe

So what does it take to have a great marriage?

  1. Hard work?
  2. Compatibility?
  3. Chemistry?
  4. Communication?

While there is truth in all of the above, perhaps we have over-estimated all four. After 15 years of working with married couples I think we have bought into the following myth: great marriages take great chemistry, compatibility, hard work and communication—or a mysterious combination thereof.

And while the answers to what it takes to have a great marriage can be confusing, there is one thing that is not. It’s the damage of what I call the For ME Mindset, which asks a powerful question.

Is this marriage working for me?

The For Me Mindset leads many people to put divorce on the table as an option. And while we unfortunately all know someone who had no choice but divorce, for most couples, it is not the right or best option. And Jesus was clear when He was asked if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife. He responded with . . .

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:6-9 NIV).

The abuse of this passage leads some Christians to not treat their spouse the way they deserve, because they know their spouse doesn’t believe in divorce. But the heart of this passage leads to a different, better mindset that asks a better question.

What am I doing to make this marriage work?

That is a For US Mindset. This is powerful way in which to view every area of your marriage. Perhaps the most powerful thing it does is that it requires us to take divorce off the table.

But how do we make it a habit?

Choose one area in your marriage to view through the grid of the For US Mindset . . .

What am I doing to make this marriage work?

Give a try for one week, then let us know how it works!

Ted Lowe is a speaker and the director of MarriedPeople, the marriage division at Orange. Ted is the author of two books—one for marriage ministry leaders (Married People: How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last) and one for married couples (Your Best US: Marriage Is Easier Than You Think). He served for almost 10 years as the director of MarriedLife at North Point Community Church. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with his four favorite people: his wife, Nancie, and their three children.

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