As we wrap up our Real Marriage teaching series, the most helpful thing that we can do for you - whether you’re married or not married - is to pass along a remarkably helpful resource called Reverse Engineering Your Marriage. Developed by Mark and Grace Driscoll as part of their book, ‘Real Marriage: The Truth Behind Sex, Friendship and Life Together,’ the idea is to help you live your life together with intentionality by helping you develop a plan for your marriage.
We know. Romantic, huh? But the reality is that many of our marriages are disorganized messes and this framework is a helpful way to guide your decision making about how you spend your time, money and energy as a couple.
Here is what the Driscolls had in mind when they put this together:
- Honestly look back on the big moments of frustration, anger, disappointment, grief, and failure in your marriage. How much of what you experienced was the result of not preparing for the future and working toward it together? How many holidays, vacations, and other times that could have been wonderful ended up awful because you were both expecting the other person to take care of things the way you were hoping and felt disappointed when things did not com together? Rather than repeating your failures and frustrations, seek to put the trials and opportunities before you as something to work on together rather than between you to fight over. How could a wise plan that is acted upon help improve your future together? Turn your pains into plans.
- Answer the questions prayerfully and carefully on your own. Accept that this will take time and work. But it is less costly to make a plan and work on it than it is to fail and be frustrated over and over.
- Schedule an entire day together to share your answers and work through what the priorities and plans will look like for your family. Do not meet in a public place where you can be interrupted. Do not have your phones on or check the Internet, as you want to be fully present and not distracted. Ideally, this would be an overnight somewhere romantic and a nice place to dream of your future together and plan for it.
- Redo the Reverse Engineering questions as life changes, things happen, and adjustments need to be made.
- Grow old together, stay married, remain one, be fruitful, and refuse to settle for distant parallel lives in a functional but cold lonely marriage.
You can download the Reverse Engineering Plan in .pdf or Word format from the missionathens.com website.