Monday, January 17, 2011

Marriage Monday: Conscious Responsibility

I was first introduced to the works of Dr. Neil Clark Warren when my professor invited us to earn a bundle of points in his class. We had a list of items and had to choose several to earn our points. One of them was to tune-in to a the weekly radio show he then contributed to. (You may recognize his name or face now though as the creator of eHarmony.)


I'd like to share with you a few excerpts from one of his books that I think holds such a key message!

". . . when the Los Angeles Rams football team lost to the Chicago Bears in the National Football League playoffs, Coach John Robinson took all the blame.
'The reason we lost,' he said, 'is because I was never able to communicate to the team a vision of our winning. And without a vision of being able to do something, you can't do anything.'
Just like football teams, when spouses do not have a vision, they risk losing--and losing at something far more important than a game.
On the other hand, what an enormous qualitative difference it makes for two lovers to dream together about their marriage! Too often, people 'wander into' this high-requirement game of marriage with a totally inadequate dream. Without this kind of guiding vision, they become easy targets for disappointment, temptation, conflict, boredom, and confusion."


There is a reason that in business people are always creating and updating their 5 year/10 year plan. Or in weight loss it's been proven that those who write down their goals will loose more weight than those who don't.

Why not apply these principles to marriage? Talk with your spouse about what your marriage will be like in the future. Where would you like to live? What would you like to be doing? How will your spirituality increase? How can you serve more? How will your parenting change? What can I improve on? What can we improve on? (It is good to do this every year as obviously we change, our circumstances change, our kids grow, etc. and we must refocus and create newer, updated visions.)

He adds,
"Dreams and visions stimulate the brain and mobilize the action centers. Whatever it is that you dream about with regularity, you will begin to hope for. Hope stimulates planning. Planning produces behavior designed to move you forward. This brings progress. It all begins with a dream!"
Such a good reminder. I love the lines 'stimulate the brain' and 'mobilize the action centers'.

Then later he says,
"Every couple needs to take conscious responsibility for choosing the course their marriage will follow."
That one is worth reading again! Seriously, I'll wait. Go read it again.

Conscious responsibility. Our days are going to continue to happen whether we're proactive or not. Life can just pass us by or we can enjoy it and be happy by being conscious of our future and being active in what happens to us.

There is so much goodness in this one chapter alone, just imagine the rest of his book. I can't urge you all enough to look into getting a hold of any of the books I've talked about and read them in their entirety.


*All quotes in this post come from Learning to Live With the Love of Your Life. . . And Loving It! by Neil Clark Warren, Ph.D.
*Images found using Google Images.



If you're interested in reading more Marriage Monday posts, click here. Thanks for stopping by!


10 comments:

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

This reminds me a lot of what sister Beck teaches about being "intentional" in our parenting; the same principle applies to our marriages.

Jenni Elyse said...

"Every couple needs to take conscious responsibility for choosing the course their marriage will follow."

What a great quote. Not only does this work in marriage, but it works in all aspects of our lives. This is one thing that my counselor has been drilling into my head over the last 5 years. It works. Often times, taking conscious responsibility for something is scary, but you always feel better when you do.

bedelia said...

I was just telling Jordan that we needed to make a 5 and 10 year plan...then I threw in a one year plan too. I guess I'm just naturally smart and knew to do this. :) Well, probably not since this is the first time we'll have done that. Its nice to have that idea validated.

Rachael Renee Anderson said...

Love your blog, Debbie. Especially your beautiful family. There's nothing cuter than a little boy wearing an over-sized jacket. Love it!

LeishaMaw said...

"Dreams and visions stimulate the brain and mobilize the action centers. Whatever it is that you dream about with regularity, you will begin to hope for. Hope stimulates planning. Planning produces behavior designed to move you forward. This brings progress. It all begins with a dream!"

I'm putting this on my wall. Thanks!

Heids said...

Anthony and I agree that the one dream that has been most effectively communicated (by me) is my need to take a yearly family trip to Disneyland. Discussion must work because he's become more and more on board!

Oh, and I'm totally eating a Schlotzskys right now.

Patty Ann said...

I just might have to read this book. It makes total sense. My husband and I both had bad marriages, so we are especially careful with this one. We have now been married for 16 years and we are doing fine. The single most important thing we do is Communicate, communicate, communicate!! (And he never critisizes me)!

Corine said...

I just stumbled upon your blog. I'm rather happy about it! :D I like your marriage monday focus; I may have to do something like that.

I love this post. Having a VISION that you SHARE with your spouce is a must to being unified and having a life together that both can love and enjoy. One of the best things my husband and I do together is sit and dream together about what we want our lives to be like... and then set goals together to make it happen. I'm so glad we started doing this. It has made all the difference in our marriage!

PS It's cool to see Patty Ann here. Hi Patty Ann! :D

Yaya' s Home said...

Hi there. I jus' found you by visiting My Domestic Design. I'm glad she directed me here. I like your blog.

~ Yaya

Susan said...

Wow. THanks for this post! I really needed to hear it. I think I'll get that book. Awesome post, Debbie! I really really like these marriage post mondays.