Our Bond Is Greater Than Us

Greater Than Us—How couples can survive and thrive in challenges!

Our bond is greater than us and greater than the challenges we face. This was a key takeaway from our interview with Jackie and Stephana Bledsoe during our Thriving at Home Virtual Summit.

During this inspiring interview, Jackie and Stephana shared how their marriage grew during a period of homelessness. Although this amazing couple was never living on the streets, they also didn’t have a place to call their own. Oh, and did I mention they have kids too?

For couples persevering together in challenging times, Jackie and Stephana suggest doing a heart-check and asking yourselves, are we going to fight and argue about tough circumstances, or will we decide, “We are in this together, and we’ll figure it out.” Obviously, our attitude and outlook matter.

Jackie and Stephana decided, “Our marriage is greater than us,” and pressed forward together.

Because Our Marriage Is Greater Than Us,
This Is An Opportunity To Grow

Challenges can draw a couple apart. Today, the divorce rate still hovers around 50 percent. And many more couples feel stuck in a bland limbo, somewhere between saying “I do” on their wedding day and finding their happily ever after. The good news is that challenges don’t have to cause a relationship to crash and burn. They can become opportunities for couples to depend on God and to lean on each other like never before. This is something that happy couples know!

Jackie and Stephana decided to ask, “How do we figure this out as one and not come at each other?” For couples who believe our marriage is greater than us, challenges turn into a good story to tell and an opportunity to grow. My amazing wife, Jenny, often remarks that the challenges we faced as a blended family caused us to draw closer together than we would have otherwise. Jenny and I chose to lean on each other and to depend on each other because we had to. Today, the two of us look back on this time of difficulties and are glad we did!

Because Our Marriage Is Greater Than Us,
We’ll Reexamine Our Values

Jackie and Stephana encourage couples who are in the midst of life’s storm to come back to their shared values. For Jackie and Stephana, this meant diving deep into prayer, Scripture, and connecting to other couples they admired. My takeaway from our conversation was this,

There is hope. A house will eventually have foundational issues. It’s normal for marriages to have foundational issues too. If you get stuck, go back to the basics, Jesus, Scripture, prayer, and other couples you admire.

Because Our Marriage Is Greater Than Us,
Reach Out For Support

Human beings are designed for connection and community. It’s simply the way we are hardwired. A caring, empathetic support system is a powerful. lifeline.

While the thought of finding a mentor couple may feel intimidating, it actually might be easier than you think. Couples who had a strong support system early on in their relationship often want to give back. Jackie suggests that The natural way to find a mentor is to start by adding value (Point out things you see in the couple that you enjoy). Some older couples are looking for a younger couple to mentor—they want to pour into others. So embrace the opportunity and generosity of others when it arises.

Jenny and I know this is true because we have lived it! During our move from California to Minnesota, an amazing group of friends helped us load our moving truck and take care of last-minute details. They prayed with us, encouraged us, and called simply to check-in. We’ll always remember and appreciate the amazing support they provided during an especially hectic season of our life when we had nothing to give in return.

Today, Jenny and I love cheering on other couples. It feels good to finally be in a position to give back to others. So, if you’re in need of support, don’t be afraid to reach out. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Our Marriage Is Bigger Than Us

The phrase “Our marriage is greater than us,” means we recognize that something greater is going on. God has a plan and a purpose for our marriage and for the storms we face. A couple who has never gone through challenges themselves will have a much harder time encouraging a couple who’s in the middle of life’s storms. There is something inspiring about hearing an older couple say, “Oh yeah, that’s rough. We’ve been there and gone through that. And, we also know that life can be wonderful on the other side.” Words like these pack power!

Tools For A “Bigger Than Us,” Bond

A recent Psychology Today article reports that only about one-fourth of divorcing seek professional help of any kind, and those who do wait an average of 6 years. My takeaway from these statistics is don’t be that couple. Our marriage is most certainly bigger than that!

Instead, see challenges as an opportunity to grow. Whenever possible, forgive fast! Get back to your core values—your lighthouse!

Finally, reach out to other couples for help. You can find out more about Jackie and Stephan in their book, The Seven Rings of Marriage. If you’re looking for support and not sure where to start, you can also seek out a coach.

One option is to use a simple, text-based coaching system called coach.me. Here, you and I will work together to develop some quick wins. A second option is connecting one-on-one via zoom. If you’d like to see if coaching is right for you, you can schedule a free call here. We’ll examine challenges, possible solutions, and put together a plan to rack up some wins fast!

Marriage Is Greater Than Us

Because marriage is greater than us, keep going. If you are currently in life’s storms, know that your story is going to inspire someone someday.

Finally, I’d love to hear from you! What is your “greater than us” story? Have you been through a challenge, either individually or as a couple, that now inspires others? What’s your lighthouse (or core values), and who do you reach out to when problems arise? I’d love to hear from you and keep the conversation going in the comments below!

Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

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