I tell couples all the time that they have to have a vision for their marriage. If God has a purpose for your marriage—and I believe He does—then vision is letting God reveal to you what that purpose is. It’s asking, “God, why did you put us together?” and listening for the answer.
Why is vision so important? Here are five reasons.
The first is clarity. It’s understanding why God put you together. It’s impossible to know if you’re successful if you don’t know what it is you’re trying to accomplish.
Confusion is the opposite of clarity, and God never creates anything to operate in confusion. God wants to operate in light. He will speak to us and give us clarity if we’ll let him.
The second virtue of vision is energy or passion. If you don’t know the vision for your life and marriage, it’s hard to get excited about it. Once you identify a vision, both of you will pursue it with enormous energy.
When God gives us a desire, He equips us to pursue it. Karen and I love what we do. We wake up every morning excited about using our skills and talents to help marriages succeed.
The third virtue is purity. Without vision, people cast off restraint. They fall into sin. People without vision are vulnerable to negative guidance. Rather than living your life attempting not to fail or struggling not to do bad things, with a vision you’ll live doing good things. That’s a huge psychological difference.
A fourth virtue of vision is unity. Couples fight because they don’t see eye-to-eye. They have competing visions—that’s what the word division means. Two people cannot walk together unless they’re in agreement.
It is impossible to succeed in marriage when a husband and wife are divided. Rather than both of you having your own way of looking at things, a single vision for your marriage means you both have the same focus. This is essential.
The fifth virtue of vision in marriage is victory. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.” Without revelation—or vision—we become unmoored. It’s like a runner in a race who doesn’t know where the finish line is. How will she win?
Victory is only possible if we have the goal in sight.
With these virtues in mind, I instruct couples on a regular basis that they should take a vision retreat once a year. It’s important to spend several days together without kids so you can seek God and listen. My vision retreat guide, The Mountaintop of Marriage, walks you through this process step-by-step.
Few things are as healing, bonding, and significant in a marriage than these times of retreat. You pray together. You communicate. You talk and listen. You sit in God’s presence until you hear His voice.
Then you go back into the “real world” and pursue His vision for your marriage. I hope you’ll consider taking a vision retreat with your spouse. I’ve seen it change marriages forever.
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today