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March 2, 2015

Maximizing Momentum in Your Marriage

Kelvin headshot Oct2013 HDRJohn Maxwell introduces his readers to an extraordinary concept in his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, which is designed to propel their influence and performance in whatever their given level of service happens to be. The concept is called, The Law of the Big Mo.

Maxwell, through this law, explains how important momentum is to growing a company, ministry, or venture. He teaches that if you can’t get things going, you won’t succeed.

Maxwell says, “Many times momentum is the only thing that makes the difference between losing and winning.”

I believe this to be the case, but I contend that it holds weight outside the scope of leadership, entrepreneurship, and ministry. I believe that the Big Mo is essential in a little thing called marriage.

For those of us who are married, we’ve no doubt experienced periods of peace and enjoyment, times when it seemed that every conversation was pleasant and ended in laughter. The sailing was so smooth that even the tough conversations went extremely well.

What we were experiencing in those moments was positive momentum. It was so positive that we understood that this was the reason we said, “I do.”

Then something happened.

Perhaps one spouse goes out of town for a week or a child gets sick. Maybe the stress on the job increases or school lets out for summer. A major change is injected within the family system and BOOM…momentum interrupted.

Next thing you know you are dealing with negative momentum. Now you are on edge, snippy, and every conversation is the beginning of a new argument.

Many times we drift in and out of these momentum stages and phases without really paying attention. They just happen.

But what if we paid attention? What if we set the stage for positive momentum to return?

I believe we can become intentional about inviting positive momentum into our marriage. Though we might not be able to guarantee it, we can surely create the atmosphere where it can take shape.

Here are three ways…

  1. Stay focused on what you want for the marriage. Notice I didn’t ask you to focus on what you want in the marriage, but what you want for the marriage. Pondering what you want in the marriage easily morphs into some “stinking thinking” that has you focused on what is best for you as a person and not necessarily on what is best for the marriage. Not exactly the best thing if you want to foster positive momentum for the marriage. Instead, go back to the reason you said, “I do.” Dream about the good times you’ve had in the past, and seek to discover what made those times great.
  2. Ask yourself what type of spouse you really want to be. It is hard to begin down a new momentum road until we begin looking at ourselves. This will be difficult, though, because it is a lot easier to see all the ways your spouse has been hurting the marriage. Even though you may be correct in your assertions, throwing all of those things at them without taking some responsibility yourself is likely to keep the cycle of negativity going. To interrupt the pattern you must change your part of the pattern. This begins by mapping out where you want to go as a spouse.
  3. Plan for It. In basketball, a team is said to have “momentum” when they make a few buckets in a row. The momentum can’t begin, however, until they make that first three pointer or slam dunk. In other words it starts with one shot. What’s going to be your one shot? A date? A romantic weekend away? A wonderful round of whoopee? Whatever you want it to be, set the stage to make it happen.

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