Making a Marriage Purpose Statement

woman thinking with pen to her lips and book in her hand
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If you've read my article "The Wife You Want to Be," consider what your very own Marriage Purpose Statement might look like. Think about your man, your marriage and your goals as a wife. Then prayerfully put pen to paper.

A Marriage Purpose Statement is your conscious creation of who you want to become. It outlines your goals as a wife — the things you can do to become the wife you want to be. Like a rudder on a ship, it steers your marriage boat, so that you know where you are heading. Your personal Marriage Purpose Statement can be a letter you write to yourself, a prayer, a poem, a verse or a passage of Scripture. It can be anything that declares your goals for your marriage. It is a statement about what is really important to you as a wife.

I asked the women in my pilot Bible studies to visualize their own funerals. Once they had identified what they wanted their husbands to say about them, I had them articulate the kind of wife they wanted to become by writing a Marriage Purpose Statement.

Jossie, a young mom with four little ones, used her husband's name, Aaron, as the basis for her Marriage Purpose Statement. She said that she uses her husband's name a lot and that having his name in her statement would help her think about it often. She wrote:

I will be ...

Attentive to Aaron, to our friendship, romance and partnership in parenting, and to the state of our marriage.

I will ...

Admire and appreciate who he is, all he contributes, and the ways he is growing and being challenged in life.

I will take ...

Responsibility for my attitudes and approach to life in submission to the Lord and in partnership with Aaron.

I will remain ...

Open to growing, learning and investing as the Holy Spirit leads me.

I will draw ...

Near to God and Aaron as we navigate each day and every season.

Another woman in my Bible studies, Alice, wrote her Marriage Purpose Statement as a prayer based on Philippians 4:8-9. She wrote:

Lord, I want to fix my eyes on everything about Gary that is true and honorable and right because Gary is an honorable man. I want to think and act in ways that are admirable, pure and lovely and make a peaceful home for him. I want to be a woman who is excellent and worthy of praise because he deserves no less. I want to put these things into practice — wrapped up with love and infused with a generous supply of humor, adventure and fun. I want to keep learning and working and trying to be God's best so that God's peace will be a hedge of protection around our home, our lives and our hearts.

Before you craft your own Marriage Purpose Statement, you might find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What would I like my husband to say about me after many years of marriage?
  • What character qualities would I like him to see in me?
  • How would I want him to describe our relationship?
  • What kind of love do I want him to receive from me?

As you think deeply about these questions, write down your thoughts and feelings. This exercise will reveal to you what your deepest values are and who you want to become as a wife. To live your life with the end in view is to align your daily and secret choices with this picture.

Now it's time to write your Marriage Purpose Statement. Find a quiet place (this will be the hardest step). Get out the notes you took when you reflected on the questions above. These notes describe who you hope to become. It's time to turn them into goals.

Your personal Marriage Purpose Statement can be a:

  • Resolution or declaration
  • Prayer
  • Scripture
  • Poem or song
  • Letter you write to yourself
  • Acrostic
  • List or paragraph

Your Marriage Purpose Statement doesn't have to sound beautiful or be perfect in any way. This is a personal commitment between you and God, something for you to keep in the forefront of your mind, to pray about often, to use as a thermometer when you are taking your "wife temperature."

Now that you have reflected on what is really important to you and written down who you want to become, you are on your way to being a wife not by default but by design.

From What's It Like to Be Married to Me? published by David C Cook. Publisher permission required to reproduce in any format. All rights reserved.

Did you know couples are 30 percent less likely to get a divorce if they get some sort of premarital training? If you or someone you know is planning to marry, check out Focus on the Family's Ready to Wed curriculum, and then prepare for a marriage you'll love!

Copyright © 2011 Linda Dillow. From What's It Like to Be Married to Me? published by David C Cook. Publisher permission required to reproduce in any format. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2011 Linda Dillow. From the Focus on the Family website at FocusOnTheFamily.com.

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