Marriage is a journey in which you must trust one another in the direction of your marriage. If you get in the canoe and can’t trust each other you will only end up tipping it over. Trust in your marriage is developed through the word “CANOE.” How so, well here is where our journey starts. Yes, we can go on the journey without a canoe. So, let’s build one together.
Like with anything you build, you need the proper tools and materials to complete the job effectively. You can’t properly hammer a nail with a screwdriver or drive a screw in place with a hammer. The same goes in building your marriage canoe. Let’s collect the tools and materials to build an effective marriage in which your relationship can withstand the obstacles and the current in your lives ahead.
Let’s start with “C”; communication, compromise and commitment.
So that you both are on the same page, you must communicate your plans and listen to thoughts and ideas of each other. A couple in sync with communication helps to create a stable canoe and a clear direction in which they are steering their lives.
When the time comes that you are not seeing eye to eye and you have communicated this to one another, you must be willing to meet in the middle. Compromise knowing you both are wanting the same result. Communication helps keep your thoughts out there so the other knows where you are coming from. Your canoe plans can start to take form under proper communication. And let’s not forget to communicate with your creator. So, your canoe plans are effectively portrayed.
When you said, “I do” you committed to a covenant in which you stated, “For better for worse, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, till death do us part.” Staying committed to building this sturdy canoe is important. Your canoe is what gives you security and the means in which to get to your destination. If you decide to jump ship, it affects the both of you. Not just you!
Using the tools through the letter “C”, We can begin to build with the materials that make up our canoe. With the letter “A”, we find the first of our materials. Start by your willingness to admit when your wrong. Adjust your attitude. Acquire the skills to meet the needs of your spouse. This will allow your marriage to grow into one that is admired. By adjusting your sights, you show your spouse that you admire them and are willing to walk hand in hand in every part of life. When you tell your spouse, “I’m sorry I was wrong!” It shows weakness that can be made strong with a humble heart. Be willing to acquire their hand in areas of which you fall short in. We are human, not perfect. But with love, we can be made perfect for one another. We start by acknowledging we can’t do it alone. Through it all, seek God’s advice to help you stay the course.
Now let’s talk about negotiating. We must be able to come to an agreement on the route in which we take down the river. As a couple, we are in the same vessel. It needs to properly be guided and steered. We must agree on the leader and let the leader navigate you toward the destination. When our views are different, let’s be willing to accept that they may be why we are a good team. One of you may see things from a 30,000-foot view and the other may be much closer to the situation. When you see things so far away, even though there may be more of it in view, you may not see what is actually the cause of the issue because you are so far away from it. So, seek the counsel of the one close to it to help guide you to a decision. Likewise, if you are so close to a situation you only see what’s in front of you and not what the cause of your decision may be beyond. In this case, seek out the one who sees a wider view and acquire their knowledge before making your decision. I believe if you look at your relationship you will see that one of you will usually be close to a situation you encounter and one will be able to see beyond it. Being a willing partner to accept their view whether good or bad from your perspective is vital to building your canoe.
The next set of materials comes with the letter ”O”, we see that our outlook has got to be one in which we can visualize what our canoe will look like and obtain the write tools to place the materials where they need to go. Be obedient to instructions which the two of you are following. We must stay committed to our roles. One of you holds the wood while the other secures it in place. If you both are fighting to do one job then the other is left unoccupied and may result in your canoe not taking shape or having the ability to keep out water. You won’t get very far on your trip with a sinking ship. Be willing to give the other a chance to be a part of your relationship. Open up your life and let them in. Work together to obtain a cohesiveness that will allow you to stay dry along the way. You alone are not the glue that holds your life together. It takes the both of you.
When all your materials are finished being shaped into the canoe you had set out to build, together you must examine it, letter “E”. Seek out those areas of imperfection both individually and as a team to make sure your canoe is in working order. If enhancements are to be made, this is where we do them, together. If you need to apply a coat of sealant to an area that may not be waterproof this is where you do it. Bring up those areas with one another that may lack trust. Come together and develop a plan to mend those areas. Find ways to enhance your marriage canoe. Whether you need to set more time aside to be together away from the noise of life, or you need to make your life less noisy to allow you to be able to hear one another. Do it! Your marriage will be better off. Let your marriage become infectious. One that entices those around you to seek out the same type of marriage you are working towards.