You are more affected by the people around you than you think you are. Do these people support marriage as God designed it?
Whether you believe it or not, the people you are the closest to influence you greatly. Those you spend time with mold your brain, changing the way you think. They do it without trying, and at first, the changes are almost unnoticeable. Before you know it, you begin making your decisions based on what these people would say or do in the same circumstances.
Speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
So if you surround yourself with people who don’t think positively about marriage, yours or theirs, your resolve to keep your marriage together may begin to wane.
So if you want to have a fulfilling, life-long marriage, spend the majority of your time with people who have one. They can build you up.
What the Bible says about your tribe
The people you hang around with the most are your “tribe.” Basically, a tribe is a community of people. They have shared interests and support one another. The Bible contains many verses describing the types of people you need to keep out of your tribe.
Here are some qualities to look for when you intentionally create a tribe to support your marriage.
They are believers
Spending much time with people who aren’t followers of Christ risks your faith. Satan will use every word they say about marriage to undermine what God has already stated as truth.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
They actively avoid sin
People who cheat on their spouse, who drink to excess, or are greedy and selfish won’t be a good role model for your marriage. Look for people who can support your marriage by living a Christ-like life.
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 1 Corinthians 5:11
They stay out of situations which may lead them astray
These people set firm boundaries that don’t lead them into situations others could misconstrue as sin. These boundaries keep them and their marriage safe.
The first verse in the book of Psalms shows a progression of your comfort level as you spend more time with those who don’t rely on God. First, you walk with them and listen to their advice, then you stop and spend more time with them until you get so comfortable you sit down and relax. You don’t even realize you’ve fallen in with sinners until something terrible happens.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; Psalm 1:1
Evaluate your current five
You can never do better than think with the mindset of the five people you spend the most time with. Their attitudes about marriage will pull you down instead of you pulling them up. They will hold you back, so prioritize time with other people who will push you to be better.
Make a list of the five people you spend the most time with. Who are they? After you have your list, give each person a rating from 1-10 based on how much positive influence they have on you. Ten is a person with an entirely positive impact, and one would be completely negative.
Be honest. Don’t worry about whether you “should” give a person a ten because of your long history together. Give them a fair number. Think, “What rating would Jesus give them?”
Then, put yourself under the microscope. Which characteristics of these people do you see in your life?
Now make a list of the people you admire. Are the people on this list the same as the people on the first list?
For the people on this list, make a list of the reasons you admire them.
Do you see any of their traits in your life?
Now, look at both your lists. Which of these people would you trust to give you advice about your marriage? These are the people you need to be intentional about connecting with.
Find ways to pull away from the people you wouldn’t trust your marriage to. Sometimes you have to remove yourself from relationships with these people so you can fulfill your dream of a life-long marriage.
Fill that void caused by the people you need to reduce contact with people you admire. Don’t allow luck to bring you new people. Seek them out and pray for discernment to choose the correct people.
Find the right five people to support your marriage
Now that you know the people in your current tribe you need to replace, it’s time to look for people who have the right mindset about marriage.
Consciously choose the people you want to learn from and who will challenge you to be better. Only let people into your inner circle whose opinion, attitudes, and philosophies will encourage you to build and sustain a marriage worth celebrating.
But where can you find them?
Your church is the best place to start looking. Identify couples who have been married longer than you and who seem to have a great relationship and spend some time with them.
Look at the married couples in your family or your workplace. Some of them may be able to support your marriage by helping you create a positive, Biblical mindset.
Observe these couples and talk to them. Look for evidence that they try to live by most of these marriage mindsets.
Believe Marriage is Permanent
Perfect tribe members believe marriage is forever. These people will give you advice that helps you work on your issues with the goal in mind of staying married.
Prefer their spouse above all others
People you want to spend time with treasure their spouse and believe they are the best. You won’t see these people speaking ill of their spouse, even in a joking manner. It’s evident from being around them that they love their spouse, and they are in no way looking for another relationship.
Have reasonable expectations of their spouse.
We all go into marriage with expectations. Some of them are reasonable, and some are only a fantasy. These couples understand their spouse is not perfect, and there will be days when they will annoy each other. But they have high expectations for their marriage. They expect it to be healthy.
Have biblical priorities.
The best couples to spend time with and allow to influence you are the couples with their priorities in order. They put their relationships with God first, then their relationship with their spouse. All other obligations come after these two.
Give time to their relationship
These couples spend time together. Couples who have consistent date nights, whether it’s at home or out on the town, are more likely to stay married. Hanging around with these people, and perhaps going out with them will encourage you to make these date nights important to your marriage as well.
Demonstrate optimism about marriage
Couples with a positive marriage mindset are optimistic about their chances of staying married. They don’t just throw in the towel when things get rough. They understand that marriage can be hard, but they believe in the ability God gives them to get through whatever life throws at them. There’s no doubt in their minds. God is with them and guiding them through it.
Are committed to working on their marriage
They have decided they are willing to put the work in to make their marriage successful. You have to be willing to do the work, even when you don’t feel like it. Do the work even when you think it’s too hard. Taking the first steps and being dedicated to change goes a long way in keeping your marriage together.
Building your tribe
Now that you know you need to reevaluate the group of people you spend the most time with and create a new tribe, it can be challenging to find one.
Do any of these sound like what you want in a group of people who support your marriage?
- more time with people who are going to help you be better and do better when it comes to marriage?
- people in your life who will pray with you and encourage you during the difficult times?
- learn from them so you can have a marriage based on a positive, Biblical mindset?
If so, fill your tribe with people who are interested in building and sustaining healthy, godly marriages, and who are willing to support your marriage too!
You’re Officially Invited To Join My Tribe
We would love it if you considered making us part of your tribe!
I know we don’t live in your town. The Internet is a miraculous thing!
While it can be challenging to find people to build up your marriage within your circle of friends, with this online connection, we can be there for you.
We’ve been married for 28 years. Although our marriage is far from perfect, we’ve learned a lot through the years. We want to lift you up and help you to build and sustain a marriage you can celebrate.
Imagine feeling confident about your marriage. What would it be like to know that you know that you know that your marriage will last? Become part of our online Marriage Confetti Tribe and get the insight and support you need to succeed.
What else do you want from a tribe? Fill in this contact form and tell us today!