Ditching the Marriage Certificate – Bedlam Magazine

photo credit: louwandhigh

photo credit: louwandhigh

Grateful for the chance to share what I’m learning with the fine folks over at Bedlam Magazine:


A marriage certificate used to hang in a frame on the wall of our bedroom.

My wife and I had been married for maybe a month when we put it on display. The certificate made me think it was official, that our relationship was real since the county office recognized it and filed our names away so they could send us more paperwork before April rolled around again.

But when we fought and raised our voices, my wife and I didn’t think about the marriage certificate. It didn’t save us from seething frustration over a miscommunicated need that went unmet, or the residual resignation to each other’s quirks that were cute in the beginning, but became maddening after one or two anniversaries had passed.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to let the most minor of offenses sneak onto the checklist—the kind of list­keeping that kills a relationship with its heartless scorekeeping. The marriage certificate certainly didn’t prevent that. We didn’t call the county clerk and ask for a reminder about the importance of our relational contract. Our friends and pastors didn’t lecture us about failing to live up to our marriage certificate.

The certificate really had no value unless our connection did. (share this)

And that is when my perspective changed about marriage.

Read the full post on Bedlam Magazine


What’s one thing you’ve learned in marriage?


Marriage is one of the most powerful ways to grow through change, conflict, and relationships—what I’m writing a book about. Read a sample and learn more here.

Read other articles I’ve published around the web:
The Secret Enemy in Your Marriage – RELEVANT
3 Things to Stop Posting on Social Media – RELEVANT
10 Leadership Tips From the Millennial Generation – Catalyst
5 Reasons Why E-Readers Will Never Kill Books – Thought Catalog

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