One of the things that we’ve noticed, if you look at cultures around the world where they have a multi-generational vision of family, marriages tend to last longer, and in places where they have a one generation idea of family they tend to fall apart very quickly. And so there are lots and lots of reasons why multi-generational perspectives help marriages last, but I think this is important for you guys to think about, and we want to give you just a few of those reasons.
We’re going to do a quick little top five ways that multi-generational families really help the marriage last longer. The first one is that when you live multi-generationally you tend to think that your best years are still ahead of you, and so a lot of people who imagine building multi-generational families, the best part of their life is as their family is expanding. It’s really when their grandparents or great grandparents, where they have lots of kids, and multi-generational cultures are excited for that. So when you’re in your 30s or 40s and being tempted to give up on a marriage, you’re really blowing up the best part of your life in the future, and so this oftentimes is a really good way to help the marriage stay together.
So that’s number one. What’s number two, Jeff?
I love that. Number two is give you something to build as a team. And here’s another way to put it or that I like to think about it, is that it gives you a story or a bigger thing to live in than just your personal happiness for the marriage, and it’s something that will hopefully outlast you. So you get to realize, “Oh, I have this teammate alongside of me and we’re both going to be a good team that then builds something that will still be around and actually have a world impact even after we die.”
It’s not about personal preference, it’s not about personal happiness, it’s not about consumption. It’s about contribution to the actual mission of God that we see in Eden all the way to the new Jerusalem in Revelation 21 and 22, and to me that captures you and drives you forward in a really big and beautiful way.
So what’s number three?
Number three is that it roots you in the meaning of the past. And so, one of the things that multi-generational families feel is, “Wow, this thing has been going on for generation after generation after generation, and then all of a sudden the baton got passed to me and I have a very limited amount of time to think about what I can do in one generation to really continue to further the family legacy.” So the last thing I want to do is fumble it in my generation and lose my marriage, lose my family, and so this causes families and parents, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, to have a reason to say we want to be really thoughtful and good stewards of what’s been going on, and we see ourselves as just a part of this sort of legacy or a longer family line. So this can really help you protect the marriage and give meaning to why we’re fighting through the hard seasons and staying together.
Totally. Number four is it connects you to one another’s past family story. Another way to think about that is there’s actually something beautiful and cataclysmic about two stories converging. Like if you think about every little variable and detail that ever had to exist in all of human history to get you two to that moment and the continuation of that down through your own line, it’s like it’s kind of mind blowing when you start thinking of the possibilities of how that was able to happen or what had to converge to make that happen, and you get to converge with another person’s story. And actually resting in that, taking advantage of that, leveraging that, that it’s two stories now that are coming into one, and what that means for legacy, what that means for lineage, what that means for businesses, what that means for mission, is really, really cool. It actually, again, the bigger story then drives you to actually see the marriage as something bigger than a lot of times what we make it out to be.
Number five is it gives you perspective to see the impact of major decisions. So when you trace a family line and all of a sudden you look three, four generations in the past, you’re like, “Oh, when great-great-grandmother, great-great-grandfather made that decision, that had a ripple effect for three or four generations of either of blessing or something we’ve had to recover from.”
And so when you think about things in one generation, you kind of think, “Well, it’s not that big of a deal if we make this really massive, potentially destructive decision because everyone will be okay.” If you think about a family individually, I understand why people make that calculation, but when you start to look at a multi-generational you can see, no, no, no, the ripple effects go on and on and on of both good decisions and hard decisions.
So this is a … I think a really, it’s a perspective that really helps. So you guys, it’s really important too that you know if you have been a part of a marriage that has failed and are wrestling through that you can still build a multi-generational family, and we encourage you to start from here. God has all kinds of resources in the gospel to restore what has been lost, but we also want to really speak directly to a lot of these couples who may be in a hard season and/or may be really considering what is the hope that we have to really hold onto?
So we believe multi-generational perspectives, these are five ideas that you guys can really consider, think about, meditate on, and really talk about as couples, that I think can really help your marriage stand the test of t