We’ve added something to Sozo for Couples training! It’s something that we’ve learned from Stephen deSilva and comes from his teaching around Financial Sozo and the Prosperous Soul/Home. It’s called the Purpose Train and Steve has very kindly allowed us to use it. We think that understanding purpose is a vital ingredient in a successful marriage relationship, we hope you’ll agree.

So, how does this work? I wonder whether you’d agree that most of us, both individually and in our marriages, are responders to life. We deal with what crops up in our every day, we cope with what’s going on, we’re reactive rather than proactive.

Is that entirely fair? Maybe not, because again most of us try and keep on top of things and bring a bit of planning into our lives, but here’s the question: what is it that drives our planning? What influences our direction in life? What are we trying to achieve in our marriages and in our lives?

That’s where the Purpose Train comes in! The Purpose Train suggests that unless we actually know what drives our every day planning decisions, then even these decisions are random…

Let me explain! We all have a set of Tactics which we use to deal with what happens on a daily basis. We get up at a certain time depending on the demands of the day, we go or don’t go to work, we answer emails, the phone, our spouse, our kids, clients, work mates … we deal with it all as best we can, using the Tactics we know work to make our lives work as easily as possible.

Given half a chance we plan ahead. Hopefully, working together with our spouse we’ll strategize how best to do all the things that need to be done. We’ll devise ways to do things that will hopefully best meet the requirements of our lives. We’ll plan holidays, we’ll work out schooling for our children, we’ll apply for and get jobs that go towards meeting our needs. What we’re doing is setting Strategies that will give a shape to the Tactics we use every day.

How are you doing so far? Because this is where it get’s really interesting! What Steve suggests (and what we completely agree with) is that all of us need to have a Vision for our lives and a shared Vision for our marriages and that our Strategies and Tactics should result from our Vision … but, I hear you ask, how do we arrive at our Vision?

Answer? By knowing our Purpose!

How does that work? Or maybe a better question: What does that mean?

Purpose answers questions around “Why are we here?” “What’s the point of our marriage?” “What do we want to achieve in our marriage?” “What’s our calling?” Indeed “What’s our purpose?”

Do you see where we’re going here? We reckon that there’s nothing going to hold a relationship together as a solid foundation built on having a shared purpose and if you’re able to boil the definition of your purpose to just a few words then so much the better. Purpose can range from “Making money” to “Worship”, it can be “Teaching” “Feeding the poor”, “Wildlife”, “Climate change”, ”Saving children”, “Building community”, whatever it is, it’s going to be the leading passion in your lives, the thing you were made for. Is every couple going to share each other’s purpose? Probably not, but knowing your spouse’s purpose will be one big step towards giving each other the support each of you will need to achieve it.

Once you’re clear on your Purpose then your Vision will follow. Your Vision is the big picture. What does your life look like if you’re busy achieving your Purpose in full?  That’s your Vision, it’s your blueprint for what achieving your Purpose looks like, because these two, Purpose and Vision, should determine the Strategies and Tactics you employ to fulfil them.

And Values? In essence your Values are your moral compass. They’ll tell you how to behave in achieving your Vision, what’s acceptable and what isn’t. They’ll guide you in how to treat life, family and friends, they’ll inform and influence how your Vision is implemented, and they’ll be an arbiter when making important decisions.

So, when was the last time you spent time with your spouse discussing your joint purpose, what drives the two of you? It’s time well spent, and it’s something we’re going to be encouraging everyone who gets involved in Sozo for Couples do think about.

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