You have a business strategy, but do you have a marriage strategy? Jackie Bledsoe is the CEO of JBSB, a speaker, and the bestselling author of “The 7 Rings of Marriage.” Today on the show, we’re talking about relationships (even if you’re single!), peace, and living life — both in your personal life and in the workplace.
What led to the journey of writing The 7 Rings of Marriage? And what do you hope people get out of the book?
Jackie wanted to share the ups and downs he and his wife went through in their marriage to share what they learned with others, and also to say: you might be in a rough season, but this season won’t last forever. You can grow from there. There’s hope.
What is a marriage success plan?
Winning at work is great. It’s exciting, and it’s celebrated. But winning at home is the most fulfilling.
You can’t drift into a great marriage: sit down and put your plan together with the same intentionality you use to reach your financial or professional goals. Your goals can include not just wanting to own a house in a specific neighborhood together, for example, but also things like wanting to be great at communication, growing closer, spending more time together, or getting to know your spouse so well that you have a Ph.D. on them.
What are your insights into persevering and preparing for storms?
Most vows say, “for better or for worse,” but sometimes we forget that we signed up “for worse.” Know that challenges will come, and that when they do, it won’t be the end of your marriage. It’s not time to call it quits, it’s an opportunity to both grow yourself and grow closer together. Always be moving forward into what’s coming next.
On marriage mentors
Having a marriage mentor is game-changing, marriage changing, and life-changing. Your mentor is your lifeline: they understand the pressures and challenges of a marriage, and they’ll be there to counsel, listen, and learn from. Jackie encourages being prayerful about the couples you’re already surrounding yourself with, and allowing God to bring someone into the relationship with you that you can trust with your marriage.
The analogy of the tandem bike
The person in front steers the bike: they control the speed and can swerve to avoid obstacles. The person at the back may feel frustrated because they’re along for the ride and can’t see what’s happening. As the leader, you have to communicate what’s going on in front of you. It’s also a good exercise to switch places with one another from time to time to understand each other’s perspectives.
It can be madness, but it’s also wonderful. Don’t quit when it gets rough, because if you stop pedaling, disaster can happen. But once you get in sync, you’ll find out how fun it can be.
The engagement ring is the foundation of your marriage, and that foundation has to be built on solid ground; on a rock. Make sure your foundation is set: what are your prayer lives, individually and with your spouse? And spend an uninterrupted 15 minutes every single day alone together.
If you have the book or are considering getting the book, find out where you are in the 7 Rings of Marriage, so you can take the next steps to get to the next ring and continue to grow.
“He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
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The Seven Rings of Marriage: Your Model for a Lasting and Fulfilling Marriage (Amazon)