"Learn to leverage the power of metaphors to develop your marriage culture! Metaphors have an amazing ability to hang out a fresh goal for you to pursue in your marriage... and family. This small literary device triggers the imaginative part of our brain which often frees us to think outside the box."
*A light-hearted question loosely connected to the current episode. The goal is to learn something about your spouse…and increase your chances at dominating when you play “the Newlywed game”.
People often use metaphors to describe their life. Which best describes your marriage? Journey - Battle - Seasons - Novel - Race - Carousel
In one short sentence, Forrest Gump forever occupied some space in our minds when he said, “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.”
This unforgettable line is an example of the lasting power of a metaphor.
*For the English buffs out there, yes, this is actually a simile… which is a category of metaphor!
For those who can’t recall what a metaphor is, allow us to give a quick refresher from 5th grade English:
A metaphor is used to imaginatively
draw a comparison between two unlike things.
Metaphors often have lasting power because they can help explain concepts and ideas by colorfully linking the unknown to the known; the abstract to the concrete; the incomprehensible to the comprehensible.
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players. William Shakespeare
‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’. Isaiah 1:18
The power of metaphor is one reason why authors such as C.S. Lewis have a timeless appeal to them. It was said of Lewis, “He makes clear to the imagination what is sometimes unclear to reason.”
To read the metaphor-rich writings of Lewis is like filling your mind with helium and watching it soar to heights never before attained! (See what we did there?)
Thanks for the English lesson…What’s the connection to marriage?
You don’t have to spend much time around us in order to catch that we are committed to the ongoing development of our marriage culture. We want to grow together with each passing age and life stage. As such, we are always looking for fresh principles and practices that can help in our pursuit of ongoing development.
Couple Minutes essentially is a platform where we pass on the various principles and practices that we have found helpful over the years…which brings us back to the random 5th grade English lesson on metaphors!
Learn to leverage the power of metaphors
to develop your marriage…and family culture!
Why are metaphors so powerful in marital communication?
For starters, metaphors have a way of kickstarting conversations in a way that concrete statements don’t. They also bring renewed energy and motivation to engage on topics that over time may have become hard or hurtful to discuss. Talking about a metaphor has a way of disarming the conversation and making it feel less personal...which is always a win! Lastly, this small literary device triggers the imaginative part of our brain which often frees us to think outside the box!
You can talk through metaphors that represent who you do want to be, don't want to be, and where you think you are currently.
Here’s an example of our most recent marriage metaphor:
A healthy marriage is like an Orchestra.
An orchestra consists of many different instruments. If you’ve ever been to an orchestra, you know that the first thing a conductor does is to make sure the instruments are tuned to one another.
After being tuned to each other, they all play their own unique and beautiful sound.
Thus, it could be said, that in an orchestra there is a beautiful blend of unity and individuality. The instruments are united in note, yet unique in sound.
As we discuss this simple metaphor, it leads us to dream about a marriage (and family!) culture like this.
What would it look like for our marriage to be
united in purpose, yet unique in person?
This metaphor launches us into an engaging conversation where we discuss two distinct, yet important aspects of our marriage.
United in Purpose: What is the purpose that unites us? Is there a sense of unity in how we spend our time and the overall direction we are headed? Do we have alignment on our core values?
Unique in Person: Are we both flourishing? Are we both maximizing our God-given role, passions, and unique individual design? Do we encourage each other’s uniqueness…or do we feel the pressure to “sound” the same?
As you can see, one simple metaphor has an amazing ability to stimulate developmental conversation! We hope this has inspired you to try and discuss one for yourself. If you can't think of a metaphor, start with this one!
While metaphors don’t communicate everything, they do a great job at getting a conversation started!
Why do you think engaging over metaphors can create a safe space to dream and discuss?
Try one of these: (Tip: Start with something positive before you speak negative!)
- If you were to pick a food to describe your marriage, what would it be and why?
Which of the following best describes your home life? Amusement Park, Bank, Mall, School, Gym, or Church
- Which doesn’t describe your home, but if you could, you would add an aspect of it to your current experience? Amusement Park, Bank, Mall, School, Gym, or Church