Puzzle Pieces, A Lesson For Marriages

My Sister in Christ, the beautiful Nakita Williams, facilitated an exercise a few weeks ago during We Honor Marriage at Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral.  I am still thinking about the insights gained during our time together.

She divided the class into four groups and gave each group a puzzle.  She told us to work together as a group and assemble the puzzles that were inside each box as quickly as we could.  We only had a few minutes to assemble our puzzles.

In our group, we strategically began tackling the sides.  I immediately could tell we did not have all the pieces we needed to complete our puzzle and I said to the group, “We are missing some pieces.”  Everyone looked at the image on the box and assessed all of our pieces.  We kept working.  

All the while, Nakita was walking around and calling out the remaining time.  We could hear at least one group cheering as they were nearing the end of their assembled puzzle.  The pressure was on!

Not to be outdone, our group continued to put together as many pieces as we could, because we wanted to WIN.

Nakita announced Time Was Up!  As I looked at our puzzle I could see we had done our best with what we were given.  A great deal of the puzzle was assembled but there were gaping holes in certain areas and there were a number of pieces discarded off to the side, clearly not belonging to our puzzle.

During the debrief, we learned some of the puzzles were in fact missing pieces while other groups had fully functional puzzles.  

One member of our group shared that even though I had mentioned we did not have all our pieces, she did not want to believe we were missing pieces and was convinced we could still assemble the puzzle.

Key takeaways?

1.  When you marry, you each may be missing something that will impact your ability to build a solid foundation.

2.  While tempting as it may be, focusing on other marriages can be distracting, even though they may be celebrating their success.  Everyone’s marriage (puzzle) is different.  The comparison game will get you every time.

3.  You and your spouse may have a different perspective on what is missing or what’s needed to build your marriage.  The key is to respect each other’s perspectives and to do your best with what you have.  Or agree to seek out whatever is needed. 

4.  We were in a tight circle as we tried to assemble the puzzles.  Our hands bumped into each other often and occasionally we nicked one of our teammates with our nails.  During the debrief we marveled at how easy it was to forgive those minor bumps and nicks from our teammates but when married, it’s sometimes much easier to become offended.

5.  Even when well meaning couples or individuals are offering advice (other puzzle pieces), you have to be mindful as those pieces may not fit or may not be right for your marriage.   

6.  Sometimes it’s not about winning but instead is about the process and the journey.

How are you and your spouse at building your marriage?  Is there one person offering direction or are you both attempting to figure out what goes where?  Do you both see the same image/vision for your relationship or is one of you focused on only one portion of the picture?  

The new year is right around the corner.  It’s a great time to take stock in how you are connecting with your spouse and how you are working together to build your puzzle.

Shatanese is the owner of Super Extra Ordinary Mom, LLC, a HR Consultancy that delivers leadership and development training with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

Shatanese resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their six children.  She enjoys walks on the beach and colorful sunrises.  Shatanese's goal is to encourage others to find the extraordinary in every day moments.

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Contact shatanese@superextraordinarymom.com

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