We’ve all had our share of bad photos. Think back to your fashion-questionable high school days, or those family portraits that looked more like the Adams Family than a happy family. It’s safe to say we all have pictures we would like to delete from the archives.
The other day, I came across The 50 Weirdest Engagement Portraits Of All Time. It’s just what it says…50 very weird engagement photos. They are painful to look at and they leave you asking, “What were they thinking?”
All this got me wondering, “What would pictures of my marriage look like over the years?”
No doubt there would be some good pictures. Pictures of young newly weds ready to take on the world. Pictures of proud first-time home owners. Pictures of proud first-time parents. Pictures of birthdays, anniversaries and graduations. Pictures of trips and vacations.
But there would also be pictures that would make me cringe. Pictures of me being so self-absorbed I didn’t see my spouse’s need. Pictures of stress that spilled out onto my spouse. Pictures of stubbornness and refusal to compromise.
As an amateur photographer, I’m always interested in how to take better pictures. So I began to wonder, “How can I get better pictures of marriage?”
When it comes to making a good picture, you need to start with your focus. No matter how great the subject, light and composition may be, the picture is no good if it’s out of focus.
The same is true for marriage. To get great marriage pictures, you must get your focus right. You need to…
- Focus more on your actions than your intentions. Good intentions are…well, good. But good intentions are not enough. You must have good actions behind those good intentions. Poor actions will quickly override good intentions, because what you do speaks louder than everything else.
- Focus on your spouse’s need for help more than on their need for improvement. Your spouse doesn’t need your critique, they need your care. They don’t need you to evaluate them, they need you to elevate them. When it comes to marriage, your job is support…not quality control.
- Focus on your tone of voice more than on theirs. Tone of voice prompts more marital clashes than practically anything else. Just know that your spouse is not the only one in the marriage wielding a tone of voice. A sarcastic, critical or belittling tone of voice is cancerous to a marriage. It cuts deep and breeds contempt, so remember Prov. 15:1: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
- Focus on your bad family traits more than on theirs. It’s really easy to see negative things in your spouse that came from their family, but it’s not so easy to see that in yourself. Every family is “different,” and we all are a little “different” for having grown up in our “different” families. But if you own and work on your bad family traits, you’ll be too busy to worry about your spouse’s.
- Focus on serving more than being served. No matter how selfless we think we are, we all get married because we think marriage will be good for us. Unknowingly, our focus is more about what we will get out of marriage than what we will put into marriage. Trying to out-serve your spouse is a great way to create good marriage pictures.
So how’s your focus? If I took a picture of your marriage today would it be something you would be proud of, or would it be something that would embarrass you and make you shove it to the back of the album with all those out-of-focus pictures of your quirky family’s pie eating contest? Lot’s of people are looking at your marriage pictures. Make sure you’re making good ones.
Can you think of other ways to improve the focus of your marriage pictures? If so, share them. Let’s add to the list.
Copyright © 2016 Bret Legg