The Danger of Drift

blog marriage parenting Sep 30, 2022
Connection & Intention

We believe every family ends up somewhere, but few families end up somewhere on purpose.  

Like most couples, we would be safe to say, when you first fell in love with your spouse or when you started your family, the dream was to live “happily ever after.” You wanted to experience all the good things that life has to offer. That’s the goal, right? We all want to be happy, successful, and thrive in our most important relationships.

Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, the demands of life, and the unexpected twists and turns can cause us to drift or feel pulled away from the most important people in our lives. The busyness, stress, and pressures we all face can negatively impact our marriage and family relationships. We know first hand because it has happened to us. After 31 years of marriage and raising children of our own as a couple, it’s easy to feel like two ships passing in the night. As a family, it’s easy to confuse activity with accomplishment.

Like a car that has alignment issues, when you take your hands off the steering wheel, the vehicle will naturally drift. Sometimes there is even a pull that you feel that forces you to hold the steering wheel even tighter so you don’t lose control.  

Perhaps you can relate. Maybe you are experiencing that drift in your marriage or with one of your children right now. Instead of being pulled closer together, you feel like you are drifting further apart. You’re in survival mode. You’re co-existing, but there is no intimacy, connection, fulfillment, or joy in your home. You may not even know how it happened; you just know things aren’t where they could be or should be. We call it the danger of D.R.I.F.T.

Perhaps there is a pull that you feel from the outside. 

  •  Work demands 
  •  Peer pressure
  •  Negative influences
  •  Too many extracurricular activities
  •  Distractions
  •  Etc. 

All of these challenges are causing conflict and problems on the inside.

  •  Disappointment
  •  Regret
  •  Isolation
  •  Frustration
  •  Tension 
  •  Etc.

These negative emotions can have you feeling overwhelmed, defeated, and emotionally exhausted from trying to keep your marriage and family from falling apart. The question is, what do you do? How can you keep from drifting further apart as a family?  

It starts by asking yourself a few important questions.... What do I want for my life? What do I want for my marriage? What do I want for my family?

The biggest challenge we face as individuals and as families is distinguishing the difference between what we naturally want versus what we ultimately want. What we naturally want is instant gratification or a quick fix to all of our problems. We live in a culture that is driven by immediate results, upgrades, and experiences with no-hassle guarantees.

We want bigger, better, faster and we want to have more freedom and to go to more places and experience all the good things life has to offer. There is nothing wrong with any of those things as long as they don’t rob you of what you ultimately want. However, what we ultimately want can’t be marketed, packaged, bought, or sold.

Again, the question is, what do we want, and how do we get it?  

What if we changed the question from what do I want to WHO do I ultimately want to become? Who do I want to be as a husband? Who do I want to be as a wife? Who do I want to be as a mother? Who do I want to be as a father? While you’re asking these questions on a personal level, let us encourage you to take it a step further and ask the following questions to each other as a couple or over a family meal.  

6 Questions That Will Shift the direction of Your Family Relationships 

  1.  On a scale of 1-10, how would I/we rate the health of our family’s relationships?  
  2.  What is the vision for our family?  
  3.  What values are most important to us as a family? 
  4.  What distractions/activities are competing with our family’s vision & values?
  5.  What unmet needs are being neglected in our home?  
  6.  What are three things we can do that would shift the atmosphere of our home and improve the health of our relationships?  

To become the person, spouse, or family, we ultimately want to become requires living with greater intention every day.

You might naturally ask, “how long will this take to see these kinds of results or changes in my life, marriage, or family? Our encouragement to you is to avoid asking how long it will take and ask how far can we go in our marriage and family relationships?

The only way we can avoid drifting further apart from each other is by committing to grow every day toward becoming who we ultimately want to be.

Remember, we can’t become who we need to be by remaining who we are. Your marriage and family is not an important thing. It’s everything!

Commit today to stop drifting and start living with greater intention so you can become who you ultimately want to be as a family.  


Rodney and Michelle Gage are the authors of the book Family Shift: The 5-Step Plan to Stop Drifting and Start Living with Greater Intention.  To learn more about this book and other resources to help your family, visit

Rodney and Michelle Gage are the founders of ReThink Life Church and The Winning Family. For over 30 years, they have devoted their lives to helping people win at home and in life.

One of the ways that Rodney & Michelle support families is through monthly mentoring where they provide live mentorship and Q & A to couples and parents. You can sign up today for a free trial of The Double Win Club and receive a free copy of Rodney's new book, The Double Win.