I have been listening to a podcast recently on my way to work by Dr. Mike Glenn, the pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church, entitled “Creating Real Marriages that Last”. He touches on everything from learning your spouses love language, to parenting your children, to being a parent to your parent when that time come. Something specifically stuck out to me last week while i was listening on my way to work. The specific episodes that stood out where entitled ” Marriage is not 50/50″ and “Renegotiating the marriage contract” Throughout these episodes he made many valid points, but these two that I am writing about are things that I hear about a lot.
We hear this statement all the time. Marriage is 50/50. Is it really? Why would you as a wife or a husband only give half of your ability and energy to your marriage and expect it to be strong and last? Marriage is 100/100. You each have to be giving 100% of yourself to work on cultivating a great marriage. Now don’t get me wrong, this ratio of a 200% marriage fluctuates back and forth. You may be in a season where you can only give 70% and your spouse has to give the other 130%. And in turn, your spouse may be in a season where they can only give 50% and you have to make up the other 150%. Point being, throughout whatever season you go through there is 200% bring given and you each are giving it your all!
This plays in to consistently renegotiating your contract or covenant with your spouse as well. How is your communication with your spouse? Are you comfortable sitting down on a weekly basis to simply check in? Can you get through stressful or uncomfortable situations without snide comments to or about each other? If not, why? Isn’t your spouse supposed to be your biggest supporter and confidant?
This is something my husband and I have started doing as often as we can. We simply check in, and this comes in many forms: How are you feeling about this or that? Is there something specific that I can do for you this week to help you out? And then actually doing it! Am I meeting specific needs in this area or that. How can I if i am not. We are making a point not to make snide comments in frustration. Being completely transparent and also being open to receiving constructive criticism. Being able to take a joke and not taking offense, etc, etc, etc….
It is amazing how much individuals keep to themselves by not being open and honest. I am the worlds worst!!! I will even tell on myself a little here – I am the queen of snide comments to myself when something isn’t done the way *I* think it should be done or in the time frame *I* deem it needs to be done in. These check ins have really brought that to my attention and opened up the conversation with my husband about why I feel that way in the moment whether it is an actual valid reason or not. I would love to say that this is something I have completely overcome but I am working very hard to not do that anymore. Because of these renegotiations and check ins, I am able to come into a conversation completely calm and not hold anything back about how
i am feeling without raising my voice, or being snide, and I know that it is received with a level of openness and respect that I didn’t realize was possible.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
So I ask you, is your marriage everything it needs to be? Is it everything you want it to be? If not, have a sit down and renegotiate your contract. Be open, be transparent, be courteous. Pray over your marriage that our Father will open up the lines of communication and allow Him to work.
I challenge you today- check in with your spouse. Simply ask them how you can help them out this week. Start small and see the big changed it can make!