Do you keep a running list of what you do for your wife and family? Do you have a list of all the things your wife doesn’t do or does wrong? Have you ever stopped doing something you know your wife likes because “she isn’t doing her part”? All of these are symptoms of a 50/50 marriage.
A 50/50 Marriage
50/50 is the mark of ideal partnership right? It sounds so good. We think it means we are in it together and we are both giving, and together we will make it work. There is a problem with 50/50. It is that little line in the middle. The seesaw line.
Marriage demands 100% so in a 50/50 marriage you are constantly fighting to find the balance point. Sometimes you might give more sometimes less, but anytime the seesaw is off balance for long the problems can start.
Kate and I used to have a 50/50 marriage. I can remember one time when Kate was finally fed up with my lack of participation in keeping up at home and we started to have an argument comparing the work of doing the laundry to mowing the grass. Sound familiar?
All of the sudden a lot of our arguments were about who does more, or who isn’t doing enough. This is a slippery slope! The problem is we will never be a fair judge. We will always overestimate our own investment of time and energy while undervaluing our wife’s time, energy and work. The seesaw in our minds will always tilt our direction, while our wife will always think it is tilting her direction.
50/50 Doesn’t Work
God didn’t design marriage to be 50/50. Plain and simple that was not the plan. God designed marriage to work with 100/100. 100% in. 100% present. 100% priority. One of the places you can see this in scripture is actually Paul’s caution against marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34:
“I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided.” (NLT)
Paul recognizes that when we marry we are making an earthly commitment to devote ourselves in a special way to someone here on earth. This isn’t bad (obviously) but it then becomes a priority in our lives. Yes, God is still the #1 priority, but as designed your wife comes in #2!
The 100/100 marriage
There is still a tiny problem with the 100/100 marriage. There is still that pesky line, the seesaw line. Fortunately God’s word has an answer for that too! Remember Ephesians 5: 21 & 25
And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her” (NLT)
God’s word again has the answer. Our 100% might still be on the seesaw, but it isn’t our wife on the other end. We don’t need to judge how much she’s done, or hasn’t done. We can toss out that list all together because sitting on the other end of the seesaw is Jesus’ example of love.
Feel like you’ve given till it hurts? Seesaw says – Give More.
Feel like you never get the respect you desire or deserve? Seesaw says – Love more
Feel like your needs never get met? Seesaw says- Put her needs first.
Feel like she intended to hurt you in your last fight? Seesaw says- Well just look at what Jesus did for Judas right before he betrayed him! John 13 shows him getting down on his hands and knees and washing his betrayer’s feet. Yep. Seesaw says- go and take care of her!
Is it hard? Yes of course it is! But it is how God designed marriage!
Are you in a 50/50 or a 100/100 marriage?
What can you do today to put Jesus on the other side of your marriage seesaw? Let us know in the comments.
Photo © Vic Spanner [Photoxpress.com]