We come to #5 on our countdown of the top 6 things that make marriage work. Now, as I have said, there is no professional research here. My wife and I simply sat down and talked out the things that make us work and we felt like sharing it with young couples and future couples. We figure that if it has worked for us over the last 11 1/2 years of marriage, then we are doing something right. So, to review last week- #6 was the fact that we have lives separate from each other. We are neither smothered nor constricted and we allow ourselves to miss each other. The next one, is something that the guys in particular need to pay attention to. The #5 thing to make a marriage work is sharing the responsibilities of marriage.
Now, you need to understand that this goes further than who is doing the dishes. The chore part of this is important, but if that is all you get out of this blog post, you’ve missed the point. When I talk about sharing the responsibilities I mean of the relationship. If one person is pouring everything they have into a marriage and the other person only knows how to receive that and never gives back, then the person pouring is eventually going to run out. Marriage is a two way street in everything that you do together as couple, even the marriage itself. My wife is not the most affectionate person on the planet. She isn’t the big hugger and she isn’t the person that tells her friends and everyone that she has a relationship with that she loves them. I, on the other hand, am a hugging machine. If I were a car, I would not run on gas, I would run on hugs. I hug everyone!!! I am also that guy who tells you that I love you and I can assure you that if I have said that to you, it is meant. The point is, I require affection. That is what makes me tick. My wife knows this and she is happy to fuel me with those hugs and I loves yous. Likewise, Jan is not a planner. She loves to go places, but she does not like to make the plans and deal with the headaches of making the necessary arrangements. I happily take care of our travel plans, big or small.
That is just one way that we share the responsibilities and share the load of the marriage. Another example is when our kids came along. I’m the last of 3 children in my family, so I was not accustomed to being around babies. Jan has worked day cares for years before becoming a teacher. Jan, however, does not do well with little sleep. Let’s be honest, she becomes the most dangerous human on planet Earth. So, we made a deal. She changes diapers and I get up with the kids in the middle of the night. It works out for both of us because I don’t sleep much and she gets her 8 hours. Likewise, I get to go without changing smelly diapers- win for me. Now, I have changed my sons diapers and she has gotten up with the boys when the need arises, but the point is, the relationship had a need and we shared that need using our strengths. Dave Ramsey always says that every couple has a free spirit and a nerd when it comes to family finances. The free spirit helps the nerd live a little and the nerd keeps track of all the money. It is a shared, joint venture and that is exactly what you are on.
The point I am trying to make is this. We do these things for each other; we share these responsibilities of the relationship because we are friends. We try to pour equally into each other and the relationship. We keep God as the center and we try to orbit Him with our marriage. When one is having a bad day, the other is picking up the slack. When the kids are getting on the nerves of one, the other steps in and gives their partner a break. You are partners in your marriage, you are a team. Share the burden of the relationship and you will find that it is a burden that you are very happy to carry because you are carrying it with the person you love.
Coming next week….#4 Be Complimentary
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach