When deciding to get married, some couples have the idea that it is going to be a 50/50 partnership. If the husband works outside the home and the wife does not, then she is responsible for taking care of the household such as laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning. When the kids come along, the wife may take on more responsibilities with them, especially when they are young, but her husband will increase his responsibilities with the outside chores and car maintenance. If both spouses work outside the home, then the chores at home are divided evenly depending upon their preferences and natural abilities. As the responsibilities and chores increase in a marriage, they will continue to divide things evenly, creating essentially a balanced environment.
However, in my experience, in order for a marriage to be a truly 50/50 partnership, all equality needs to be thrown out the window. In order to build a marriage on the principles in God’s word, we must follow the teaching in I John 3:16-18: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers…Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
If that was to be applied to marriage, here is a sampling of what it might look like: Letting your wife, who has been sick all week, rest on the couch while you clean the house getting it ready for company…or possibly even cancelling the get-together so that she can rest, spending that time taking care of her needs until she feels like herself again. Knowing that your husband has wanted to see the Lions play in person during their amazing season so budgeting wisely and surprising him with tickets when you really wanted to buy that new Kindle you saw on sale instead. Realizing that your wife has had an extra tough week at work, so volunteering to either grab fast food a few times this week or offering to cook dinner instead, even if it means cold cereal or heated up soup in a can. Taking one of your vacation days and cleaning out the garage for your husband, a job he has been complaining that needs to be done but never having enough time to do it, and surprising him when he gets home from work that day.
The only way that marriage will truly be equal is not when chores and responsibilities are divided equally between partners, but instead by both individuals giving more than 100%. When each person is willing to step up and go the extra mile is when God’s love is truly shown in our lives. Then marriage is truly the partnership that God intended.
Marriage is not the only relationship that will be benefit from giving more than 100%. Think about the difference that will be made when giving more than 100% is shown in friendship, at the workplace, with your children, extended family, or with God. Every relationship will only blossom more when this principle is practiced on a regular basis.
What is one specific thing you can start to implement, giving more than 100%, to show someone in your life how important he or she is to you?