Monday, September 10, 2012

For worse... or better?

In marriage we must be ready to face “poorer” and “worse” if the union is to survive and thrive when bad times happen - but are we ready to handle “richer” and “better” when we join to become one flesh? If half of this new entity finds success, whether it be a promotion or new job, recognition for an ability or skill, or anything else how does that affect the relationship? We are called in Romans 12:15-16 to:

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind with one another, and do not be haughty.

While this verse is aimed at all people in body of Christ, the behavior should certainly start at home. There is no room for jealousy between husband and wife over each other’s success. As one flesh, when one succeeds both do, just as if one hurts, both do. We all should be our spouse’s number one fan, knowing that we share in whatever they accomplish, just as they do with us. To that end we need to support them in their efforts and cheer them on! Ephesians 5:28 - 29 reads in part:

He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it

Are you cherishing your spouse? Are you nourishing them in their pursuits? Success takes many forms, and each will affect a marriage differently. With more women in the workplace, traditional roles may have to be flexible to accommodate what “better” means. I have a friend whose wife got a job making significantly more than he was. He quit his own job and started a business he could run from home so that he could be with their children during the day. If he tied his worth as a husband to the notion of being the breadwinner, he’d be in trouble. If he loves his kids and his wife however, and is thankful for the opportunities his wife’s success provides to the family, then their chances for a strong, vibrant marriage dramatically increase.

The key is to always place the good of the family and the needs of your spouse above yourself, above your own wants and needs. And, if you are the one on whom the blessing falls remember to share it, acknowledge your spouse’s contributions to your success, and revel in it together. In 1 Corinthians 13 we are told that love is never envious, nor is it boastful.

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