I have had something on my heart. I’m pretty bothered by it. You’ll probably be offended. That’s ok – sometimes being “offended” is the first step to being “convicted”.
Recently, I did 31 Days of Praying for My Husband which I found on www.raisinggodlychildren.org (a website which I really love). I emailed a bunch of my girlfriends, family, and my mom and asked them to be praying for their husbands as well. Last weekend, I gave my notes and letters to my husband for our anniversary.
But my problem comes from the very first day I saw the prayer challenge – there was a comment from a reader who said that they would do this prayer journey but they’d have to find one for their husband to do too because it would only be good if they did it together.
Wait, what?! Let’s start off here…1) You don’t think that this would have value if you did this for him while he just soaked in the benefits of God’s blessings? Read Love and Respect. And I’m not just talking about this prayer journey only. But people are under this false belief in marriage that it needs to be 50/50. Uhm, no. It needs to be 100/100. You give 100% of what you can do/feel called to do. God will grow you as you give your best effort. Trust me, I know. But if you are only going to give it a half effort, you’re only going to get a half result. This is for wives and husbands. But you can’t FORCE them into what you feel should be their 100%. You can encourage, pray, and suggest, but again, if you plan on doing what you feel called to do, then why should you expect more from them?
Example – I know someone who for a special occasion, wanted to write letters to her husband. But she certainly wasn’t going to put in the effort if he wasn’t. So she TOLD him that he would be writing her letters for this event. THEN (and this was the clincher for me) she complained because the letter wasn’t to her liking, was typed instead of handwritten, and had been written that day instead of in advance. Hi, sweetie, it’s time to wake up and realize that YOU have been called to certain things and your HUBS has been called to different things.
Which brings me nicely to 2) Marriage can’t be 50/50 because each person has a specific calling and roles from God. You need to give your 100/100 because you each have different pieces to bring to the relationship. If you expect your Hubs to do 50% of every task, that means that you have to do 50% of all his tasks – spiders, garbage, and unclogging drains (at my house). Yeah, no thanks. More importantly, you have to have half of the household authority. Now I know it’s 2012 and not only do women EXPECT to have half the authority, TV shows that women are the real brains behind the household and husbands are stupid oafs who gawk at other women and mess up all the time; society tells you that you are WOMAN and you need to be EMPOWERED and SUBMISSION will have you making sandwiches and barefoot and pregnant. NOT SO! God has designed marriage and the relationship there to be a certain way. Each person (male and female) has the image of God imprinted on their heart and they are meant to complement (do not read “give 50%”) one another in their skills and heart. If you need some help with seeing what I mean here, read Wild at Heart and Captivating. Truly, you could get away with just the former if you are already picking up what I’m putting down, and if not, then grab both. Then if you want to look specifically at marriage then grab Visionary Marriage (which may be my absolute favorite) My husband has been called by God to have certain responsibilities that I don’t have nor do I want. So if he is taking care of those things (worrying about money, taking care of and providing for our family, being the faith leader of our household, etc) then I shouldn’t FORCE one more task upon him. Instead, I should just do something nice for him; something unexpected. And then, I am doing what I am called to do : be a helpmate, a support (do not read “doormat” which is what the world wants you to read – I could do a whole post of just the “seeing what you want to see in the Bible or Christian literature but I’m not ready to go there this morning)
3) Marriage is a covenant before God, not a contract before the government. Translation: 50/50 does not exist. The idea of a 50/50 marriage says “Well, I only to do my part IF he does his part.” Where does that system fail? When the other side thinks the same thing. A contract means that your end only has to be fulfilled when certain conditions have been met. A COVENANT however (think Abraham in the Bible and then, ya know, the rest of the OT) is a promise that when one side messes up, the other side continues on. Are their consequences, hurt feelings, and changes in direction? Yup. Are there more rewards and blessings because you kept going even when the going got tough? Absolutely. So, since your marriage isn’t a contract, do you just get to say that you’ll only do nice things, uplifting things if he does them in return? Nope, sorry. Watch Fireproof if the covenant idea in marriage hasn’t quite grabbed you yet. And I’ll give you a hint, it’s at the end, but I still think you should watch the whole thing.
I could probably keep going on and on but I think I’ve made my point nicely. Women – do not place unnecessary and unrealistic expectations on your husbands. God has already called him to do many things. Instead, uplift him and support him. And let’s be honest, wouldn’t it be nice if he did something like that for you without being told to?