Our couples’ devotions are aimed at helping you grow spiritually, toward both God and each other. Some couples choose to do the devotion on their date, connecting once in the week. Others choose to connect twice in the week – once through the devotion and once on their date. Either way you choose to do them, you will deepen both your faith in God and honor for one another.
Example of devotion:
“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Mark 3:25
In Mark 3, Jesus had been driving out demons. The teachers of the law had accused Jesus of being possessed by Satan. Jesus was reasoning that Satan would not drive out his own demons. This would not make sense because the demons and Satan work as a team toward the same goal. Although this verse is referring to Jesus and the illogical argument that He was possessed by demons, it also makes a good point for our marriages.
In a marriage, we are working on the same team, toward the same goals. We forget this so often. Our natural desire is to end up higher in rank than others. We want admiration. We want others to view us as superior to them, to look up to us. Many times, we talk down to others to make them think we know better than them -we’re smarter than them, emotionally stronger than them, make better decisions than them, have a better way of doing things than them. We undermine others to accomplish what WE want, not taking into consideration the other person’s feelings. We keep score of all the things we did right, and all the things they did wrong. Then we bring it up to prove a point. We are the better one. This type of mentality will destroy a marriage.
In a marriage, we complete each other, not compete with each other. We either win together, or lose together. We have a happy spouse, and a happy marriage, or we put each other down, bicker, and possibly even end up in divorce.
Think about a sports team. Teammates communicate with each other, plan their game unitedly, coordinate their efforts, come to each other’s defense, share the ball, and pass to someone else on the team who has the better shot. They push through cooperatively, until they’ve completed the task together.
What would it look like to work together as a team in your marriage? Envision your marriage working this way – communicating with each other, planning your “game,” coordinating your efforts, defending each other when there is an attack, respecting each other’s feelings, appreciating that your spouse does things differently than you do, and being ok with that. This sounds like a blissful marriage that lifts the burden, doesn’t it? Not the ball and chain that so many refer to marriage.
Embrace the idea that it’s unacceptable for your spouse to feel like the loser. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” You are winning when your spouse is winning.
God gave each of us different strengths. When we come together in marriage, we are completing each other. Opposites attract – not for the purpose of frustrating us, but for helping us achieve more together. One person is good at budgeting, one is organized, one is the dreamer that imagines the impossible while the other brings reality to the dream. Together, the dream is accomplished. Divvy up the jobs around the house to the person who has the strength in that area.
Remember, also, that even though you may be stronger in a certain area, it may still be important to your spouse to be able to do that specific job. Maybe it’s their passion. Maybe they feel like they have a strength in that area. Only reassign the job if they agree that you’re the better choice for it. Protecting your spouse’s confidence is more important than any task getting done your way. Working on the same team means that respecting your spouse is more important than being right, or having the job done your way. Uplifting your spouse’s spirit is more significant than a job well done.
What if you and your spouse are in disagreement about an issue? Pray. Many couples find that if both spouses are praying about a decision, God gives them a peace about taking one direction over another. The answer doesn’t always come right away. Keep at it. Continue asking God for you to be one in this decision. Talk to other couples who have demonstrated wise decision-making – a pastor or a mentor about your decision. Sometimes others have the ability to see things more objectively than you can.
Discuss it – In what ways have you been trying to compete instead of working as a team?
Don’t answer this next one out loud or accuse your spouse. Just give this one some thought. Have I been putting my spouse down to get them to view me as the superior one? Where have I been trying to compete instead of support?
In what ways could you and your spouse be working together better?
Discuss the jobs being done in your home. Are they being done by the person who has the strength in that area?
Pray over it – Dear God, thank you for connecting me with [spouse’s name] and for [list out your spouse’s strengths]. Please transform my mind to see my spouse as my teammate, not my competitor. Teach me to show respect to my spouse. Help us to be unified in our decision-making. Amen.