Nick is on my mind today, as I write. Well, he’s on my mind often, but for a specific reason today.
You’ve probably heard it said before that marriage is a lot of give and take. Nick and I have recently decided that it is simply give. It is always give. When you both are trying to out give the other, both needs are met and the “magic” some people seem to have is a direct result. I don’t claim to know all the things about marriage. I’ve only been at it for 12 years. I do know enough about our marriage though, to tell you that, when we aim to out-give or out-love the other, we rarely feel neglected or misunderstood.
This is not executed perfectly. We both fail at this, we both have bad days and it is extremely easy to go back to “keeping score”.
Nick stated the other day (on the ol facebook at that)…
“The best marriage is when you both think, “I’m the lucky one”🥰
So how do you get to that place you ask? I know you didn’t actually ask…but I’m going there anyway.
You out-give the other…
I know. It seems naive and even foolish.
I can’t say that this is a cure all or the answer to every little issue. I can’t say that it is easy or the most popular approach. This is simply what we’ve found, in our own life, that continues to prove itself over and over. When we decide to give “even when”… the results are usually in both of our favor.
“One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
Refreshing the other will in turn refresh you. This is something you may think is completely absurd, but just give it a shot. It won’t always look perfect, but it will always be worth it, out of obedience to the Lord. When we are generous with our love, our grace, our time, our efforts, our compliments, our encouragement, our noticing what they do, inquiring about their day, finding interest in what interests them…it comes back.
When we withhold, we only have what we’re holding on to. When we give out, we gain a return that is blessed by the Father. Yes, this could be extremely difficult. Most things in life that are that difficult are the best things. This does not just pertain to tithes or offerings, money or resources. This, I believe, is also talking to us about our most deep and intimate relationships. Quit withholding. Out-give the other. Out-cherish the other. Out-love the other. Whether this is a marriage relationship or a friendship, a sibling or family member, you can’t control what they do, but you can certainly control what you do.
Perhaps you are tired and weary. I see you. God sees you all the more. Give him your heart and tired spirit and ask for the strength to give. He will supply.
#findingtheheart of your marriage takes time and honestly y’all, it takes so much work. It takes effort, humility and lots of grace. What I can say though, is that, finding the heart makes all the difference in the world.
Finding this rhythm in our own relationship has not been quick or easy. It has certainly been life giving and worth it, though!
If we can come alongside you or answer any questions, we would love to visit with you!
Shaina (and Nick)