A recent online article in a popular Christian magazine proposed that the best marriage was a 50/50 partnership. While some would be ecstatic if their marriage ever reached that level, I believe it is ultimately a destructive and non-biblical assessment.
This viewpoint plays into the hands of the demonic realm that is seeking to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). It sets the sights for marriage at much less than God intends.
Many Christian marriages are floundering; some are on the path to divorce court while others are limping along in survival mode. In a previous blog article, I laid out the proposition that the three biggest reason for marriage failures were selfishness, selfishness and selfishness.
The partnership question begs the question that each member of the marriage needs to answer: are they in a contract relationship or a covenant relationship. The word partnership has legal meaning in the secular world and when used in a marriage relationship it can deadly.
Partnerships involve splitting up the pie and taking responsibility for your share of the costs so you can reap your share of the reward. You give a contracted amount and expect to receive in return. You give based upon that expected return. If a partner does not limit up to his or her end of the bargain, it is acceptable to seek recourse and terminate the agreement if necessary.
Is Marriage As A 50/50 Partnership Biblical?
That is a far cry from God’s view of marriage. There is a division of labor within most unions but the bible tells us that marriage is a covenant agreement between God, man and woman. Married couples are joined spiritually and in the soul realm; they become one flesh (Mark 10:7). They are to submit themselves one to another.
Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ came to serve, not to be served and gave himself up for the church. Husbands are to do the same for their wives and meet their wives needs.
Wives are to submit to their husbands as they would unto the Lord. Submission implies serving and meeting their husband’s needs.
That is the essence of a covenant agreement: each person gives 100% to the marriage. Nowhere is it expressed in the bible that marriage is a contract to be enforced. Of course, there is a contract side of it in the legal realm, but when enforcement of that supersedes covenant serving then the marriage is on life support or already dead.
What are your options if you are the dominant partner in an 80/20 relationship and you are running out of steam? That is a difficult place to be, especially if your spouse will not seek competent Christian counseling help.
Let me ask you a question. Could you unilaterally decide, with the grace of God and by His strength, to pursue a covenant relationship by your words and actions so that God might begin to work in your spouse? Could you choose to serve and be a blessing in a new and different way and see what He might work out in your spouse?
We have seen marriages begin to turn around when only one of the spouses determines to serve their spouse to honor the Lord. Good things can happen when we obey God’s word. This is not about remaining in an abusive relationship or being a doormat, so you need to gain wisdom and possibly get counsel if you are confused.
If that is not the case, can you renew your mind and see yourself as a covenant-keeping child of God walking in obedience to His word rather than as a 50/50 partner in a contract? If you will make that commitment, you may be amazed at what He can accomplish!