Think about the majority of your friendships. They’ve most likely been 50/50 propositions. You do your part, and I’ll do mine. If the friendship is lopsided—if one person is giving far more effort to it than the other—the relationship probably won’t last long. Would you want to spend time with someone who doesn’t show the same interest in you?

And I suppose it’s natural to apply this 50/50 plan to a marriage. On the surface it seems to make sense: Would you want to stay married to someone who isn’t putting the same amount of time and effort into the relationship? The problem is that marriage is different from a friendship. You make a vow to God that you will remain committed to each other, no matter what. And if you try to keep a relationship like that going with the 50/50 plan, it doesn’t work.

So you must think of marriage as a 100/100 relationship, with each person willing to do whatever it takes to make the marriage and family work.

Philippians 2:3-4, which tells us to “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

For a marriage to thrive, both spouses need to put aside their own desires and seek to serve the other. For example, think of the wedding vow “in sickness and in health.” Anyone who has been married will realizes there are times when one person is ill or injured, and the healthy spouse needs to step up and take responsibility for whatever needs to be done in the family.

When you wake up in the morning, think, What can I do to make her day or his day just a little happier? You need to turn toward each other, and if you focus on the other person even just for that five minutes when you first wake up, it’s going to make a big difference in your relationship. That’s likely to really work for many years. So start each day thinking about what you can give that special person in your life.”

Be Strong. Act Like Men


2 thoughts on “50/50

  1. Some of the most profound words I’ve read – outside of the Bible – is the opening words of Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” …….. “It’s not about you.” If you read no more than that line, and applied it to your life, then you’d taken away one of the most important truths in the book and arguably in life. Funny thing is, the more you give of yourself….your 100%….the only likely response (from a martial viewpoint) is the other person to reciprocate. Unconditional love cannot be responded to in any other way. (Many detractors will say that’s not the case and provide countless examples of how that’s not true. But… if acknowledged, and understood, how else, really, can you respond to someone giving you 100%…other than to do so in kind….. Carl’s opinion.)

  2. Carl…well said. I think realizing “it’s not about you” is a very difficult concept to grasp especially in a marriage. I believe that it is by design that our marriages challenge the concept of self with God’s desire for oneness. Thanks for the comment.

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