Links of the Week

  1. Michael Hyatt on How leadership at home affects the rest of your life
  2. 5 ways to move from selfish to a servant when you’re single
  3. Tony Morgan on the top 10 leadership mistakes
  4. 6 time management tips
  5. David Walker on What every worship leader wants their pastor to know. Makes me grateful for Paul and the relationship we have. 
  6. 3 common traits of youth who don’t leave the church
  7. Brian Tracy on How to influence people
  8. Top 7 church planting challenges
  9. Gloria Furman on What a pastor’s wife is supposed to be like. I did a series of blog posts on this topic and it is still my most read series ever. 

Rivalry & Marriage

A couple of weeks ago, I preached on unity and oneness in the church and that not only are we called to that, but that is one of the things that sets churches apart in terms of their effectiveness and health.

The same is true for marriage.

Paul says in Philippians 2:3 that we should not do things out of rivalry or conceit but look to the interests of others. While this is written specifically to a church and that was the lens I looked through in my sermon, it has implications for Christians who are married.

Yet, Katie and I talk to countless couples that fall into rivalry in their marriage. It is easy to fall into because deep down, we are all very selfish and we are good at it. I remember talking to a couple who said, “I stopped doing laundry because he didn’t take out the trash or do enough around the house. I just let it pile up.” I’ve heard guys tell me, “She won’t have sex with me, so I won’t talk to her when she says she wants to talk.” Women have told us, “I’m not having sex until he does _______.” I could literally list hundreds of things, but the end of the day the goal is to get their way. At the end of the day, these couples want to get their way and they are willing to fight for it. They are also being selfish.

While many in our culture would say, “That makes sense.” Biblically, it doesn’t. Marriage is not a contract. A contract says, “I’ll do this, you do that and as long as we keep our end of the bargain, we’ll stay married and be happy.” That’s not what God calls us to or is even possible. There are times that I have more energy than Katie and so I pick up the baton of bedtime, baths, etc. There are times when that burden falls to Katie. One of us gets sick and takes care of the other. A contract says, “I’m sorry you are sick, but it is your turn to clean the kitchen so get out of bed and keep up your end of the bargain or else.”

Whenever someone says something like this to me my response is, “Let me say that back to you so you can hear what I just heard.” I think until someone else says it to us, we don’t realize what we sound like. We sound like rivals instead of spouses. We sound like people who are looking out for ourselves instead of the interest of our spouse.

You don’t serve your spouse because they deserve it or because they do it for you, you do it because you are called to. You don’t meet your spouses needs because they meet yours, you do it because you are called to.

How would your marriage change if you did what God called you to instead of what you felt your spouse deserved?