When my husband and I were going through pre-marital counseling, our pastor had us discuss roles and responsibilities we would each have as a married couple. He suggested we write out how we expected the household chores to the divided, among other things. In our we’re-gonna-be-newlyweds bliss we had a very difficult time doing this. We came to the conclusion that we would split just about everything right down the middle and we would work together on Matt’s day off to keep our household running smoothly. Our pastor wisely and gently informed us things probably wouldn’t work out like that.
Why the 50/50 Plan Doesn’t Work
While the 50/50 Plan may sound like a great concept for marriage, the truth is–it’s not a biblical principle. Unfortunately, many Christians couples have been deceived by this worldly mentality and are struggling to find joy and peace in their marriage. This is because the 50/50 Plan often ends in selfishness. The Bible admonishes us to a strive toward a higher calling of humility.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.” -Philippians 2:3
Another weakness of the 50/50 Plan is that it is impossible to determine when and if your spouse has met you halfway. Couples are rarely able to agree where the halfway mark is, especially when selfish ambition begins to creep in due to exhaustion and our sinful nature. Instead of working as a team and striving to become one, you spend our time trying to keep score and making sure that you aren’t doing more than your fair share. What a mess!
While keeping score, you tend to allow your emotions to dictate your actions, focus on one another’s weaknesses and end up with merit and performance based acceptance. This is nothing like the unconditional love of Christ that our relationship is supposed to mirror.
Moving Toward the 100/100 Plan in Your Marriage
In their book Starting Your Marriage Right, Dennis and Barbara Rainey define the 100/100 Plan as both partners saying to each other–in word and action, “I will do what I can to love you without demanding an equal amount in return.” By tuning out that little voice that is continually nagging us to consider whether our spouse deserves our love and kindness, we can serve them with a gracious and humble heart.
Learning to give your 100% requires an entire change of heart and mind. You must be totally commitment to God, relying on Him to give you a heart for you husband and his needs instead of your own. This attitude can come only from from the Lord through the working of the Holy Spirit. It is not natural for us to put another person ahead of ourselves. It requires commitment, sacrifice and a whole lot of grace.
May we strive to be wives of humility. While the sacrifice may be difficult at first, it will become easier as it becomes a habit and the result will be worth the effort. God will bless our marriage as we strive to serve one another (and Him!) by giving of ourselves unconditionally, out of obedience to the Lord and love for our husbands.
How will you demonstrate unconditional love to your husband today?