1 Corinthians 13:4-5
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;”
Every reasonable person knows there’s a right way and a wrong way to load a dishwasher. This being the gauge, it seems that a disproportionate amount of married couples are made up of one reasonable and one unreasonable partner. One statistic I’m sure I’ve heard somewhere proved scientifically that most marital strife comes from the unreasonable partner loading the dishwasher incorrectly. My wife claims she saw a statistic that most marital strife comes from the husband leaving all the kitchen cabinet doors open. Sounds like fake news to me.
The counsel I give to young couples before marriage is the same that I was given before April and I took our “big step” over 23 years ago. Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. We don’t strengthen our marriage by keeping track of and informing our spouse of their gaffs or variances from the right way to do things. It isn’t a contest, in fact, there are several things to remember when looking at this verse:
- When I win, WE lose. Relationships, especially marriages, are partnerships and partnerships grow through encouragement and support. But they’re weakened by nit-picking and criticizing. Marriage isn’t about ‘me,’ it’s about ‘we.’ In marriage, we learn to die to ourselves and put someone else before us.
- When You win, I win. Part of our responsibility in marriage is to be our partner’s biggest cheerleader and help them to become who God created them to be (not to mold them into our image). Those little barbs you are tempted to say when you’re frustrated weren’t put in your head by Jesus, and they don’t help the situation!
- You can’t trust the scorekeeper. It’s human nature for me to judge others by their actions and judge myself by my motives. We tend to cut ourselves slack when we compare and keep score. Besides, you don’t know all the times that your partner has cleaned up your messes.
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions:
- How might your marriage change if you redefined winning with we instead of me?
- In what areas do you need to be a cheerleader for your spouse? If you’re not married, think about the relationships in your life and how you might answer that same question.
- What are some ways that you can retire the scorekeeper in your head when it comes to your spouse and other significant relationships?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Jon Price, Associate Pastor