Mutual Participation In Marriage

December 14, 2012

Mutual Participation In Marriage 

 

               In order for a husband and wife to enjoy the maximum harmony and happiness in marriage it’s essential that they be mutually agreed to share their lives together.  That begins by publicly exchanging their wedding vows in the marriage ceremony.  From then on they walk together.  In the Bible we read of the mutual benefits of sharing.  “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.   For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.    Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?    And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken”  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

Sharing is admirable.  There are many advantages, but at the same time it demands something.  Selfishness and sharing are mutually exclusive.  Sharing puts emphasis on the word “our” and not on the word “mine.”

Many live to get, not to give.  Many marriages are damaged, if not ruined, by selfishness.  Luke 6:38 works beautifully in marriage.  “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  The more you give, the more you get is true if both live to make their mate happy.

Even in the best of marriages there are still things that go under the heading of “mine” and “yours.”  Your clothes and your tooth brush are examples.  There are also a number of things that should be “Ours.”  Here are some examples.

Money

Even if both are working, your money should be pooled.  If not, there will be conflicts in the marriage.  Who pays for this or that?  No, we pay with our money.

Household duties

There are household duties that normally correspond to the wife and others to the husband.  It’s best that the wife be the housewife.  That means that she makes the decisions about the house.  Husbands should gladly share in things like moving heavy furniture, taking out the garbage and fixing things.  If the wife is working also it will mean that her husband should be willing to share in more household duties like washing dishes and vacuuming the carpet.

Child care

“Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table”  (Psalm 128:3)  If a vine is to produce it must have the proper care.  It’s extremely important that both husband and wife be in agreement about the rules and moral standards they expect their children to abide by.

When a man comes home from work he should take time to care for and play with his children.  That way, his wife can have some time free to do what she wants to do.  He needs to uphold her in the discipline of the children.  It’s only right for the wife to look to her husband as an authority and uphold her.  Corporal discipline of the children should be shared by both.

The Marriage act

When the marriage relationship is what it should be, there is a satisfaction and thrilling sensation when couples share their bodies in what is commonly called the “marriage act.”  The Scriptures say in I Corinthians 7:3-5 “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.   The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.   Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”

Patience

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).   We must be patient with one another.  Maybe it’s not something that can be called sharing, but it’s necessary.  Without it, a root of bitterness will spring up and thwart your relationship.

These are just a few examples of mutual participation.  Galatians 5:13 says “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”  Love lightens the load of burdens we carry for the well being of our mate.

We also need to share our pain and anxieties.  That doesn’t just mean that we tell them to one another.  It also means that we comfort, encourage and uphold one another.  I have seen some excellent examples of this when someone’s mate is left an invalid and has to be cared for by the other.  That’s what is implied in the “For better or for worse” in the marriage vows.  Sometimes our mate has done something stupid that brings shame and disgrace upon us.  We need to be quick to forgive and forget.  Of course, the other should say “I’m sorry.”  Men need to keep in mind that the Bible says that the wife is the weaker vessel.  “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” ( I Peter 3:7).

Marriage suffers when there isn’t mutual participation.  Many times one is more willing to share than the other.  For the well being of your marriage, ask yourself, “Am I doing my part?”  Fortunate is the couple where there is good communication.  That’s something else we need to share.  Be open with your mate about your feelings.  Listen with attention when your mate has a complaint.

A happy marriage is beautiful.  It has its price, but it’s an investment with a liberal dividend.    Instead of asking yourself what you can get out of your marriage you need to ask what more you can give it.  If both think this way it’s certain that theirs will be a happy marriage.

Conclusion

If you are having problems in your marriage you would do well to give serious consideration to what you have just read.  It could very well save your marriage.  Even if you aren’t having marriage problems, mutual participation will enhance your marriage.

 

Our e-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

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