I will never forget something our pastor said to us when we were going through premarital counseling many years ago.
“A marriage isn’t two people each giving 50%,” he said. “It’s two people each giving 100%.”
This hit me. Hard.
I had always thought of relationships as 50/50 propositions. You each give. And you each take. You try to make it as equal as possible. Right?
It is give. And it is take. That is correct.
But it isn’t giving half of yourself.
It’s giving all of yourself. It’s two people giving everything they can to each other. It’s two people trying their best to love each other well, each and every day.
Will it be perfect?
Marriage is two imperfect people coming together. There is absolutely no such thing as a perfect marriage.
Does the give and take always look equal? No.
There are some seasons when it is more give. And more take. I may need more from my spouse right now than he does from me. And vice a versa.
But it all balances out. It’s a beautiful dance.
You may hear this 100% giving of yourself and think, that sounds nice in theory, but do you know how exhausted I am? After caring for the kids. And my house. And my job. And all of the things. I am lucky to give 5%.
It may feel that way.
But giving 100% doesn’t mean you are giving perfection. It simply means you are trying your best. Just like we tell our kids when they get a lower grade than they wanted on a test. Did you try your best? Did you give it your all? That’s all we ever ask.
Marriage is two imperfect people loving each other. Supporting each other. Listening to each other. Accepting each other. Giving each other grace. Lots. And lots. And lots of grace.
It’s picking up the slack when the other person needs it most. It’s letting go of past mistakes. And not holding grudges.
It’s living in the moment. And addressing concerns as they arise.
It’s owning your mistakes. And saying I’m sorry.
And forgiving. Just as you long to be forgiven.What I give every day isn’t based on what my husband is giving to me. And that is the most beautiful part of the dance. I give 100% because of the love I have for him. And he gives 100% because of the love he has for me.
And back and forth and back and forth it goes.
Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen. She can be found on her blog at Truly Yours Jen and on Facebook and on Instagram