Give It All

Are you a taker or a giver in relationships? Are you the type of person that desires to give it all in your marriage or are you always thinking about your own needs? I’ve heard so many couples say that marriage is about each person giving 50%. I can tell you that if you do that, you will struggle in your marriage. We are called to give 100% to our spouse. We are called to give it all! Some time ago, I heard a message from Danny Silk, a popular Christian minister, in which he addressed the incongruity that many couples have when it comes to marriage. Many think that marriage is more about what they are going to get rather than what they were called to give. Many people get married thinking that marriage will make them happier as people. The truth as Jesus said-

“It is more blessed to give than to receive. ” Acts 20:35

What does it mean to love your spouse and to give? In his book The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman defined love in very concrete terms. We can think of loving our spouse in terms of giving them giftsquality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, or physical touch. This is one way of expressing love to your spouse, and it will benefit your marriage. Gary Chapman took it further in his book and posited that we can find our spouse’s strongest love language and love her or him in a more targeted way.

This is a great start, but love must go beyond love languages in my opinion. The apostle Paul went further in the area of love when he discussed love and submission in the book of Ephesians. It’s not only about finding your spouse’s love language, but about a deeper type of love.

Ephesians 5:25 says  “Husbands, love your wife, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

In order to truly love your wife, you must give your life for her. Giving yourself up for your wife means putting her needs first and your needs second in many cases. Giving your life up for your spouse means to purposely think  and understand about your wife’s needs, desires, and dreams. It does take some work, but it starts with setting aside time to communicate respectfully. Husbands, don’t be scared to bring your relationship to this level. You, your wife, and your marriage will be so blessed. It’s not that complicated, especially if you start early in your married life. It doesn’t mean that you have to say yes to everything your wife desires. It involves spending time and looking for ways to understand the way your wife feels.

To some people, making time to communicate might mean giving up time from your favorite hobby or sport in order to give full attention to the love of your life, your spouse. Remember those times when you were dating, you would do anything to spend quality time with that special person.

Paul goes even further when he talks about submitting. In Ephesians 5:21 it says “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”

God calls both husbands and wives to submit to each other, but the husband should take the starring role as the leader in the relationship. Typically, wives were seen as the ones who should submit. The truth is, the emphasis should be on the husband to submit to Christ . It is from there that submission takes place the way God intends it to be. What wife wouldn’t want to submit to her husband if her husband gave it all?

Submission takes humility, prayer, and dependence on the Holy Spirit. Submission implies a structural order in which a woman submits to her husband, out of a heart of love to God. It is not by force, but out of love that women choose to trust their husbands. At the same time, God’s word also says submit to one another, which also means men submit to your wives. It means surrendering to Christ and letting Him be your head so you can also be a Godly leader to your wife!

My opinion is that both husbands and wives should give it all, which means submitting to God first and to each other in love and respect. This is truly dying to self. Do you want a blessed, successful marriage? Give it all! Husbands and wives give it all, surrender to God, and listen to each other’s hearts. You won’t regret it!

This is the best way to start the New Year. Wouldn’t you agree with that? Here are some ways to get things started in your relationship. Carving out quality time can take effort, but with a little bit of planning, your marriage relationship will begin to thrive.

  1. Schedule a weekend just for the two of you.
  2. Have lunch together , breakfast or dinner once a week. On nice days, meet in a park. Brown bag it to save money.
  3. Let your children know that you two need time alone together.
  4. Take regular walks together.
  5. Do chores together like the dishes or weeding. It may not sound like quality time, but it can be.
  6. When you are running errands together, turn off the radio or CD player in the car and talk with one another.
  7. Take showers together. If you are too busy or tired to make love, schedule times that you know would work best for both of you.
  8. Be thoughtful and spontaneous in giving each other something. Anything from flowers to a love note. Don’t sweat it. Be curious in finding out your spouse’s love language.
  9. Spend 20 minutes a day in conversation making sure that you say something nice about each other.
  10. Arrange for a quiet evening at home alone once a month or schedule a regular date night.
  11. Hire a babysitter to watch the kids for a couple hours, even though you are home.
  12. Work out a deal with another couple to have them watch your kids overnight so you can have a romantic evening alone. Then you watch their children for them.
  13. Volunteer to be a presenting couple at Marriage Encounter type event or just attend one.
  14. Don’t forget to have fun in your marriage.
  15. Set aside time to pray together and make sure you let your spouse know that he/she is your most important priority after God. This will definitely  make your relationship thrive!