In our world today, we see marriages crumbling for many reasons. One reason is an imbalance. Imbalance happens when a small thing is out of its designed purpose and it can create a negative impact.
In the challenges of relationships, we are learning balance; growing together and walking agreed. Just as a proper balance will help the wear and tear on your vehicle’s tires, so will it help in your relationships. Marriage is the most important relationship in our lives outside of our walk with Christ. Anything of unity is a threat to the devil – he wars against it.
One of his missions is to divide and bring an imbalance to relationships. Solomon shows us the danger of an imbalance. In Proverbs 11:1:
“A false balance is an abomination of the Lord: but a just weight is his delight. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.”
Balance shows order and symmetry. When things are operating in order, they build health and deepen intimacy. But when we put ourselves first, things go out of balance—quickly. We become more aware of taking for ourselves, rather than giving of ourselves.
Here are three ways to guard against imbalance in marriage:
This is a sacred act between husband and wife. Our world has cheapened this act and made it casual. Keeping ourselves for our spouse is a holy endeavor. As a marriage grows, so does our love for our spouse. Sex is an expression of love and as each spouse learns each other, and prefers the other above themselves. This is how passion is cultivated.
Personal connections forge romance and care for each other’s soul. Sex is more than just feelings and desires expressed, but a time to impart our soul. This intimate connection builds security and closeness. Sex, in a balanced way, guards your marriage.
A sexless marriage can suffer due to various reasons. There may be an abusive past experience which creates internal brokenness. Your spouse may think about sex as a dirty or selfish act. Often body image or health issues makes a spouse feel ugly and unwanted, lowering the libido drive.
How to move forward from here?
- Talk about it with each other. Be patient.
- Seek counseling to help create creative ways to help each other without placing demands upon one another.
- Strengthen your image and self-worth by heeding to how Christ looks at you.
- Take small steps to do what you can now to take care of yourself, your body, soul and spirit.
Comparing and competing with the world’s standard and with other couples will only lead to frustration. Find what works for you both to restore balance. Satan can take advantage of temptation, so each spouse must keep themselves accountable and humble before God in these seasons.
Learning to have a balanced relationship with our in-laws keeps them from becoming outlaws (play the Wild West music, please.) We owe so much to our parents; we are who we are largely because of them. Often as their kids get married, the parents want to continue to vicariously live their lives through them and maintain control. This can be the source of a lot of conflicts; boundaries are what protect the marital mystery and the parental relationship.
Parents transition from parenting, to coaching as the child comes of age. When the child leaves the house and enters their marital covenant, the effective platform of encouragement becomes coaching and being available to offer advice in times of need. Coaching is when we share our view (without expectation of implementation) and let the outcome happen as it may. This empowers the husband and wife to lead and direct their marriage without someone imposing their perspective upon them.
Insecurity creates imbalance by overcompensation. The overreaching and interference often grow from the feeling of being replaced and “no longer needed”. This can be a strong projection and a lie. We take on an important new role of encouragement and support by coaching. Seeing the value in your roles protects the future of the relationship.
Money is a good servant but a terrible master. When you look at someone’s spending patterns, you can see what their values are. Typically, there are spenders and savers. Friction can result when you’re not on the same page with your spouse. Especially when balancing the budget, communication and negotiation is needed to determine a single, unified direction as you build your future together. Frequent communication will help minimize fear and misunderstandings.
Often two thoughts will prevail in dealing with money. “Scarcity thinking” is driven by fear, where we find ourselves thinking we will never have enough. This results in holding on tightly to what we have now.
The second way of thinking is “abundant thinking”, where whatever little we have, we have chosen to be content with it. This thinking can infuse joy and perspective. It is healthy to be content but not satisfied.
Identify your primary pattern of thinking and initiate balance by planning on how and on what to spend your money. Often the more extreme one spouse gets, the other spouse finds a way to make their way happen.
Not perfect but being perfected
There is no perfectly balanced marriage; simply a life-long journey of constant adjustments. Ways to stay flexible to change is:
- Pray together.
- Purpose to revolve around healthy people that are an example of the kind of marriage you want to build.
- As problems arise, resist the tendency to be problem-centric and blame each other.
- Reassess your vision and remind each other of the big picture.
- Compromise is normal as long as you’re walking agreed in the same direction.
Throughout your walk together, keep your eyes on the perfect example: Jesus. And always remember you both are on the same team!