There’s something healthy and satisfying about coming through when someone else is counting on you. Perhaps you’ve been in a relay race where you had to perform at your very best if the team was going to win. Or you and your business partner had different but critical roles in pulling off the big project, and you made it a success. You were indispensable.
It’s the same in your marriage.
Yes, your spouse has issues. But today we’re talking about you. And when it comes to your relationship, the stronger and healthier you become, the better your marriage can become. As in a relay race or a joint business project, if you do your part with more excellence, the end result will be that much more excellent.
As you take charge of your own wellbeing and do what it takes to get better, your marriage gets better also. Here’s how.
Your Contribution Becomes More Positive
Look at your marriage as objectively as you can. What is your impact on the relationship? Is your old baggage weighing the marriage down? What emotional temperature are you setting in your home? Is your contribution to the marriage a net gain – or a net loss? Are you adding to, or taking away?
The important news is that since this is focusing on you, you can do something about it.
As you deal with your old “stuff” and experience healing and growth, your contribution naturally becomes more positive. When you take care of yourself physically, you have more energy to be present and involved. As you gain greater emotional maturity and intelligence, your ability to engage in intimacy increases. A more real and vital relationship with God means you’re more aware of and able to cooperate with what He is doing in your relationship also.
So, what’s the quality of your contribution to the relationship? Or said another way, what’s it like to be married to you? And what steps are you going to take to increase your ability to make a positive contribution?
Your Spouse is Stimulated and Encouraged
In the old movie As Good as it Gets, Jack Nicholson pays Helen Hunt the best compliment ever: “You make me want to be a better man.”
Does your spouse want to be a better person because of you?
As you get better your spouse will feel the invitation to get better too. As you change the steps you are dancing, your spouse will be pulled into a different dance as well. If your spouse is a person of good will, your growth will encourage growth in them.
It’s what the Bible writer encouraged: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24)
Note: Have you learned yet that criticism or trying to control doesn’t work? We’re talking about being an invitation to growth, not trying to drive someone else to change. And the more mature you become, the less you try to control anyway.
You can’t control how your spouse responds to the stimulation to grow that your growth provides. They can turn down the invitation. But if you become better your spouse will automatically have to respond in some way.
Your Relationship Becomes Stronger
Marriage is not additive; two halves don’t make a whole. Marriage is multiplicative. Two half people create a marriage that’s less than either of them individually. But two whole people working together can create more beauty than there ever was before.
None of us becomes 100% whole here in this life. But the capacity of your marriage to be what God intended it to be, and what you want it to be, is greatly increased as you experience your own healing and growth.
As you deal with your old baggage the marriage has more possibility to become whole. As you optimize your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing your greater contribution to the marriage means the whole becomes greater. And when both spouses are involved in their individual growth process, the compounding effect can be amazingly wonderful.
This does not mean you won’t face problems going forward. The good news is that couples who persevere in working through marriage challenges experience even more connection and satisfaction than before. But the point today is that your investment in your own wellbeing has implications far beyond just you individually.
Your marriage deserves you getting better.
Your Turn: How would you characterize your contribution to your marriage? What are you going to do in becoming able to make a more whole contribution?
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- As you grow in maturity and wellbeing, your marriage becomes better too. You contribute more, your spouse feels encouraged to contribute more, and your marriage becomes stronger. Tweet that.
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