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, 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 happen 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 in 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. As things are operating in order, they built health and deepen intimacy. As 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 examples 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 them 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 many reasons; a bad or abusive past experience which creates internal brokenness. Also, the way your spouse thinks about sex as a dirty or selfish act. Often body image or health issues make the spouse feel ugly and unwanted and lowers the libido drive.
How to move forward from here?
- Talk about it with each other and be patient.
- Seek counseling to help create creative ways to help each other without demanding of one another.
- Strengthen your image and self-worth by heeding to how Christ looks at you.
- Talk small steps to do what you can now to talk care of yourself body, soul and spirit.
Comparison and competing with the world’s standard and other couples will only lead to frustration. Find what works with 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 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 be available for 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 on them.
Insecurity creates imbalance by overcompensation. The overreaching and interference are because of the feeling of being replaced and “no longer needed”. This can be a strong projection that is 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 negotiating is needed to determine one 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”, which is when we are driven by fear thinking that we will never have enough. This results in holding on tight to what we have now. Or, “abundant thinking”, which is 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 the patterns of thinking you are in and initiate balance by planning on how and what to spend your money on. Often the more extreme one spouse will get, it will cause the other spouse to find a way to make their way happen.
There is no perfect, balanced marriage, there are 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 the 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.
Keep looking at the perfect example – Jesus, and remember you both are on the same team.
Jason is a graduate from Maryland Bible College and Seminary, and presently he leads the Pastoral Care Team of Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. Since age 16, Jason has been involved with mission work among the former Soviet-Bloc countries in Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia, and in the United States. While living in Ukraine, he helped church plant three new churches that continue to thrive today under trained nationals. He has also written five books and has his own podcast (tinyurl.com/IRpodcast)