The idea of giving more and demanding less would help many marriages if both spouses were willing to put forth the concept into action. As humans no matter what or who we believe in… whether we call Jesus Christ our Savior or not we are at heart selfish individuals to our core. Like children we tend to be automatically ego-centric in nature, wondering when our next turn will be, when we will get our chance, when our time will come and what will benefit us. Ultimately we are comparable to the preschooler on the playground wanting our turn with the ball, the slide, our turn to speak over the others and ensuring we get our pocketful of praise… and throw in a gold sticker too, please.
We may look inward to ourselves at times but that doesn't bode well within our marriages. Looking outward instead will ensure we are looking to God for guidance and loving Him… which then affects how we love our spouse. Selfishness is the root of all marital discontentment and discord. It's putting ourselves on a pedestal instead of stepping down and looking upward to God and asking Him what we can do to give, to serve our loved one.
When we demand we begin to nag, harangue, expect and then follow with some form of consequence if those demands are not met by our spouse. This is when silence, yelling, stonewalling, distance, even tit for tat and walls built including resentment begin taking root between a couple.
How can we demand less of our spouse?
We can demand less by asking ourselves this question…
What can I do to make this issue better?
If one person (or both) is stubbornly determined to stay in their corner and not budge from their perspective or stance it may be time for the other spouse to step up, (someone needs to) to take the relationship reins and guide it to a better place. If you were in a boat with your spouse and you lost an oar you wouldn't just shrug your shoulders and declare "Oh, well!" and then pitch the other oar in the water and sit uselessly. That would be insane. You'd also realize it was childishly stupid to argue over who had to steer with the last oar. You'd instead perhaps come to realize that your spouse may not have the ability to pick up their oar and keep going… like in a frozen immobile state they are stuck… someone has to be the strong one, grab the other oar and get you both moving in a better direction. What can you do to make the issue better? Pick up your oar and get moving… take some initiative… it's either keep moving toward something beautiful like a setting sun in the distance together or move toward a dry desolate land where attorneys and judges lie in wait for you to throw up your arms in defeat and sign the divorce papers.
Obviously not all marriages can benefit from the idea of giving more, demanding less… especially in cases of abuse or even in some cases of infidelity where change is not desired by the one who cheated… the general concept of giving more and demanding less is most helpful in marriages where infidelity, abuse and addictions are absent. But for couples arguing over lesser issues like housework management, child rearing, balancing work and family… in the attempt to prevent these workable issues becoming larger than life looming battles… couples can be proactive in heading them off earlier rather than later.
The next time we begin to slide into a self-pity pile of "Me, Me, Me… What about me?" thinking we can take pause and realize this isn't a reflection of Christ… this is a reflection of self and ego. We can choose to stop holding demands of our spouse and instead ask ourselves: What can I give them?
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014