A happy marriage requires a lot of different skills.
From clear communication and empathy to more mundane tasks like budgeting and cleaning the house, leading a family really does involve a long list of talents and abilities.
It can be a bit overwhelming to consider all that’s required of us on a weekly or even a daily basis. There’s so much to do!
The Beauty of Partnership
The great news is that we’re blessed as married couples with a teammate.
There’s a good chance that your spouse complements you and lightens your individual load considerably.
But have you ever taken a moment to consider just what’s involved or been proactive to discuss whether you’re split of the responsibilities makes the most sense?
In the midst of the daily grind and the chaos that sometimes comes with raising a family, it’s really easy to lose sight of what your husband or wife brings to the table. And sometimes we end up taking on roles by default and never pausing to think about why.
My family was sitting in church a few weeks ago listening to the readings, and this passage from Corinthians really got me thinking:
Brothers and sisters:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom;
to another, the expression of knowledge according to the
to another, faith by the same Spirit;
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit;
to another, mighty deeds;
to another, prophecy;
to another, discernment of spirits;
to another, varieties of tongues;
to another, interpretation of tongues.
But one and the same Spirit produces all of these,
distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
Of course, this was written to speak about our spiritual gifts, but I think we’re all blessed with gifts and abilities that can make a really practical difference in our marriages.
Talk About Your Strengths & Adjust Accordingly
In our household, we’ve modified our roles over time, especially as circumstances have changed (becoming parents changed everything!).
However, Bethany and I have always tried to be really aware of our individual strengths and use them to manage our household the best way we can.
A few examples – I’m the “nerd” who has a knack for managing our finances and planning ahead for change. Bethany is an amazing caretaker who feels real pride from an orderly household. I’m great at getting physical and wrestling with the kids, while she has remarkable patience when it comes to reading stories or settling their arguments.
There will always be the “stuff” of life to contend with (no one feels particularly fulfilled cleaning toilets), but there are many aspects in your marriage where identifying your strengths and deciding proactively who is best suited to handle big tasks will come in handy.
One book (among several) that we love to recommend to engaged or newly married couples is StrengthsFinder 2.0. It’s a self-assessment guide that will help you discover or reinforce you innate strengths.
Another helpful tool that will guide you to the areas that “fill your love tank” and make you feel fulfilled is The Five Love Languages.
Take some time this week to discuss all those areas that are needed to make your home run smoothly, consider each of your strengths, and plan how to execute accordingly.
God has blessed you and your spouse with many talents – be sure you’re blessing each other by putting them to good use!