How to Make Your Marriage a Team
by: Sandy Domelle
They often say that there is no “I” in team. A team that is going to be successful must take out the “I” so they can win. When you get married, you become a team. It’s not about “I” or “me,” but for a happy and successful marriage it becomes “us” or “we.” The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 13:11, “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” You will notice in this verse that in order to have peace there must be one mind. That means that if you are going to have peace in your marriage, you and your spouse must have one mind about everything that you do. God further expresses this truth in Philippians 2:2-3 when He says, “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”Notice again that to be of one mind you cannot make your marriage about you; instead, you must be a team. Let me show you several areas you can work on so that your marriage can be a team.
When you talk say, “we” and not “I.” Be sure to always think of you and your spouse as a couple and not as individuals. This mentality makes us stop to be more deliberate in what we are saying and also makes us more selective in what we will say. When we got married, we became a team. I serve my husband, but he in returns serves me. We watch out for each other, we meet each other’s needs, we encourage each other, etc. In so doing, our bond is made stronger and we do think of each other as a team in marriage, parenting, the Christian life, etc.
Understand the roles of authority. A team will never be of one mind when everyone is vying for the top position. In order for a team to be successful, then each person on the team needs to understand their role. Likewise, for a marriage to be of one mind, each spouse needs to understand their role of authority in the home and fulfill that role.
Be willing to give in so you can be of one mind. Let’s face it, we will not always agree with our spouse. So to be of one mind, you must be willing to give in so that one mind may prevail. Yes, that may mean you may not get your way, but it will make the marriage happier if you will learn to let one mind prevail when there is disagreement.
Separate duties so you can be of one mind. The duties in the home can be divided up into several different categories. Once you divide the duties in the home, decide who will be in charge of each area. For instance, the wife can be in charge of home decorations while the husband can be in charge of the outside appearance. One spouse can be in charge of the finances while the other spouse may be in charge of the schedule of family activities. If you are not in charge of an area, you need to be sure to follow your spouse in that area so that you are of one mind. If you start meddling in an area that is not yours then you will cause your home not to have one mind.
Submit to each other so you can be of one mind. You will never achieve being of one mind unless each spouse decides to submit to each other. Submission means to give in when you don’t want to do something and have the power not to do it. For the sake of being of one mind, each spouse needs to be willing to submit to the other. When each spouse is willing to submit, you will not have any selfish attitudes that cause arguments with each other.
Always talk highly of your spouse! Nothing is more disheartening to me than being around other ladies who constantly downgrade their husbands. When we got married, we thought our husband could do no wrong. He was, and still should be, the most wonderful man in the world, and one whom we would follow to the end of the world. There comes a time in marriage when it is easy to become comfortable in who we are and we start changing the way we do things. You once followed, but now you push to lead. You were once submissive, but now you demand. You once couldn’t say enough about how hard your husband worked and provided for you and your family; now he can’t ever do anything to please you and make you happy. If this is the case, you need to step back and reevaluate things in your marriage. You then need to make it the utmost priority to start praying and working at getting things back on track. Am I saying you will agree with your spouse 100% of the time? No! We each think differently, but the more we work as a team and become “we” and not just “I,” the more we think alike and are less self-centered. Don’t divulge all the things you hate that your husband does to your relatives and close friends. They don’t need to know your “family dirt.” You don’t need to tell them the things with which you disagree. I find often when I disagree with my hubby it’s something that “I” selfishly want, and it’s not something “we” as a couple need. If you married Prince Charming and he could do no wrong, work to keep him Prince Charming not just in your eyes, but also in the eyes of those around you. The more we focus on the positives in life, the more we talk about them and go forward. If you dwell on the negatives, your life has no purpose.
Agree on all parenting issues together in private before making a decision. It’s very unsettling to me to hear of parents who make decisions based on what their children want. I grew up in a family that was preparing to go the mission field. As a 15 almost 16 year old girl, I cannot tell you how many people told my parents that they were foolish in taking me to the mission field. They felt that my parents should wait until I was out of my teenage years and then go. God’s will for my parents life wasn’t based on my age. God’s will for their life was based on God’s will for my life as well. Thank the Lord that I had parents who didn’t come and ask their children what they wanted, but privately made decisions based on God’s will and followed through.
Many people hesitate to do God’s will because of teenage children. Do you know that you rob them of God’s richest blessings and rewards? Going to the Philippines as a teenage girl transformed my life. I don’t regret for a moment that my parents took me. What I learned in those years molded me to be who I am today. I’m so thankful that my parents didn’t come and ask me if I wanted to go. I was told we were going, and it was the next step in life. Your children are too young to know what is best for them. That’s why God provided them with parents. When God calls you to go and serve, there is never a stipulation on it. When God has a will for your life and you put it on hold, you are teaching your children that when tough things come up, or they don’t want to do it, or they have uncertainty and aren’t sure, they can just put it on hold. God’s greatest rewards come from following God’s will and going forward, not by allowing other’s to change God’s will for you.
Be of one mind concerning your standards and convictions for your home. As a team, you both need to teach standards to your children. You need to make sure you are personally following them, and you need to make sure not just one parent is enforcing them.
Be of one mind concerning your finances. It is very important to have sound finances to keep your marriage happy. One of the main causes of marital strife and divorce is finances. To keep your finances sound, you and your spouse need to have one mind about how you handle your finances. It can’t be that one is a spender and the other saves. It must be that both work as a team to properly use the finances so that you aren’t always digging yourself out of a hole. If you are of one mind with your finances, then you have a better chance of being financially successful.
You will never stumble upon a happy marriage. To have a happy marriage, you and your spouse must decide to be of one mind. Take the “I” out of your marriage and become a team that works together to have the happy marriage that God intended for you to have.