There may be some of you out there who really like math. So how about it, a math challenge for you? Actually, it’s not that hard of a challenge, but it may boggle your mind! It did mine.
Jackie recently shared with me this revelation from the Lord about a math equation that relates to marriage.
In our society today, the general “formula for success” that seems to be taught is the “50/50 principle” or the rule of equality. This is believed to make for true and fair happiness and peace. But the Bible tells us that the Devil is crafty and a deceiver, and this theory of his is no exception. So let’s look for a moment at the actual facts of the 50/50 formula.
Lets start with the basic equation where both people expect to get 50% out of the relationship. It’s supposed to be equal right? 50% benefit for her and 50% benefit for him. What do we have left? I know what you are thinking, but wait let’s do the numbers:
Here’s the math:
|The wife takes||50%|
|The husband takes||50%|
|What’s left?||-100% [because 0 -50 -50 = -100]|
Ok, so you say, “Wait a minute, we are both going to do 50% of the work also! We are going to each give 50% in the relationship as well.” That changes the equation a bit and gives us the following results:
Here’s the math for “generous equality”:
|The wife gives and takes||50%|
|The husband gives and takes||50%|
|What’s left?||0% [because (50-50) + (50-50) = 0]|
If the husband takes 50% and gives 50%, and the wife takes 50% and gives 50%, what is left? Well, there is nothing (0%)–because each person takes back exactly what he put in. Thus, the very best marriage without God’s principle of self-giving is nothing. It is merely a vapor, a chasing after the wind.
In reality, however, in many worldy (and even “Christian”) marriages, each partner does not give 50%. Instead the true focus is “What can I get from this marriage? How can my needs be met?” (emotionally, physically, financially, in power and control, etc.). With this focus, the marriage quickly disinegrates below the “zero” point and into the “red”. For often, the husband and wife are each selfishly taking 80, 90 or even 100%. If each partner takes 100% from the marriage, the marriage math equation becomes a very unhappy negative 200 percent (-200%)!
Alas, the 50/50 marriage principle is at its best NOTHING … and at its worst, it can be a negative 200%!
But with a marriage that is wrought in God and in true love, the equation is much different. True Love is summarized in the Bible as loving God, first, and obeying His commandments, and then in loving our neighbor as ourselves (which would include our husband or wife) and laying down our lives for one another. With this formula, the focus is no longer “What can I get out of this relationship?” but rather “What can I give? How can I bless my husband or wife?” Thus, the true Christian gives, not just a part of himself, but the whole. So in a godly marriage, each partner is giving 100% first to the Lord and then to one another. And what is the outcome of this equation? A positive 200%! “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor” (Ecclesiastes 4:9).
If you feel like your marriage is lacking, that your needs are not being met, or that you are not “getting” enough out of the relationship, you might want to consider if perhaps you have allowed the lie of the 50/50 principle to infiltrate your life. We are called to give and to follow the example of Christ. This is what leads to true joy, peace and satisfaction. “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, and we also ought to lay down our lives for one another” (1 John 3:16).
May you be blessed in knowing the power of Christ in your life whether single or married and we pray that you be willing to humbly receive His word which is able to give us freedom and power in this world.