Who is in Charge in the Couple?
So that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the god and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:6.
Power! Control! More power! More control! Nations want power, corporations strive for power, politicians want power, interest groups want power.
It seems that everyone has this determined drive to gain more power and control. Marriages are not immune from this unquenchable thirst.
Power struggles are one of the biggest perpetrators of conflict in marriage. Couples argue about many issues, but underlying many of them is a power struggle.
Dictionaries provide a variety of definitions for the word “power.” One is the possession of control, authority or influence over others.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines authority as “power or right to enforce obedience . . . the right to command or give an ultimate decision.”
Therefore, in a marital relationship when one partner has the bulk of the power or authority, he or she has most of the control and makes most of the decisions!
The person on the other side then feels inferior, dependent, abused, neglected and downtrodden and has attitudes of dejection, anger and resentment.
Years ago we raised shelties in our home. A sheltie looks like a miniature collie and is an intelligent dog—until it gets into a tug-of-war with another puppy.
They both sit there and pull and pull on the towel and neither of them gets anywhere. They wear themselves out pulling, trying to get the towel away from the other puppy.
If they were really smart, they might figure out that what they are doing isn’t working. If one sheltie would let up on one end of the towel, it would probably knock the other puppy off balance, dislodge the towel and then the smart puppy could run away with it all to itself.
When Jesus Christ is Lord of you, your partner and your marriage, several good things will happen to enhance and enrich your marriage.
Consider these possibilities:
Jesus as Lord of your marriage relieves each of you of the burden of “lording it over” the other.
It is part of our fallen nature to want to control each other rather than sacrificially to serve one another. When we submit ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, however, competition turns into loving empathy.
Enrolling ourselves under the lordship of Jesus Christ turns each of us into both the student and the teacher of the other.
Jesus opens our hearts to each other and enables us to learn from each other.
A husband and wife with Jesus as Lord have in Him a higher authority than themselves, and thus they do not insist on “playing God” in the lives of their children.
When we feel we are the final authority over our children, we lose our capacity to learn from them.
Husbands and wives with Jesus as Lord have in Him a leader in times of major decision-making.
When we turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and open our consciences to His Spirit’s leading, some new events, remembrances, and forgotten facts will come to us. A whole new pattern will emerge.
When Jesus is Lord of our marriages, He keeps us from idolizing each other and expecting each other to be perfect.
He enables us to affirm each other’s humanness, and to bear the burdens of each other’s faults, thus fulfilling the law of Christ.
What can you say to your partner after reading this?
H. Norman Wright is a licensed Family Counselor and child therapist and has taught in the Grad. Department of Biola University. He is the author of more than seventy books