Your Half of the Apple
By Sabrina McDonald
A couple I saw on TV recently could compete for the illustrious title of “Cheapest Marriage.”
To save money, they showered together, timing it for five minutes to save water. He used her suds to wash his hair. They even shared the same toothbrush and floss. (Ew.)
In the kitchen, each purchased assigned foods from their separate bank accounts, and initialed items like eggs so neither would take more than half. Favorite snacks were locked in a cabinet to keep the other out.
You might say, “If it works for them, what’s the problem?”
But I wonder, at what point does it stop working?
What happens when one spouse is sick? Do they still share floss? Or if one has a car accident and needs money from the other? Will that spouse insist the money be paid back?
Money often holds a lot of power in marriage. But when you give it too much decision-making clout, it can be the demise of your relationship.
Especially in a 50/50 marriage like theirs, where score-keeping reigns. Fights ensue when one spouse feels a shift shorting their side of that deal.
I’m not saying being economical is wrong. I’m a self-proclaimed penny pincher.
But I am saying when you start labeling eggs, locking up treats, or drawing lines of perfect equality, you’ve probably gone too far.
The Bible teaches us to live generously. Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). He also said, if we give generously, then God will also give to us generously (Luke 6:38). And what better place to practice generosity than with your spouse?
For starters, we can stop keeping score—opting to wholly love our spouse, rather than basing it on the level we feel we receive.
A generous marriage can still pinch pennies, but it doesn’t ask, “Did I get my half of the apple?” Instead, it offers the whole apple out of love.
The good stuff: “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Mark 4:24-25)
Action points: Does the 50/50 standard guide your marriage? Consider how it may be hurting a spirit of generosity in your marriage. What would a spirit of generosity toward your spouse look like?
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