I was in my last year of college, and I was talking with one of my professors about what my life might look like…my future… marriage… you know, just light casual conversation. And she gave me some incredible advice that served me well. That stately little powerhouse of a lady told me to make sure I married a young lady who was my equal because we were going to be partners in marriage.
She went to say that I should choose someone who was strong enough to challenge me in all areas of my life… because that would push me to always be moving forward in order to be the leader in our family. She went on to clarify that by saying I should be the leader did not infer that I would better than my wife or superior… just fulfilling my role and responsibility.
She talked about the fact that in a marriage, both the husband and the wife are partners… equals. But she went on to say that, although they are equals, each one has a unique, God-given, God-designed role. My role was to lead and give her an example… to stay far enough ahead of her to challenge her to press forward for more, but by choosing a strong spouse that I would never be able to run off and leave her behind. And yet not someone so strong that she could run off and leave me in the dust.
It boiled down to finding an equal, and respecting that she was my equal… my partner in this marriage.
That was amazing advice… and I am so glad I took it! And boy did I evermore find an equal in PR31! That girl keeps me on my toes. Her generosity challenges my faith to believe I can be more generous. Her prayer life challenges me to stay more in-tune with the Lord. Her discipline and commitment level challenge me to do more than not quit, but to take it up a notch.
Neither one of us has ever felt superior to the other that I can recall. We are in this thing together… equals… partners. We respect each other. And we respond to each other as we fulfill our roles in the relationship.
To view someone as your equal is to show them the respect they deserve… and who wouldn’t want to spend their life in a loving relationship with someone who feels like that about them?
This works in other relationships also…
What if bosses treated their employees as equals instead of subordinates? What if parents treated their kids with dignity and respect as equal members of the family? What if students treated their teachers like real people just like themselves?
Respect. Dignity. Equals. Partners. In this together. This is a great way to build a great relationship.
So why not give these three ideas a try over the next week… or month? Why not learn to apologize well… communicate clearly… and give respect? It could end up making a marriage… or any other relationship great!