THE MARRIAGE ABCS
Copyright © Ufuomaee
I love that quote above so much! It sums up everything I am going to say… But if you have the time and interest, keep reading.
We live in a society that seems to value quantity over quality, even though we like to chant “quality over quantity.” Our actions show that we do not truly believe this. We want more, it doesn’t so much matter that the things we are gathering are insignificant, only that we have LOTS of it!! Isn’t that stupid?
Somehow we reckon that if we had enough QUANTITY it would inevitably add up to QUALITY of life… But this is a lie from the pit of hell! It is a lie from the Thief and Father of Lies, who comes to rob us of our valueable time, precious worth and irreplacable joy (John 10:10)! This is the spirit of Greed that has overtaken the world (1 Tim 6:9-10).
There is a reason the perpetual rat race is called such, because it is an unending and purposeless pursuit of something unattainable – ENOUGH. There is no such thing as enough quantitatively speaking. And besides, enough never made anyone happy, because there is still more. If we think and evaluate in terms of quantity, we will never be satisfied with what we have, even if we were the richest person in the world!
A human is not a physical container that can be filled with stuff!!! Stuff can never make us happy. Stuff is good only for the body. But we are made of so much more than flesh…
We desire and need something more intangible, to fill us…our minds and hearts and spirits. We should rather think in terms of quality, seeking what is good and worthwhile. With a qualitative mindset, we can have enough…also know as CONTENTMENT. With the spirit of Contentment, we can appreciate life, even if we are poor materially (Phil 4:12, 1 Tim 6:8). We can be satisfied and happy.
The Bible has some more things to say about this:
“Of course, godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim 6:6).
“Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife” (Prov 17:1).
“Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than he who is crooked though he be rich” (Prov 28:6).
There is a wisdom that goes “less is more”, but we often grumble at the less, rather than appreciating all the ways it blesses us. It is in the darkness that we can appreciate the stars. It is in facing trials that we can grow in character. It is in solitude that we can know and appreciate our individuality and spirituality. Sometimes, it takes poverty for us to realise the many free gifts of God abounding in nature.
And the rich have this saying, “more money more problems!” Isn’t that a truth? Money is like a baby, you’ve got to spend money on to help it grow and keep it safe. You look after your money in your youth, so that it will look after you in your old age… Did someone say Insurance? The more of it you have, the more diligent and accountable you must be! Unfortunately for some, money is the only ‘baby’ they will have or treasure! Everything is forsaken to keep it, and over the years, the true cost of their misplaced priorities becomes more apparent.
If we even consider our society that is so rich, so more “advanced”, so more knowledgeable, we can see that we have traded wisdom for knowledge, relationships for possessions, and health for wealth… The former seemed too abstract to quantify, so we went for what we could COUNT! Too many people are “penny wise, pound foolish” in this regard or “quantity wise, quality foolish”. Incredibly, you can have a thousand degrees and still be STUPID!
This phenomenal stupidity is a root cause of why marriages are failing, because we value possessions over relationships. We do not know how to LIVE like humans anymore, nor how to treat others like humans who need emotional, spiritual and physical connection. Rather we treat ourselves and others as OBJECTS to be possessed. Everything and everyone is now for sale and, as such, exchangeable, replaceable and dispensible!
We now need others to add value to us in terms of quantity and monetary figures. Even motherhood has a price, and the housewife now needs to value her contribution to the household in dollars!!! Why do we need others to tell us our worth, rather than us knowing our worth, without seeking validation from another?
If we do not have the right mindset, then we are truly poor, and we will have nothing to bring into a relationship, not to talk of marriage. You can only give what you have…and those who are deficient need constantly to be replenished. Their poverty of mind will deplete whatever their spouse brings to the table, as they nag and quarrel, strive and accuse, lusting continually, but never finding fulfilment for their needs (Jam 4:1-3). They will spend their time constantly seeking to acquire more things, rather than enjoying the priceless gifts they didn’t earn nor buy – their spouse and children, their health and natural world!
But with the right mindset, you are indeed rich in all things. You will be rich in wisdom, joy, holiness and contentment. You will be able to appreciate the simple things in life. You will be grateful for the big and small efforts your spouse makes to spend time with you. You will maximise every opportunity, to bring out quality in your relationships, and will not depend on quantity of time nor quantity of stuff to make your happy.
Before you can appreciate and prioritise quality in your marriage, you have to first develop your qualititative reasoning about life. You have to change your mindset, change your values, change your assessment of worth. You need a renewal of your mind, drawing your identity and value from what God says about you, knowing how greatly He valued you, enough to lay down His life for you…
When you are of a right mind, the difference can be as pronounced as appreciating a 30 minutes family home-cooked meal at the table over a two hour meal at a Restaurant. Appreciating ten minutes of laughing and dancing in your living room over 3 hours at the Cinema. Or even appreciating how your busted TV has created more time for family games and conversations…
This is not to say dinner outings, trips to the Cinema or casual watching of TV at home are bad things! But perspective makes all the difference. The question is really WHAT do you value more? What do you want out of life?
Is it the amount of time spent, or the quality of time spent? Is it the places you go to or who you go there with? Is it what you do together, or how you feel when you do those things together? If you know what you REALLY want, you will be more purposeful about getting it, and will appreciate the ways you are already blessed, rather than live in discontent over what you may not have.
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