I’ve started working out…again. Each revival of my exercise strategy finds me relearning all the right and wrong ways to exercise. Like drinking water. More often than not, I find myself rushing off to my aerobics class without my water bottle. I think “I can handle it.” until I’m dripping with sweat in the middle of my class and I see the other ladies sipping on their cool, refreshing bottles of water. Then I remember a ton of reasons why I should drink water when I exercise and I definitely not handling it very well.
You see even in something as simple as a water bottle my blasted self-sufficiency gets in the way. Why at the first sign of needing help do I hear that voice in my head saying “ I can handle it”. I will tell you the main place these thoughts get in the way: my marriage.
Nowhere does the Bible tell us to become a door mat for our spouse but it does tell us to “need” our spouse. Like Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:24, married couples are to “become one flesh.” Can you imagine needing someone like you need your own flesh, your own body?
Needing your spouse is like needing water during a workout. You can try to get through a good workout thinking you don’t need water but everything in your body knows you do. Likewise, couples resist needing each other. Why? Because , needing someone is scary. Whether from fear of abandonment, the need for self-sufficiency or believing your spouse doesn’t want to be needed it’s easy to find reasons to hold back. Or maybe you know you need your spouse, but you don’t want them to know you need them.
The problem with holding back in your marriage is that we all need to be needed. Don’t leave room for your spouse to feel needed by someone else. Show them they are needed with your words. You’d be amazed at the impact of thanking someone for taking out the garbage or washing the dishes even though they’ve done it a thousand times. What if your spouse knew you were proud of them for the way they treat your kids or how they handled something at work? Apprecitaion, thankfulness, pride are all ways of saying “You’re important. I need you.” Saying “You’re someone I can depend on” or “ I like coming home to you.” can bless a marriage in amazing ways.
The crazy thing about showing your spouse you need them is that it’s not just good for them, it’s essential for you. Think about how hard it is to live in a marriage not letting yourself need your partner. Ask Jesus to help you move through your fear to find the replenishment in your marriage you so desperately need. Self-sufficiency is not all it’s cracked up to be. Let your spouse replenish you after the hard workouts that make up our lives. It’s OK to let yourself need your spouse. After all, that’s the way God intended your marriage to be.