Lazy Marriage: You Are What You Do

Lazy marriage Pixabay love-couple-1678704_1920Are you living in a lazy marriage? A while back we received a marriage tip from relationship expert Mort Fertel that got me thinking on this issue. Here’s what he wrote:

“Have you ever heard the phrase ‘You are what you eat?’ This catchy slogan from the fitness industry reminds us that how we ‘spend’ our calories determines our health. Want to be fat? Then eat lots of fat. Want to be healthy? Well, you get the idea.

“When it comes to your marriage, I would say, ‘YOU ARE WHAT YOU DO.’ In other words, how you and your spouse SPEND YOUR TIME determines the strength of your marriage. Spend it together and you’ll feel connected. Do your own thing too often and you might sleep in the same bed, but you’ll feel worlds apart.”

Lazy Marriage?

After reading what Mort wrote I thought about the LAZY MARRIAGES. I see many where spouses invest time, energy, and money in everything and everyone else (especially in Facebook and Twitter time), but with each other. When it comes to their own marriage relationship, there’s nothing. They leave it to “what comes natural,” which essentially means that they do little to nothing about it. If it grows, it grows. If it doesn’t… oh well!

It just doesn’t appear to be a priority to them until it hits them that they aren’t emotionally (or physically or spiritually) connected in any way. And THEN they recognize that they have a problem. Sadly, this often times means that it’s perceived that it’s “too late”… the damage is done. How sad to wait so long to wake up!

I wonder if we approached our homes (apartments), our vehicles, our jobs, our children, our gardens and yard work that way, what would happen. I can pretty much tell you. We’d have a real mess on our hands. Left on their own, each one of those things would get out of hand. Houses and apartments don’t clean up and repair themselves. Our cars need gasoline and regular maintenance to keep them going strong. As for our jobs, just try yawning away at work, not doing anything to contribute to doing what you should. Then see what your boss says and does about it. Obviously you can only get away with being lazy for so long and you won’t have a job any more.

The Need for Nurturing

Our children need nurturing and guidance, and physical and emotional help, at the very least. And gardens and yards… well, weeds, weeds, more weeds. Plus overgrowth crowds out all the good stuff that can grow, feed and nourish us.

But then when it comes to working on our marriage relationships so they grow stronger, too many of us treat it with a “whatever…” attitude.

Blogger, Serge Bielanko in the Internet article, “Your Laziness Will Kill Your Marriage” says it the following way.

He writes:

“It’s grueling work being a husband or wife. And when no one’s really paying attention, we start cutting critical emotional and soulful corners. We start drifting from the concentrated effort required to make love last. We get all caught up in ourselves, in our own pursuit of that personal happiness we think we so deserve, and we end up growing increasingly bored with our own situation. In the end, we begin to wonder if all of this lack of happiness within the marriage might actually be the other person’s fault.

“That’s usually when we start telling ourselves that ‘we married the wrong guy’ or girl. In our tired heads, we plug some other old flame or missed opportunity into the empty snapshot of happiness we have hanging on the wall of our skull. We convince ourselves that we would have been way better off with the one that got away. ‘He was my true soulmate! And he still is! I should know! We talk on Facebook!’

“Ugh.”

I agree… UGH! It’s time to WAKE UP and realize, “you are what you do.” Actually, we are what we do. If we approach our marriage with a lazy attitude, we will eventually reap what we sow… nothing! It won’t be there for us. And it won’t be there for our children either.

I see so many child-centered marriages where the children are the center of the home. The marriage relationship is put on the back burner. Eventually, there is nothing left of the couple’s relationship.

Child-centered Marriages

“One of the big struggles with marriage today is the tendency to put our kids’ needs before those of our spouse. What we don’t realize is that child-centered marriages are often weak marriages. And in the long run they hurt the kids more than help them. If your spouse is not getting his or her emotional needs met by you, often he or she will pour all their energy into the children. The end result is an unhealthy marriage relationship.

Obviously, I’m not talking about neglecting your children. I just want to emphasize the importance of seeking to keep your marriage vows a major priority. When children see a marriage relationship of integrity, they’ll feel more secure. In fact, Scripture says, ‘He who walks with integrity walks securely.(Proverbs 10:9)

“I’m convinced that a marriage of priority and integrity will be one of the best offerings you can provide for your children. You may still need to give extra time and attention to the needs of your kids. This is especially true at certain seasons of their development. However, your kids must also see their mom and dad taking time for each other. They do this through regular date nights, daily connection times, appropriate expressions of romance, and even a commitment to time away for replenishing your relationship. I’m sure you’ve heard the true statement: ‘Do your kids a favor and love your spouse.’” (Jim Burns, from the book, Creating an Intimate Marriage)

Lead in Love

And do yourselves, and society a favor (because strong marriages make a stronger society)… love your spouse. Put some effort into growing your marriage relationship —LEAD IN LOVE. Make an attitude adjustment. Get off the lazy river and be intentional in finding something you can do everyday that will pro-actively bless your spouse and your marriage. Make it your mission, your goal to do so. We have LOTS of suggestions on this web site, if you need help. Just look around, and PRAY that God will show you what to do. (One topic, among many, that you could look into is the ROMANTIC IDEAS topic. Romance each other and grow your romantic relationship with each other.) Remember, your marriage will become what you do about it.

ADDITIONALLY:

Here is an article written by Dr David B. Hawkins (posted on the Crosswalk web site) that could give you more ideas on how to address this issue. Please read:

ARE YOU RELATIONALLY LAZY?

Lastly, “Live a life of love” as we’re told to do in Ephesians 5. Be willing to make some sacrifices for your spouse and for your marital relationship. If you do, GREAT will be your reward!

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.

Print Post

Filed under: Marriage Blog

Join the Discussion

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.

Comments

3 responses to “Lazy Marriage: You Are What You Do

  1. Great post! You mentioned that “You are what you eat”… so if I give my wife a lot of chocolate, will that make her extra special sweet? :>)

    I have a question for you: I often feel a desire to invest more into our marriage relationship, but my wife doesn’t feel that need. Even though we are both really busy in life, we make some time in the schedule to spend with each other, but we don’t use that time to improve our relationship in an significant way. My challenge is that when I suggest something that is focused on improving our relationship (a book, DVD, conference, etc) my wife views it as 1) just one more thing to do in her busy schedule, and 2) a sign that I think she’s failing as a wife. Then she slips into feeling that I’m pressuring her to do something that she really doesn’t want to do, and she stops participating.

    Do you have any ideas as to how I might get her to want to be involved, without her feeling pressured by me? Or should I just be more content with the status quo in our relationship? I try to do things to work on our relationship alone, but it would be so much better (from my perspective) to work on it together. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi, M. I know a lot of women who read your comment would say, “OMG! A husband who really wants to invest in his marriage?!?! What’s up with his wife?” You are in the classic 5-10% of marriages where the husband/wife roles are reversed in certain areas. And because I don’t know you and your wife well enough to be able to make an “educated” suggestion, all I can do is offer you some thoughts…and probably you’ve already thought of and done some of them.

      Even if your wife doesn’t want to participate right now that shouldn’t prevent you in deepening your knowledge of what she may need/want in the marriage. The books Cindy and I recommend work best if both parties participate; but because Christ called us husbands to love our wives like Christ loved the church and gave up His life for her, we can (and should) still do our part. The day will come where we all have to give an account to God for how we lived our lives and you will be accountable ONLY for what YOU did and your wife will be accountable ONLY for what SHE did.

      Again, you may already have read and applied these books in your marriage, but for the sake of other readers of this Blog I’m going to give them to you anyways. The first book is Dr. Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

      I found that once I knew Cindy’s primary Love Language (Acts of Service) it made a revolution in our relationship. So even if your wife doesn’t reciprocate when you “speak” her Love Language, you can know you are doing what Christ would do for her.

      The second book is Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?

      This is foundational in so many areas of how we are to love our spouses so when I started to apply his principles it took our marriage to a higher level.

      The third is Emerson Eggerichs Love Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs

      Again, this is taking God’s principles from Ephesians 5 and putting them into a very practical application form for us to utilize for the health of our marriage.

      Hang in there, M, and remember “Do not become weary in well doing, for we will reap a harvest if we don not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

      And Cindy and I thank you for all your contributions to this web site!

      1. Thanks Steve.
        Yes. I have read those books, or watched the DVDs. We did “Sacred Marriage” together a few years ago, and that is probably the study that resonated with her the most. Maybe we need to do it again.
        And thanks for the encouragement of Galatians 6:9. I need to pick that verse up and keep it in the forefront of my mind throughout each day because we have been in a season of life over the past several months where it perfectly applies to all that we have been doing. Many blessings to you and Cindy!