Marriage is a funny thing. It’s one place where math is superseded by greater reality: 1+1=1
The goal of marriage is for two people to become one person. This process is amazingly fun and filled with joy and wonder. Two people completely committed to one another that join together in body and soul and life. It is quite the journey—filled with love and sacrifice, laughter and amazement. Nothing quite compares. It is definitely one of God’s best creations.
However, part of the process can be a little bit messy. Sometimes—like most math—even painful. That is because, like everything, there’s a balance to it. And sometimes it take a little while to learn the right balance. And, it can take practice to stick to the equation, rather than trying to create your own. The math of marriage is 1+1=1, not 1/2+1/2=1. Not 1+1=2. And so on and so forth.
You have to stick with the correct equation. On the one hand, you can’t go into marriage not being a whole person and expect marriage to work. But on the other hand, you can’t going to marriage not needing someone else and expect the equation to work. Instead, marriage is supposed to be two people who are whole and healthy that aren’t lacking anything, yet learn to need one another. This need though, isn’t based in lack.
Let me see if I can explain. If you live your life always in lack, you will never know what it is to have enough. Some people call this a “Pauper Mentality”. A pauper mentality is when you never feel like you have enough, so you see everything through the lens of what is lacking. (Marriages with paupers have the math equations like 1/2+1/2=1.) If you have a pauper mentality in marriage, no matter what, you will always feel lack in your marriage. You won’t feel loved enough or special enough or chosen enough. No matter what you’re spouse does, it won’t be enough. That’s because paupers have a vacuum inside that prevents them from ever feeling full (or satisfied).
However, it’s also possible to enter a marriage so independently minded, that you don’t need the other person for anything. This also is not healthy. (These marriages are represented by the 1+1=2 equation.) How can you become one with another person that you don’t need? How can you grow in oneness with someone that remains simply an extra appendage. Almost like an appendix, your spouse is a part of you but one you don’t really need. And, while it’s a little painful or dramatic to have it removed, you don’t really miss it after it’s gone, because you were never completely aware of it to start with. This isn’t how marriage is supposed to be.
Both of these types of marriages will lead to an unhealthy and painful home life. What marriage is supposed to be instead, is, two people that have enough coming together and learning how to love each other and live as one.
For example: I need my husband to love me. After all, he’s my husband. I need his love to be tangible, to play itself out in action and words. It isn’t a weakness that I need those things. If I didn’t, what is the point? Why bother being married at all? However, I can’t be dependent upon my husband to be my source of love. I can’t be lacking love and coming him to fill that void. Instead I have to be healthy, knowing that I’m loved and worthy of love and so on and so forth. Then that need that he’s filling in me isn’t one of desperation, but one created because of the covenant that I made with him. It is a need not out of my weakness, but out of my strength. And, it is the only way there is the possibility that my need will actually be able to be met.
Marriage math isn’t always easy. But, it is worth it. Because the joy found when you get it right? Incalculable!