Shortly after doing a soft launch for my latest book, Love Differently – Stay Married, I received numerous emails and phone calls from entrepreneurs who wanted the book. One such email came from a young woman who said, “I’m ready to throw in the towel (this was a newly wed) and pour myself back into my work unless your book helps us make it work.”
According to her new husband, this entrepreneur never stopped pouring herself into her work. He did have an expectation for her though and that was to find the right balance between being a wife, and being with her work. If she couldn’t do it, then he wanted her to close her company.
Being Highly Driven
Entrepreneurs who are highly driven to succeed, without Christ, are often notorious for putting their work before their spouse, family, friends and even themselves. This can lead to a path of:
- Too much time away from the spouse or family
- Little understanding of each others needs
- Not sharing in the household burdens
- No boundaries to show where work ends and marriage begins
- No one championing or uplifting when affirmation is sought
- Not being there for emotional or physical connections are desired
To whom much is given, much is required.
When spouses’ join together as a team, or take their vows in a covenant, they become one ‘flesh’ the Bible says. They ultimately share the burden of everything; work, household chores, parenting responsibilities, schedules, finances and more. They are each others best friends and soul mates. They are their mate’s champion and teacher. They see that work-life priorities are something that takes time to learn and they choose to be patient while their partner builds new skill sets. This is a healthy perspective for any marriage, but particularly as a spiritual entrepreneur who often holds themselves to a higher standard than most.
It wasn’t until after 2 years of taking a Sabbatical with God, studying human behavior, healthy relationships and marriage, that I became a life coach in 2005. While working with couples from all over the world I discovered that those who were traumatized by unhealthy relationship examples in their past were at risk for repeating unhealthy patterns in their future. It truly didn’t matter if they owned a business, worked for someone else, were Christ-followers or Athiests. If a person’s perspective about relationships is unhealthy to begin with, then running a business only adds to the present perceived trauma for them.
History repeats itself
I didn’t believe that history would repeat itself in my own marriage. I trusted that we would do things differently than our parents did right from the start. I was right, in the beginning, while everything was new and different.
We both came from divorced and divided homes however, so eventually I heard him repeatedly say, “I fix ‘things’ not relationships.” and he often heard me say, “We’ve got to fix things right now.” Within these two limiting beliefs, history had already repeated itself.
Detach from the outcome
The most important lesson I learned in marriage was to detach from the outcome. I learned this lesson one sunny morning while sitting at the breakfast table. I heard in my spirit, “What would happen if you were to surrender your husband to me today and let go of the outcome instead of trying to steer him where you believe he ought to go?”
It literally took my breath away.
I stared into the cup of hot chocolate I was stirring (this was before I removed sugar from my diet) and I realized the marshmallows weren’t melting. The cup wasn’t hot enough so I got up and popped it in the microwave. As it was heating, I leaned against the stove and crossed my arms. I knew I need to respond to that question. I said with a little resistance (okay maybe a lot of resistance), “I guess I wouldn’t know. I’ve never done that before.”
The microwave timer went off and I opened the door to take my cup out and that’s when I heard, “The health of your marriage is a direct reflection of your personal walk with me.”
I look down at the marshmallows to see they were a bubbling white blend of goo. “A direct reflection.” I repeated to myself. That statement held a lot of weight for me and still does to this day. If my walk with God is about obedience and love, then what am I doing in relationship to my spouse? I didn’t know it then, but it would take me years to answer this question because change takes time. It takes effort. It takes lots and lots of patience and practice before your heart melts just like those marshmallows, and you truly become one.
If you contemplate on your own marriage, and find that it isn’t the greatest reflection of your walk with God, take heart. It’ll help you to know that we ALL experience those times when we’d rather control our way through life. Its human nature. But when we allow ourselves the time to sit at Jesus’ feet, we realize we can fully let go of the outcome because there is no longer any need to control or protect. Ultimately, that is where we all want to be.
To know Jesus better can only happen one way, just like with our spouses. By spending time getting to know him. You can find Free Bible lessons right here.
While I admit that Christ-like principles won’t appeal to everyone, it will be a HUGE leap for motivated couples who want to put God first in their life. I trust that if you’re still reading this, then you will love differently in order to stay married, so that when those rough times come, you too will be able to say, “Yes, my marriage is definitely strong enough.”