Perhaps you’ve read the article “The Happy Marriage is the ‘Me’ Marriage” by Tara Parker-Pope in the New York Times. Several readers sent me an e-mail with the link to the article and asked what I thought about this provocatively-titled piece.
“The notion that the best marriages are those that bring satisfaction to the individual may seem counterintuitive. After all, isn’t marriage supposed to be about putting the relationship first? Not anymore. For centuries, marriage was viewed as an economic and social institution, and the emotional and intellectual needs of the spouses were secondary to the survival of the marriage itself.”
Research is cited that suggests that satisfaction in a marriage comes to the degree that one’s personal growth is encouraged and created by the spouse. The amount your significant other completes you as a well-rounded, healthy person is the degree to which you will have fulfillment in that relationship.
So, is this the ‘Me’ marriage? Or is it really the ‘Us’ marriage? It sure is a catchy title, but I don’t think it does justice to the article. What makes marriages work is regarding your spouses needs as highly as your own and vice versa. The two shall become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Couldn’t we just have saved centuries of looking at something from the wrong point of view by just going back to the basics?
Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage. (Ephesians 5:22-28, The Message translation)
Special thanks to Teri N. and Dave D. for e-mailing me the article. It has generated some interesting discussions in my life – I’d love to read your thoughts on it! Leave a comment below.