Two of our favorite poets, Elizabeth and Robert Browning, were ahead of their time when it came to partnering together. Elizabeth wrote: “Beloved, let us love so well, our work shall still be better for our love, and still our love be sweeter for our work. And both commended for the sake of each, by all true workers and true lovers born.”
How are you doing at partnering together in your marriage? Maintaining a harmonious partnership is a real challenge for us because we are continually together! We write together; we speak and lead seminars together. We even share an office with desks that face each other. We know we are the exception, but all couples need to be able to cooperate, share responsibility, and work together. How are you doing with this challenge? Do you agree with King Solomon that, two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work? [Ecclesiastes 4:9] To evaluate your partnership, we suggest having a Partnership Check-up Date.
You will want to choose a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted—perhaps a favorite coffee shop. Take along some paper and a pen. (We know you could use your phone or tablet, but for today, humor us, and give your electronics a rest.) Then, when away from the kids and other distractions, talk about the ways you partner well together. What are those areas in which you need to shore up your partnership? Consider the following: marriage
- Parenting What about your parenting responsibilities? If you’re not united as parents, trust us, your kids (especially in the adolescent years) will make mincemeat out of your “yes’s” and “no’s”.
- Household responsibilities Are you both okay with the current division? If not it’s time to regroup; divide and conquer. List the various jobs and talk about how you can better partner together?
- Leisure activities Do you plan your fun times together? Who decides where you go for vacations?
- Extended family More than one marriage has broken up under the stress of in-law and family pressures. How can you unite and work together in relating to and loving your extended family? marriage
- Religious activities Do you agree on how you want to give, serve and worship?
- Other life style issues Do you agree on financial decisions? What about short and long-term savings? Retirement planning? marriage
If your partnership is lopsided, or one makes most all of the decisions, it’s time to go to work. You can learn to partner together and “your love will be sweeter for your work!”
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,
not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
By David & Claudia Arp
Parents of 3
Grandparents of 10
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Members
Founders of Marriage Alive and 10 Great Dates
Authors of many great marriage, relationship, and parenting books including their newest title, Day Starters for Couples: 45 Devotions from God’s Heart to Yours.
Click HERE for more information or to order David & Caludia Arp’s new book,
Day Starters for Couples: 45 Devotions from God’s Heart to Yours.