Marriage is not an ‘equal partnership’

Something a little different on the podcast today. Taking a break from politics to discuss a topic closer to home and more relevant to our lives. This is not marriage “advice” — I’m not equipped to be doling advice out — but it is an observation.

These days it’s common to hear people say that our marriages should be “equal.” An “equal partnership,” they call it, which makes it sound like you’re starting a law firm together rather than entering into a sacred covenant. I think this notion of marriage is false, and from my own experience I can say that our marriage has never once been helped by trying to “make things equal.” That’s what squabbling siblings worry about, not loving and self-giving spouses.

Marriage cannot be equal, anyway, because the spouses are not equal. Two things are equal when they are the same, but a husband and wife can never be the same, nor should they try to be. That doesn’t mean one is better than the other, just that they are unique. An apple is not equal to an orange, but nobody would claim that one or the other is inherently superior.

If husband and wife are not equal, then they will not contribute in ways that are exactly equal. They do different things, bring different skills and perspectives to the table, and shoulder different burdens in different ways. These things can’t be exactly quantified and compared, and whenever we attempt to do that, we are being selfish and childish, and harming our marriages in the process.

If it ever crosses our mind that we are shouldering more of a particular burden or bringing more to the table in some area or another, we ought to delight in the fact. We ought to take joy in serving the other, and we ought to be eager to serve more and do more. I’m not saying I’m perfect in this regard — far from it — but I at least know, intellectually, that this is how it’s supposed to be.

I think many of our marriages fall apart in this culture because we’re so obsessed with equality and so averse to things like duty, responsibility, sacrifice, and service. But a marriage that has no concern for equality and, instead, is fueled by the sacrificial love of both spouses, is the kind of marriage that will survive while so many others collapse around them in a cloud of immaturity and selfishness.

To see more from Matt Walsh, visit his channel on TheBlaze.