A couple of nights ago, my husband and I were invited to listen in on a panel discussion where the topics were singleness in a season of growing closer to God, godly dating, and marriage as a Christian. Towards the end of the discussion, someone asked the married couples which is harder, compromise or sacrifice?
Needless to say the couples and the singles chimed in and that zoom lasted another 30 minutes or so.
The discussion sparked by the question was so good and as you can see, led to this blog post.
Here are my thoughts:
A marriage is a public declaration of your love and commitment towards another. It’s a vow taking ceremony where both individuals promise to love God and each other for who they are no matter the uncertainties thrown at them by life.
But what about when you can’t agree on a new church home?
Or when to start a family?
What if one person always feels like they have to take down or give in?
Being married only 5.5 years, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I have learned that marriage is both a holy covenant and partnership. For us, the goal is to glorify and honor God through our marriage. So before even answering the question of compromising or sacrificing and which is harder, let’s talk trust, communication, and prayer:
Similar to the faith we have in God and how through that faith, we trust that he has the very best intentions for us, we should believe that our spouses have the very best intentions for us.
For husbands the belief should be that the wife respects you and your decisions for the family always and only intends to help and make the role as husband and head a bit easier.
For wives the belief should be that your husband seeks to honor God, loves you and desires your opinion. That your voice is of value and that whatever choices are ultimately decided,prayer was involved and you were in mind.
The only way to sort out a matter is to clearly communicate thoughts, reasonings for a particular choice, desired outcomes and to allow for open dialogue/ the same from your spouse.
Try to avoid emotion and if an agreement can’t be reached and things get heated remember Matthew 12:37 By our words we will be justified, and by our words we will be condemned. Table and come back later.
I’ve learned though that communication is a skill that we are always refining.
Pray: Together. Individually. In community.
The Bible says in 1 Chronicles 16:11, “ Look to the Lord and his strength, seek his face always.”
Life is full of hard choices, but If we acknowledge God in all our ways, submit our dilemmas, desires, and dreams to him and seek his face always, no good thing will he withhold from us.
A healthy marriage is a good thing. Peace in our homes is a good thing.
My Final Two Cents
Compromise is and should be a regular part of marriage. Two individuals coming together as one is a serious undertaking. In addition to this, we are called to serve others, love, and put others before ourselves.
I like the way the message bible says it,
“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ if his love has made any difference in your life if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you if you have a heart if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”Philippians 2:3
This refers to anybody. How much more should it be in marriage.
So to answer the question asked a couple of nights ago, to sacrifice would be harder for me. While I do believe that the need to sacrifice will arrive for the sake of your spouse or that there will be mutual sacrifice for the benefit of both spouses, one person should not consistently have to forgo their wants or needs to please the other.
Compromise is more sustainable.
Which is harder for you to compromise or to sacrifice? Share your thoughts.