Marriage: Concession, Confession, Communication, and Consecration

National Marriage WeekIn honor of National Marriage Week (Feb 7-14), I would like to write about some of my thoughts.  In June I will have been married for 18 years which has given me plenty of time to make nearly every mistake possible.  I can truly say it is a miracle that our marriage is strong and it is the third cord that has kept us bound together.

Concession

To concede. Very difficult  yes; hard on the old ego.  Merriam-Webster defines “concession” as:

1a : the act or an instance of conceding (as by granting something as a right, accepting something as true, or acknowledging defeat) b : the admitting of a point claimed in argument
How many arguments are you willing to initiate or contend with over loading the dishwasher?  How about doing laundry?  How to fold socks?  What to cook for dinner? You get the point.  It was the first year of marriage that was the most difficult to me because of the adjustments.  He was used to living a certain way and I another.  I had two loads of laundry: whites and not-whites.  He separates by color and fabric.  How many arguments can your relationship endure before it reaches a breaking point?  These are points where concession is advised.  “Pick  your battles,” as they say, is such a great chunk of wisdom.

Confession

Confession involves the one thing that we pride ourselves in: our pride.  James 5:16 tells us to “confess our sins one to another” so why shouldn’t it apply in marriage?  Did  you break the vase, wreck the car, or spend too much shopping?  Did you lie to, yell at, or otherwise offend your wife or  husband? Go to your spouse and confess and ask for forgiveness.  Forgiveness is Christianity 101 yet we think it doesn’t apply in marriage.  We couldn’t be more wrong or more blind.  Unforgiveness is actually a sin.  (Check out the list of scriptures at the end of the post.)

Communication

Communication can be quite the challenge and depending upon the person’s background, learning style, or dysfunction can mean varying things.  My husband and I love this quote by George Bernard Shaw because it really helps us think about communication:

“The problem with communication … is the illusion that it has been accomplished. ” ~ George Bernard Shaw

And another quote that helps:

How well we communicate is determined not by how well we say things, but how well we are understood. ~ Andrew Grove

Do you call your wife when you’re going to be late coming home from the office?  Did you tell your husband you signed up for the potluck?  The “smallest” things can become ground zero for the destruction of  the entire relationship.  Being open and honest and including your spouse in your thoughts, plans, pre-decisions (notice not decision, pre-decision) will open up the high-speed internet of marriage, quickly downloading and uploading information–always connected.

In  our house, we made a rule, nothing important can be discussed after 10:00 p.m.  We did an autopsy of our fights and realized that most of them occurred after 10 p.m. when we were exhausted and unable or unwilling to process information.

Consecration

Adam needed a help-mate.  God knew he shouldn’t be alone and so He made Eve.  They were soul-mates from the beginning.  “The two are joined as one”is echoed in Genesis, the Gospels, and Ephesians.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Genesis 2:24

And as we give ourselves to God – consecrate ourselves to Him – then we give ourselves to our spouse.  We trust her with our soul, our emotions, our security.  We trust him with our safety, protection, and provision.  Consecration is the root of trust, I believe most deeply.  The more we consecrate ourselves to the Lord the more his nature and character is manifested in our “personality:” our words and actions. “This mind” as stated in Philippians 2:5 is our mindset, our personality.

Philippians 2:5-8

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

We are not two partners living separate, parallel lives. To the degree that we are one is how successful our marriages will become.

Dig Deeper:

More Reading:

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Photo by Skley

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