Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

THE FIFTY-FIFTY CONUNDRUM
4/6/2017 1:53:00 AM by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Whoever said marriage was all about compromise

never had a joint checking account

 

 

 

Submit to one another out of reverence to Christ

(Ephesians 5:21).

 

 

 

“Marriage is not fifty-fifty,” I heard Dr. Phil announce on national television. “It’s one-hundred and one-hundred.”

 

When did Dr. Phil steal my idea?

 

Of course, the concept was not mine alone. God’s wisdom is rarely unique to one individual.

I thought back to an office bridal shower several years ago. The gifts had been opened and the cake served. Tom hurled jokes meant in fun but left the bride-to-be quivering in her boots. Others gave unsolicited advice about the merits of compromise. “After all,” Sally said, “Marriage is a fifty-fifty proposition.”

Like Job’s Elihu, my silence ended.

“I disagree,” I rebutted as a hundred pair of accusatory eyes trained in my direction.

The blushing bride had an inquiring mind. “I’d like to know what you think.”

“I don’t believe in the fifty-fifty rule. I believe in the hundred-hundred rule,” I said.

Everyone merely assumed I had failed math.

“That’s impossible,” Orlando quipped.

I tried to explain. “The fifty-fifty rule leads to scorekeeping. The husband thinks that since he sat through that boring romance movie, she should go with him to the monster truck rally. The wife thinks that because she spent the whole day cleaning the house, he should take her out to dinner.”

“Well that sounds reasonable,” Eileen piped up.

This crowd would be difficult to convince. “The requests are valid but are spoken from selfish interests. On the surface, it seems fair and equitable.”

“Why wouldn’t it be?” Janice asked.

I smiled. “Because somebody always has to sacrifice. Not so, with the hundred-hundred principle.”

The bride-to-be asked, “How does it work, then?”

I explained. “In the hundred-hundred formula, instead of distasteful tradeoffs, all decisions are based upon what is best for the marriage.”

When the marriage wins, everyone wins

The bride-to-be squished her face in contemplation. “Sounds like a good plan,” she said and scurried off to examine her treasures.

I don’t know how this newlywed couple’s marriage fared, for she left our workplace in search of bigger paychecks. But, I do know that the formula works for all relationships, including those with our children. It is the formula God uses for us. His sole purpose is our ultimate well-being.

 

How can you not love a God like that? 

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