Thursday, June 21, 2012

Deposits and Withdrawals in the Love Bank

Do you look at your marriage through God's eyes?  Do you see your spouse the way God does?  Do you know what your spouse sees when he looks at you? These are tough questions, but reflecting on them can be a real eye opener.

Marriage is hard...very hard.  Anyone who tells you it isn't is either lying to themselves or to you. Blending together two different people with two different backgrounds and two different personalities could almost seemed doomed from the start.  But the good news is, God wants to be right in the middle of the mix. His presence in your marriage takes what is hard, and makes it also good and sweet and comforting.


I hear so many people say that they don't care what their spouse thinks;  if there is something they want to do, they are going to do it regardless of what their spouse thinks. Selfishness seems to run rampant in marriage.  I can guarantee you, that is not the way God designed marriage to work, and it won't work that way for very long.  Jesus is our example of having a servant's heart.  Even while being betrayed and spat upon, He loved and forgave and went to the cross for the guilty ones.  I'm not suggesting that we suffer abuse or violence.  I'm talking about the ebb and flow of every day life, the things that upset and frustrate us, the actions that make us mad and try our patience.



I see marriage like a dance, weaving and moving to different beats and rhythms, trying not to step on each other's feet, sometimes holding close and other times at a distance, but always trying to move together.  There are days that my husband leads the dance and others days when I am in the lead.  But the music we are moving to is the breath of God on our relationship.  If we let Him orchestrate the dance, there is always hope, always forgiveness, always love.

My mom and dad
When we get out of step or out of sorts with each other, it's usually because we have our eyes on ourselves and not on the other person.  Wouldn't marriage be a wonder if we were both trying to outdo the other on serving each other? What would that look like?  I watched my parents do that very thing until the day my mom left this earth.  It was truly something to behold. Taking turns, one depositing love, one making a withdrawal.  Always making sure the account never ran dry!

If you have days when you are weak and troubled by life, wouldn't it be a joy to have your spouse recognize it and do what they could to minister to you, until you are so filled up with the love they're giving you, that you are back on top?  The secret is that you should be doing that for them too.  Somebody has to give up the idea of being "right" and be the first one to say, "I'll be the one.  I'll be unselfish towards you, even when I don't want to.  Even when I don't feel like it."  Can you be that one?  Can you give up your right to be right and instead, look for ways to minister to your spouse?

As you spend time with God, His strength will build in you and you will find yourself not reacting to your spouse in anger or frustration so quickly.  You might even see them through the eyes of God.  You can ask the Lord to show you what your spouse needs from you.  Now, I know sometimes it's lonely to be the one to start having a servant's heart toward your honey when they aren't acting the same way towards you.  You may have to make a lot of love deposits before you get to make a withdrawal.  But I promise you, God is faithful and wants our marriages to work...and not just work...but be happy and fulfilling for both people.

What things do you do to make love deposits in your marriage account?  Are you making more withdrawals than deposits?  What changes can you make to bring God into the mix of your marriage so that it isn't just hard, but also sweet?

From His Lap,



36 comments:

  1. i do not have a partner which to respond to this about but i do have kids and i absolutely love giving and giving to them. they in return do the same with their smiles and giggle and snuggles and all the funny things they say! i love this - what a world this would be if we all lived with this perspective!

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    1. Thank you so much, Christine. You are right...this works for any relationship. What a world it would be, huh!

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  2. I agree with what you say here, Erin. Marriage is hard work-if you do it right. I like your analogy of the dance-it does seem like we have to give and take in order to make things sustainable. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I'm so glad you stopped by! Marriage is hard work but the result is wonderful!! A wonderful dance!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  3. My husband & I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary in the spring. We've had our ups & downs just like other couples, but we know Who is #1 to each of us -- God is first. And our #2 is each other. We don't see our marriage as a 50-50...we see it 100-100. I give him 100% and he gives me 100%. We certainly did not view marriage like this when we were newlyweds, but by God's grace & mercy we continue everyday to become closer to each other as we become closer to God. We look forward to many more years that God has in store for us. (I love your posts & your heart)

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    1. Granny, I'm so glad to hear about the wonderful example you and your husband have set for your kids and your grandkids. If we only knew at the beginning of our marriages what we learn later! And you are so right, it's 100-100! Thank you so much for your kind words!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  4. Great post. No one ever tells you how hard marriage really is and how much you have to work at it. If you have Faith, you can get through it.

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    1. Amen! There's no manual. We have to pray our way through and remember to be unselfish! Thank you for stopping by!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  5. I know for a FACT that having God in the center works--I'd seen it in my parents and now am living it with my hubby...you're right though it does take some work on our part. Wonderful post

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    1. Amen, Pam. It takes work, but it can be fun too! It's awesome that your parents and you & your hubby know the secrets of making marriage work!! Thanks for stopping by!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  6. Hi Erin - such a great post. God has been talking to me a lot lately about my marriage. It is hard. There is no way around it. But with both giving and receiving in the love bank you speak of, things can only improve and survive and most importantly with God in the mix, and a never give up attitude, we will make it.
    God bless precious friend
    Tracy

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    1. Oh yes, Tracy!!! With God in the mix, you can make it!! It's hard, I know, but it's so worth it, God will bless you for the effort. I'll be praying for you! I'm so glad you stopped by!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  7. Someone once said to me, "Are you running your marriage on a savings account or on a credit card?" It is so important to invest emotionally into your partner and to feel the same in return. Beautiful post.

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    1. Oh, that's good, Val!! I'm going to use that one, myself. Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you stopped by!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  8. I am very easy going, so I know that I'm the one to just go with it. That works for us well, and gives us the right balance. If I didn't do that, both of us with our strong personalities would clash more.

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    1. Courtney, it sounds like you and your hubby have a partnership that works perfectly for you!! I'm the one who usually "just goes with it" too. Sometimes it gets frustrating, but I'd much rather have peace!!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  9. Love this. The photo of your mom and dad is one of my favorites. Such love! And the one of Rodney and you where you are tossing your head back – precious!!!!!!!!!!!
    Dianne

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    1. Thank you, Dianne! I wish you could have gotten to meet my mom. She was wise and strong of faith!
      Love you,
      ~Erin

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  10. Hi Erin! I so love this! Very timely for the situation I am in right now. Thank you for being a blessing. :)

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    1. Kristine, God is always on time. I hope that you are able to take something from this post to bless your current situation. Let the Lord speak to you, to guide you and direct you!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  11. You are so right. My hubby and I have often joked that God chuckled when He brought us together - two incredibly stubborn and selfish people! Our dace over the past years has had many sore toes and stumbles, but He has brought us through stronger after 12 years!

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    1. That's just as it should be, Audra! I'm so glad that you and your hubby have put the Lord in the center of your marriage. I love to hear those stories! Thank you for visiting!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  12. What a beautiful post, Erin. I remember hearing about this deposit/withdrawal thing with children also, but I often forget applying it to my marriage as well. ESPECIALLY making a deposit when I don't feel like it, when my ego is dying to be right just for the sake of being right. But that doesn't make things better in the long run, for sure. What a cute pic of your parents!

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  13. I know, Gina! It's best to pick and choose our battles wisely. Our egos can be our downfall! That pic is my favorite one of my parents. I'm so glad you stopped by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  14. hi im visiting some friends to invite them to the tuesday's musing...its a way to share your cooking recipee a thought Gods word..and to make friends..hope you will join..thanks if you do..blessings

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    1. I will try to get by today! I'm babysitting my new grand baby and it's keeping me very busy! Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  15. What a great post. I needs it to read it today. Thank you.

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    1. Jedidja,
      Thanks so much for stopping by today. I'm so glad the post blessed you. I pray that God speaks to your heart and touches your marriage!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  16. When CL and I knelt across the alter from eachother and made a covenant with eachother and with God, I knew that this marriage was for the long haul. It has taken a ton of love and patience, forgiving and forgiveness, but, CL is my man for all eternity and I don't want anyone else beside me for that long.

    It does take a lot of deposits to make a marriage strong, and it takes both partners doing it. Thanks for your post. Hope your lip is healing well.

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    1. My lip is healing beautifully, Becky. Thanks so much for asking. I wish everyone realized the commitment their marriage is when they first said their "I do's" like you and CL. It's wonderful to start off the marriage with God and commitment right in the middle of it!
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  17. Happy Sunday afternoon to you Erin! I'm sitting here reading your post, catching up on a little reading and writing. I know we've never met but I love this heart of love God has given you. What a FRUIT! Marriage appears to me to be a POWER HOUSE for God's glory!!! The potential for 2 people uniting under Him is AMAZING! Thanks for discussing it with us sister... ~ Blessings from Maine, Amy

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Amy! You are truly a blessing. Marriage is exactly that...a power house for God's glory...if we allow it to be!
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your nugget of truth.
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  18. Erin, I was searching a topic as I prepare for tonight's teleseminar, and I came across your blog. You're something special - always knew that. :) So nice to find you here today.

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    1. Sharon, I'm so glad you found me here! Don't you love it when that happens?? Thanks so much for your kind words.
      Blessings,
      ~Erin

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  19. Thank you, Erin for a wonderful post. I do agree, if God is not in the center of your marriage, you can just about say it is not going to make to make it. Mine is in shambles. But I know He has a plan for me. Thank you once again.

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    1. Alma, I'm so sorry to hear that about your marriage. I want you to know that there is hope and God can restore all things to new or even better than they were before!! Sometimes just one person in the marriage is fighting for it's survival. That's when it's the hardest. My husband and I have been through some scary hard days, but we fought to stay in the center of God's will. I will pray for grace and wisdom to fill you like a flood so that you know how to move forward and fight for your marriage! If you would like to contact me, my email is fathers child@sbcglobal.net.

      I pray peace and grace and wisdom for you and your husband!
      ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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