"Are you Keeping Score?"
Some blogs ago, I made an attempt to remind and encourage you that you are uncommonly rare and unique both singly and as a couple. I hope I did a good job!
I shared one of the tips, or better yet, one of the guidelines my husband and I live by: Never compare your marriage to anyone else's. I hope that little tidbit hit home for you. As my Pastor often says, you are far too unique to be compared fairly. Don't make the mistake of standing up your marriage next to someone else's and comparing the two. You may find that you are measuring your marriage against a fairly tale someone wants you to believe because they wanted to believe it themselves.
At the end of that blog, I promised I would share additional tips (guidelines) that I practice. Well, I am making good on that promise today. Guideline #2:
2. Don't keep score.
Keeping score implies there are two opposing teams. One team has set its sights on defeating the other at any cost. The team players have routinely conditioned themselves to be physically dominant over their adversaries. The team, itself, watches films of the teams they will face, observing their weaknesses and creating plays that will capitalize on them. I remember my high school basketball coach pushing us to develop that "killer instinct." We weren't just supposed to kick them when they were down, we were to stomp them - make sure our footprints were sprawled across their non-ballin' faces. We were to rack up points on the scoreboard so we would gain the easy win. Is that what we do in marriage? Do we study the weakest points of our partners and then capitalize on them, while pressing our feet on their necks, in order to gain the easy win in an argument? To force an owed apology? Keeping score will demand that you do.
Women may be a little more predisposed to keeping score than men.
It has been said that women have memories like elephants. We remember our first dates, down to the time, place, and the strategic outfit we set out the morning before. We also remember the first time we were teased by that nappy-headed little snotty-nosed boy who sat behind us in the third grade (I may have some deliverance work to do on myself, hunh?). After all, we are naturally record keepers. "Mom, have you seen my History homework?" "Babe, where is my birth certificate? I need it for my new job." For we girls, it may take a voluntary act of our will not to keep score. It may even require a supernatural act on our part. Whatever it requires, we must put forth the effort if we will love our spouses in the manner Paul described love to the Corinthian church:
"Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do." 1 Corinthians 13: 4-5 (CEV). Keeping score is far from love.
What benefit, really, is there in keeping score? None! God doesn't even keep score. "I'll forgive, but I won't forget." Why won't you forget? God does. He removes our sins as far as the east is from the west. In fact, He doesn't even remember our sin (Hebrews 8:12). Do you remember the Lord's Prayer? If we want forgiveness, we must forgive others be they our husbands or ourselves. When did we become better than our Creator, God? If He can forgive and forget sins committed against Him, how do we memorialize them? Who do we think we are? And remember, you will be judged by the same way you mete out judgement to others. Do you really want that? It is self-righteous to hold someone's sins against them, dangling them over the fire. It's a surefire method to tearing away at the threefold marriage cord.
I don't even keep score of the good things my husband and I do for each other. Why not? Scorekeeping breeds competition. My partner and I are one. WE WIN and we win together! To compete against him would be to compete against myself. That would be schizophrenic. Unplug the scoreboard, folks.
As for me and my husband, we don't keep score; with God's help, we keep each other.
I love marriage!