Going the Extra Mile

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As a new wife back in the 1980s, I remember a saying about marriage being 50/50. At the time, that saying made perfect sense. In other words, you bring half of your effort into the marriage and he’ll bring half of his effort, and somehow that will add up to a 100-percent awesome marriage.

Mathematically that may work, but I’ve found in relationships, it just doesn’t. I realized that the 50/50 equation was wrong in my first marriage. My husband had kidney disease and his kidney function was down to only about 5 percent. We had some decisions to make. He could go on dialysis and be put on a waiting list for a new kidney – which could take years – or he could go ahead and take one of my kidneys. There was not a 50 percent option. I was either 100-percent willing to donate a kidney or not. My husband didn’t live long enough for me to donate him a kidney, but God tenderly showed me I gave 100 percent. I was willing to be cut open and give an internal organ to benefit my husband; willing to go the distance.

In your family, you are going to have to give 100 percent – go the distance. I’m not saying this will be easy. I’m not going to tell you the benefits will pay off in a year or two. You need to adjust your mindset to know it takes about seven to nine years for a couple to start “feeling” married. That’s a long time. What so many couples do is give up after the first few hard years. I wish I could just encourage each couple that is ready to call it quits to just hang in there. Seek counseling. Find another couple who is willing to walk alongside you and your husband in your marriage. Be open. Be honest. Go all the way – all 100 percent.

This same principle applies to your children. My husband was really trying to be a father figure to my daughter, but she was not interested in the least. Day after day, Dan grew weary of reaching out to her. One evening, I was getting ready to go tell the kids goodnight and I asked him if he was going to come with me. He told me it was useless. After a year and a half, he said that he had repeatedly reached out to her half-way and she had never reached back to him. At that moment, I told him that as the adult, he was responsible for going 100 percent – to show her he was willing to keep trying – to be there for her even though she showed him rejection.

This struck a nerve with him and so he reached out again to her; that night was different. He went with me to her bedroom and stood at the doorway and asked her about her day. He inquired about what she was studying. He made positive statements to her and then he did something funny; he reached out to her in humor, mimicking her little squirrel voice she used at times. It was the beginning; it was 100 percent from Dan, right to her heart. There were hugs, and I’m sure I probably cried. That relationship is wonderful now; caring, concerned, and loving.

Because of going 100 percent, my daughter has a wonderful father figure. My husband has added a daughter who brings lots of joy. I have the benefit of a whole, healthy family.

Second Corinthians 9:6 says, “Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Have you really given all you can give to your family? Have you continued to reach out to a stepchild that either can’t or doesn’t know how to reach back to you? Have you decided your husband is worth every ounce of effort it will take to have a successful marriage? I am begging for you to go all the way; go the distance. Sow generously. As someone who has hung in there, I’m telling you, the harvest is bountiful and beautiful.

Blessings in Your Blending!

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