If You Both Give 50%, You'll Fail
Just over a month after my wedding, my wife and I attended my brother’s wedding. It was a beautiful occasion. He got married in the same Church as my grandparents. All of the family was there. The priest was a man we had known for 12 years, from his days in the Seminary.
It was a great experience for me because I was able to more deeply process my own wedding. On my wedding day, I had an acute clarity and presence of mind during the Mass. It was a great blessing to be able to absorb everything and not have to think about anything else. My brother’s provided me another opportunity.
The homily was excellent. I took away a major piece of advice. The priest said, “Marriage is not 50/50. If you both give 50%, then you will fail. You must both give 100%.”
Wow. It defies our basic math skills. Yet, after contemplating this sage wisdom, I saw its truth. If marriage was 50/50, it would be a joint venture. It would be a business transaction. Marriage is so much deeper. It is a covenant.
When the Israelites wandered in the desert, they had times where they gave 50% and times when they gave 100%. Things went much better for them when they gave 100%.
50% is trying. Trying isn’t good enough. When you try, you aren’t committed. When you are married, you are all in. 100%. It is all of you; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
That is the great thing about marriage. When you are both in 100%, there is nothing that you cannot accomplish. Your strengths fill in for her weaknesses. She is wise where you are not. You can see blind spots that she cannot. You are the ultimate team.
From a practical perspective, we would all rather be in relationships or situations where all parties are all in. If you are on a team at work and you are the only person who is fully committed, your work on that project is not very fulfilling. You spend a majority of your time trying to motivate the team to get with you and a very small amount of time actually making forward progress on the project.
Marriage is the same way. You won’t have a quality marriage if one of you spends most of their time and energy dragging the other one along. When you work together, when you are unified, you can overcome anything.
Marriage is an all in deal. Don’t get married until you are all in. Don’t get married until you are willing to be totally yourself, willing to bear all of your flaws. That’s the funny thing about being vulnerable. When you are vulnerable, there is a strength that comes. There is an honesty that opens up and a strong trust is built.
Don’t give a 50% try to your marriage. Go all in.