Being or Doing?
When it comes to marriage, is it more important to be, or to do? The answer is both. Yet it’s easier to focus on doing rather than on being. That’s because we can more easily measure what we do than who we are.
Daily tasks (making your bed, tidying the house, running an errand for your spouse, shopping for groceries) are easily measured. They are things we can put on our to do list and then check them off once completed.
Even refusing to do something we know our spouse would like is something that is tangible. [“No, I didn’t pick that up for you in town today; it wasn’t my fault you forgot it.”] There are many other examples you could name. You know what the things are that you avoid doing or that you delight in doing for your spouse.
While the lists of things we do can be verified by their completion, the part about being is something only God can measure. This part is the hardest to do.
It’s hard, because it strikes at the core of our human nature and calls forth the best – and supernatural – in us. Natural is easy to do – because it comes naturally! We don’t even have to think about it because natural is who we are.
There’s a reason the Word gives us direction. We need direction to do things that are not natural. The next time you wonder what you should do, consider this: it’s more important to be than to do.
The verses in Ephesians are not just written for married folk; they’re pertinent to anyone. Yet, if we practice these verses in our marriage and in relating to our spouse, we will find that being changes our doing.
Three Things to Be
There are three areas we need to focus on being. Ephesians tells us to be kind, to be tender, and to be forgiving.
Even when trust has been broken, we are called to be these three. Being kind, tender, and forgiving does not mean our trust is restored. It doesn’t mean there are no consequences for wrong actions, nor does it mean betrayal must be swept under the rug.
We are simply commanded to be these things to our spouse. It’s not natural; it’s not easy, and it can be hard.
We can’t put it on a to do list and check it off, because we never completely arrive. Plus, how does one check off an attitude or “being” anyhow? It’s constant work, and it is worth every ounce of energy spent. Living by being is a way of life. This way guarantees peace and harmony in the midst of chaos and strife. We can’t guarantee the response of our spouse, but we can govern what happens in our hearts – and that’s what matters most.