One of my favorite verse is Proverbs 14:4, which says "Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox."
I like this verse so much because it speaks to the simplicity of the single life, yet the additional harvest that comes with being married.
I heard a guy at church this past Sunday talking about how much free time he has because he's single. He also talked about a job he recently accepted in Fort Worth. The biggest thing about the position for him was that he did not have to think about if the move would be in the best interest of his wife or children. The only person he had to consider was him.
To me that describes the clean crib (stable) mentioned in Proverbs 14:4. Your things stay where you placed them, you can and go as you please, and it's easier to move through life because there's no spouse to consult.
I may be making you regret ever getting married and living the simplicity of the single life. So, let me quickly tell you about the advantages of the married life.
Although the stable no longer stays clean (your stuff is never where you left it, you've got to consult your mate and children about decision, you can't just come and go as you please, etc.), you are able to do so much more. Or as the proverbs says, there is much increase!
I think about how I'm typically ready to move forward with something as quickly as possible, but my Sweet Cetelia is S-L-O-W. She wants to ask a thousand questions, review the situation from every angle, do 10 hours of research, pray with 13 people, look up 50 scriptures, and fast for three weeks. And to think, all I wanted to know was if she thought we should buy an air mattress for the guest who was staying at our house that night!
However, with Cetelia by my side, I've been able to grow and accomplish more than I would have without her. I believe she'd say the same about her growth (but you'll need to wait until she finishes looking up those 50 scriptures to get her answer).
Although you and your mate are likely different in some major ways, that can be a huge asset in getting things done. Where you're weak, your mate is strong. Where you're impatient, your mate is patient. Where you're task-oriented, your mate is people-oriented.
Together, you and your mate can make great things happen.
Does it take longer? Yes. Can it get messy and frustrating? Absolutely! But, the outcome is well worth it.
The next time you get frustrated, I encourage you to remember that a clean stable is nice, but there's much increase as a result of having an mate around.
Leave a comment below answering this question: How do the differences between you and your mate add increase to your marriage?
Kevin B. Bullard, Marriage Works! Founder