Did you know that Dear Hubby and I are gamer geeks? Yep, we play several video games together as one of the recreational activities that we share. We have shamans and paladins in one game, a demon slayer and wizard in another…and a Kat and a Norski in yet a third game! For some fun and relaxation, we play together, learn various techniques together, read up on our class or our role in the game, and we work on building all the aspects of the game like exploring the whole map, crafting and achievements too. This way the games go on and on and on and on!
The other night, as we were playing together in a party, it dawned on me that some of the techniques used when partying in the game really do apply to marriage too:
1. Separately or together? In all three games that we play, there is an option to play the game solo (by yourself) or to play it in a party with someone else. If you play the game solo, it can be done but it’s a lot harder, and it takes a lot longer. Playing with another person makes the game a little less stressful–or at least the stress is different–and now one of you can specialize in doing damage while the other specializes in healing.
As you might imagine, it’s the same for marriage. You *can* go through life single and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it can be a lot harder (“An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs —how he can please the Lord. ” ~I Cor. 7:32). You have to bear everything on your own, and every task you do, there is no one there to back you up or support you. Furthermore, as a single person you sort of have to be a “jack of all trades.” Being married does not remove stress, but the stress does change and there is someone there to help you get through things and support you. In addition you do get to use some of your own natural talents to their fullest, and let your spouse handle the things for which they have a natural talent.
2. Someone has to lead. If you do choose to party with someone in the game, one strategy you need to use is that someone has to lead. If you both go off in opposite directions or “do your own thing,” then you both get attacked and get in trouble. When you try to run back toward the member of your party, BOTH of you are under attack and have quite a battle on your hands! If one person in the party leads and the other one follows, you can have the same objective and when you’re attacked, you both fight it.
Again, it’s the same for marriage. If you both have your own work, your own classes, your own hobbies and interests, and your own friends–to the exclusion of your spouse–then you run in opposite directions and somewhere along the line you get into trouble. When you try to run back to your spouse for support, you’re BOTH in trouble and end up with quite a huge issue to deal with! On the other hand, if the husband leads as the Lord directed (“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” ~Eph 5:23), and the wife follows, the couple can have the same objectives and when they get into some sort of trouble, they can BOTH face it together and help each other out.
3. HELP! Every game has some sort of situation in which there is a surprise attack by some sort of monster or enemy. Sometimes the goal is to kill X number of the creatures and then report back. When you’re in a party with someone, if you want you can divide the number of creatures in half and each go out and kill half the creatures to get to the total you need. But that means that each person in the party is acting independently as if they were alone, and the actual task takes longer. In addition, if one or the other of you really gets hit HARD and you stop fighting to try to take care of yourself, the enemy keeps attacking and you die! On the other hand, if the lead picks one creature and the other player ASSISTS the leader, you still need to kill X number of creatures, but the two of you doing it together makes it go faster…AND if one or the other of you really gets hit HARD the other one is right there to stop fighting and switch to healing!
This also holds true in marriages. If the two spouses do stick together but they act independently as if they are single, the marriage may stay together but it definitely makes it harder. The tasks of raising a family and making a living may get done, but the toll it takes can be damaging. Plus if one spouse is hit with something HARD, without the other one right there to help them get through it, it may tear the marriage apart (it dies). On the other hand, if wife allows her husband to lead and actually helps him (“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ ” ~Gen 2:18) the tasks are shared and they go faster and the burden is just a little lighter. You still need to raise a family and you still need to make a living, but when you consider your spouse as you’re doing those things and view everything as a couple, the toll can be eased and any damage largely avoided. More importantly though, if one of you is hit HARD with some huge issue or attack, the other one is right there to help you get through it, and the marriage is saved!
- 10 Things to do to Help Your Marriage Feel Less Stressed | All Pro Dad (revjohnhill.org)
- How to Stay Married for The Rest of Your Life (beyondjane.com)