“Your win is my win.” I can’t count the number of times that my husband, Daniel, and I have said those five words to each other. When I win, he wins. When he loses, I lose. It’s a simple concept that has become one of the foundations of our marriage.
During our first years of marriage, I often felt—through no fault of my husband—inadequate and, frankly, jealous. He almost always got better grades than I did at training college. He was often called on for fun and adventurous tasks. He had a natural way of drawing people in, making them laugh and pointing them to where they belong. He was a much better cook and always beat me at any Super Mario game.
Some things turned into a competition. Some turned into a power struggle. Some, an argument. Everything was tangled in conflict and disunity.
We were newly married in a world getting louder and louder with contrasting opinions and values about marriage, but never once did the world tell me the simple truth that changed everything: your win is my win.
The Apostle Paul talks a lot about the body of Christ and how we are supposed to function. Most importantly, he talks about how the body has many parts, each with equal value: “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:4-5). He also gives us instructions for how we are to function within that body: “God has put the body together … so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:24-26).
Do you see it? Your win is my win.
In our home, we believe that families (whether nuclear, extended, a family of friends or a church) should all function as a body of Christ, pointing those around us to the head of that body, Jesus.
The Bible also uses the metaphor of marriage to describe God’s relationship to his people. We believe that our marriage is (and should be) a mirror of the relationship between Christ and his bride, the church, and that everything we do should point to Jesus. So, simply put, if we call ourselves Jesus-followers, “your win is my win” is not just a nice idea but the holy blueprint of a biblical marriage.
With that in mind, here are four suggestions for how to live out “your win is my win”:
- Practise humility. Elevate the other person even if you don’t feel like it. How we respond to each other’s wins or losses can have a dramatic effect on our relationships. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
- Submit to each other. I know some think submission is a bad word when it comes to marriage, but it is something Jesus himself modelled as he humbly submitted to the cross for each of us. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21)
- Know your body part. Daniel and I have different gifts and abilities. At our wedding, our first dance was to I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz. The words were prophetic: “I had to learn what I got, what I’m not and who I am.” Discover those things in your marriage and watch how God weaves them together to offset and elevate each other. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (Romans 12:6).
- Trust God’s way. We need to trust that God’s design is and always will be better than anything we can create. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Don’t worry—I found my way. I discovered my gifts and abilities and the things I can use to glorify God. Because of that win, my husband won as well. And because we win and lose together, when one of our sons learns to use the potty, when another gets an “A” on a spelling test or when a new initiative at our ministry unit is successful, we all win. And a family that wins together can win the world for Christ, together.
Captain Bhreagh Rowe is the community ministries officer, St. Albert Church and Community Centre, Alta.