If Marriage Were a Contest, How Would You Win?


If marriage were a contest, it would be a contest of…

… who serves first
… who shows appreciation first
… who asks for an apology first
… who carries anger in the heart the shortest
… who forgives first
… who listens more and talks less
… who hugs who the longest
… who is willing to cry so the other person will smile
… who is more like Jesus

Romans 12:10 Outdo one another in showing honor.

How terrible life could have become had it said “Outdo one another in coming up with a list of what you do not like about each other by using MS Word, legal-sized paper, font size 8, with no margin at the top and bottom. Print it but make sure you fill up the back of the paper, too. Don’t waste a space.”

The Bible doesn’t have to say that because that’s already happening. That’s how proactive couples of the modern world are. It happens even to the best of us. Our brain is trained to find what we don’t like and fill ourselves with what we only like.

Here’s what I’ve learned. The only way to be happy in a marriage is when you outperform each other in showing honor.

“What? That’s crazy, Jaycee. How can you be happy when you’re the only one who honors the other person and you’re not receiving the same amount of honor?”

When you honor the other person, you do not expect him or her to return the same, if not greater, amount of honor. Your goal is to win him or her over in terms of showing honor. How can you win a race if you and all other runners are moving at the exact same cadence from the start to the finish line? Someone has to take over the other! Am I making sense?

Maybe some of you have been telling your wife, “You’re so beautiful, honey!” for years or even decades.
Did you ever hear her reply, “Honey, stop telling me that I’m beautiful. I’m sick and tired of that”?

Well, I have an announcement to make. Every time I tell my wife that she’s beautiful, she’s always as giddy as she was the first time I told her that.

Ladies and gentlemen, the truth of the matter is that no one gets sick and tired of hearing, seeing, feeling, and receiving honor.

My wife knows that I’m hardworking. That’s my nature. Whether she tells me that I’m hardworking or not, I’d still be the same hardworking man that I’ve been. But when she tells me, “Uuuuy, ang sipag naman ng asawa ko” [Trans: Wow, my husband is a hardworking man!], man, I’m telling you, my typing speed shoots up from 70 words per minute to 100 words per minute!

Don’t be stingy in giving honor to your spouse. Don’t just be an expert in spotting what you don’t like about him or her. If your spouse does 100 things you don’t like, find at least 1 or 2 things you like and speak words of honor to your spouse. Promote an I-saw-you-doing-something-good culture in the household. Remember, what you focus on grows.

We’re going to church. We’re late. Instead of me asking my wife “Are you finished yet?” every 60 seconds, I’ve seen this “waiting period” as an opportunity to write this article. I could have jumped into the car and tried to turn the steering wheel into a pretzel, but I won’t. My wife is not yet finished dressing up as I type this sentence. But when she goes down, I’ll just tell her, “Bhie, thank you for that opportunity to write another article. You’re getting better and faster in dressing up! Look at that dress. You look so beautiful!”

God bless your marriage.

Jaycee De Guzman

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