August 14, 2023

Why Marriage is NOT Give and Take; and John Selden on Marital Happiness

ONE Thought (from us)

This might sound off, but healthy marriage is NEVER give and take. Instead, it’s give/give and receive/receive. Give/take is a secular notion borne from the idea of contractual relationships. It’s all about compromise… but biblically, marriage is never about compromise (if this rubs you the wrong way, you’ll want to catch this week’s podcast episode), instead, biblical marriage is about love. And love is all about giving (John 3:16–17).

Compromise gets us to tit-for-tat thinking which leads to keeping long accounts (i.e. records of wrongs). Give/take marriages are a zero-sum game. Give/give is a better way. The most beautiful thing about a give/give marriage is that mutual generosity has a way of multiplying your love and affection for one another, and in our view, this is precisely why God designed marriage the way He did! So, ditch give and take. Give and give instead.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
(Philippians 2:3)

ONE Quote (from another)

“The happiness of married life depends upon making small sacrifices with readiness and cheerfulness.”
– John Selden

ONE Question (for you)

How can you begin building a marriage culture of give/give instead of give/take?

Note: Be sure to watch or listen to this week’s podcast episode to get the full discussion. If you’re feeling stuck in your marriage, we always recommend prayer. For that, try the 40-Day Prayer Journey. Just visit

Much love and stay fierce!

Ryan & Selena Frederick
Founders of Fierce Marriage