Question of The Week: What should we do when someone doesn’t carry their weight in a relationship?
God never intended for any single person to be everything for someone else. Whether in a personal, professional or civic relationship, it is simply unrealistic to expect one person to be all and provide everything. Whenever one person is too heavily depended upon, the weight of responsibility on that individual is over the limit of practical human expectation. This is what I call an “overweight relationship”.
God consistently demonstrated fair distribution of weight in relationships. The expectations weren’t always evenly distributed, but the relationship weight each person had to carry was always no more or no less than what they were capable of effectively handling for the duration of their assignment and purpose. Adam and Eve had their distinct relationship expectations (Genesis 1:26-30, 2:15-24, 3:16-19). God gave the members of His church their distinct relationship expectations (Ephesians 4:7-16, 1 Corinthians 12:4-31). Any and every relationship takes a total team effort to fulfill its purpose. Every role won’t be equal in weight, but they will all be equal in necessity and deserving of equal respect.
It’s not unusual for some people to attempt to do everything themselves. Some are driven to take this approach when their spouse, friend, family member or team members fail to carry their own weight in the relationship, or when they fail to establish healthy relationships with others who are better at handling an area than the one they keep depending on. There are some who try to be everything to feed their ego and sooth their insecurities. Whatever the motivation, being the “Lone Ranger” is a recipe for disaster, as it sets the stage for slower progress, less effectiveness and the eventual collapse under the weight of trying to do it all alone. Even Jesus, the greatest human to ever walk the earth, couples his efforts with others (Matthew 10:1, Luke 10:1)! Shouldn’t we?
Give your feedback to these questions:
- What are the signs of being in an “overweight relationship”?
- Are those who handle more, more valuable?
- If a person is trying to handle responsibilities and expectations that they should not have,
what is the most effective way for him to free himself?