Marriage: The Power of Two

Posted by: Shel 20 Comments
Marriage: The Power of Two

Do you know what a ‘Pony Pull’ is? I had never heard of it until our pastor mentioned it in a sermon last Sunday. The description reminded me of a truism in marriage.

A pony pulling contest can be seen at fairs and festivals in towns like Perry, Oklahoma and Shipshewana, Indiana. There are rules and regulations, but the gist of it is ponies are hitched up to a cart of cinder blocks to see how much weight they can pull. My understanding is that ponies train for this event by working their way up to increased weights, and the pull is a very short distance.

The amazing thing about the process is not how much weight the ponies can pull (which is pretty amazing), but how much they can pull together.  Pony One may be able to pull 1000 pounds alone. And Pony Two may be able to pull 1200 pounds alone. So, it stands to reason, that together they could pull 2200 pounds, right? But those two ponies, combining their strength, can pull 3500 pounds together – maybe even 4000 pounds!

And so it is in marriage. One spouse putting forth effort in the relationship is good. Both spouses individually putting forth effort is better. But when we as husbands and wives work together to accomplish our goals, our strength is magnified beyond what we can do as individuals. One plus one equals two. Unless it is one husband plus one wife working together as a team – that equals “sky’s the limit” to what can be accomplished!

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  • Sheila Qualls

    This kind of reminds me of the 50/50 concept. Fifty plus 50 in a relationship does not equal 100%. Often times it equals frustration. When we work together and each put in 100%, we come up with more than 200%.

    • Shel Harrington

      Love that, Sheila! I don’t know who to attribute the quote to, but I read somewhere that marriage isn’t 50/50 – divorce is 50/50; marriage is 100/100.

  • Excellent post, Shel. Must be pinned! (And so it will be 🙂 )

  • I love this. Thank you for the reminder that working together is always better than alone.

  • Gina

    I can’t imagine how you come up with this stuff, and I’m totally in awe of you. The power of two can accomplish most anything, and when only one is carrying all the weight he/she wears out from exhaustion and overload, and just quits. I see it often in my work.

    • Shel Harrington

      Gina, you are always so encouraging – just one of the many things I appreciate about you! “Exhausted” is a great way to put it. I just mentioned to Jill that when the one carrying all the weight resents it enough I see them in my office – and that is exactly why – they’re just tired. I know chances are good that when you see them they get armed with the tools they need to take things in a different direction!

  • I commented over on the other story. Wonderful story. And yes, re the team effort!

    • Shel Harrington

      Thanks for visiting me at OWB, Luanne – for some reason I didn’t think that post was a good fit for this site!

  • Great post, Shel! When one party is pulling all the weight, often it results in resentment.

    • Shel Harrington

      It sure does, Jill – and the resentment often gets so strong that I see the resenters in my office!

  • Lindsey

    Love this post! So true! You mentioned your pastor spoke about this and it’s interesting because the Bible describes marriage as two oxen working together – which is a super romantic way to describe marriage, but nevertheless, it’s similar to your blog post, which is a terrific metaphor for marriage.

    • Shel Harrington

      Thanks, Lindsey! I do like the oxen visual – while the romance IS definitely lacking, the image of strength, perseverance and working alongside each other is immediately conjured up.

  • Kimberly

    I have been trying to tell my husband great it would be to combine our debt so that we can pay it off faster. Thank you for this blog. I think this information will help him to get a better idea of the power of two!

    • Shel Harrington

      I’m with you on getting rid of debt, Kimberly. How can one enjoy the freedom of being debt free when the one they love most is still burdened?? More efficient to strive together to meet the goal and celebrate together when the goal is attained. Good luck with the process!

  • shaundre

    You provide powerful information , me and my wife are always worrying about certain things . We keep discussing them with each other then here’ comes Shel with a answer . I don’t know what to call it but you do a great job !

    • Shel Harrington

      Awwww, Shaundre, thank you – you made my day! And that’s just by taking the time to comment – the kind words were a bonus!

  • Susan

    Long ago in my college days, I remember learning in my sociology classes that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” I think this ties in with your post today – together we can accomplish so much more.

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