Why You Need A Double Standard
A few of my favorite quotes from the article - some of them not applying just to marriage.
"The person who understands the evil in his own heart is the only person who is useful, fruitful and solid in his beliefs and obedience. Others only delude themselves and thus upset families, churches and all other relationships. In their self-pride and judgment of others, they show great inconsistency." (John Owen, puritan scholar)
"No one is of the Spirit of Christ but he that has the utmost compassion for sinners. Nor is there any greater sign of your own perfection than you find yourself all love and compassion toward them that are very weak and defective. And on the other hand, you have never less reason to be pleased with yourself than when you find yourself most angry and offended at the behavior of others." (William Law, eighteenth-century Anglican)
That was the holy double standard I needed. As I become more unyielding and aggressive in attacking my own sins and weaknesses, I must extend more and more grace and gentleness toward others in theirs.
If each of us assumes our spouse has it the hardest and that we miss the mark most frequently—and act accordingly—we'll find a mix that's just about right. When we adopt this double standard, we find that encouragement replaces accusation, appreciation replaces resentfulness and understanding replaces judgment. And isn't that the type of marriage we're all looking for? (Gary Thomas)