The Danger of “Scratch My Back, and I’ll Scratch Yours”


Yesterday I put gas in Cetelia’s vehicle. This morning she put gas in my vehicle. I thanked her and commented, “I filled your tank, and you filled my tank; the classic, ‘You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.'” As soon as I said it, I realized how dangerous that situation is.

Me “scratching Cetelia’s back” when, if, and only she “scratches my back” first, always leaves her in a position of being the initiator, and possibly not ever getting her back scratched. I always get the luxury of going second, and then, only if my needs are met. Seems kinda selfish, doesn’t it? Moreover, it flies in the face of the golden rule, which puts the onus of starting on me: And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them1. Notice it doesn’t say others will do the same unto you. It says to do what you wish they would do to you. That’s hard core, right? I know. Keep reading.

Keep this in mind when dealing with your spouse. Don’t wait for your needs to be met before attempting to meet your spouse’s needs.

Yes, I know that you’ve started before, and your own needs were not met. I know you’ve been giving, and your spouse has been like the Dead Sea: continually receiving, but not emptying out. I know you’re tired, frustrated, and have had it up to here. I know you wish your spouse would change, and that your needs would be met for a change. I know it’s not easy giving when there’s no reciprocation. I know, and my heart is for you.  More importantly, God knows, and he will not forget your service given out of love towards your spouse as unto him2.

God is the ultimate rewarder, and will ensure that you get what you’re due. Trust him to take care of you while attempt to take care of your spouse. God is not mocked … you’ll reap what you sow 3. Faithful is he who promised, and faithful is he who will do it4, 5.

1: Luke 6:31
2: Hebrews 6:10
3: Galatians 6:7
4: 1 Thessalonians 5:24
5: Hebrews 10:23

Copyright © 2011 Kevin B. Bullard. All Rights Reserved. Permission granted to use and reproduce with proper source citation.


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