Do You Have an Owner’s Mentality or a Renters Mentality?

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Print please


Dear Theresa

In the
last marriage minder we discussed the difference between having a
gardener’s mentality and a consumer’s mentality in marriage. I pray
t teaching was a blessing in your

I wan
t to talk about another mindset that is critical to having a successful
marriage. I call i
t the “owner’s mentality.”
Someone with an opposite and destructive way of thinking would have a
“renter’s mentality.” Let me explain by way of illustration.
Suppose you were going to rent a house. Before signing the lease, the landlord
said, “It will cost $50 thousand to repair this house and you will have
to pay that amount in order to lease it.”

would you do? Obviously you wouldn’t agree to that and neither would I.
As a short-term renter, you simply wouldn’t inves
t that much money in someone else’s
property. You would expec
t the landlord to make all the repairs, right?

if you owned a house and discovered that extensive and expensive repairs were
needed it would be a different matter. As the owner you would have a compelling
t to take care of the property. If you
planned to live in that house for a long time, you would be willing to make the
repairs—you even would be willing to sacrifice to make the needed

sure you can understand how having a renter’s mentality in marriage can
be devastating. When a person with this mindset sees his or her spouse’s
faults, he or she may begin to wonder if they married the wrong person. When
t times knock on the door, a person with a
renter’s mentality begins to entertain thoughts tha
t the marriage won’t last.

effect, a person with a renter’s mentality becomes passive when his or
her marriage needs the most attention. Their spouse is viewed as the landlord
who must fix up the place. And with one foot positioned a
t the back door, they begin to entertain the
t that another house might just be the
answer. Of course, a
t that point the devil becomes their personal real estate agent with a
property next door, at work or on T.V. that would be so much better.

easy to understand why an owner’s mentality is what is needed for success
in marriage—an owner’s mentality demonstrates a commitmen
t to the relationship regardless of the
circumstances. Rather than being passive about problems and entertaining the
possibility of moving, an owner rolls up his or her sleeves and becomes
proactive, aggressive and sacrificial in the face of needed repairs.

person with an owner’s mentality doesn’t view his or her spouse as
a negligent landlord. Rather they see their husband or wife as a co-owner of
the home. An owner knows his or her efforts will have a positive impact on the
marriage for a long time, therefore, they work, serve and give whatever i
t takes. That, in a nutshell, is the secret to building a great marriage that lasts.

when problems occur in your relationship, do you expect your spouse to do all
of the work to make things right, or do you roll up your shirtsleeves and go to
work? In your mind, is your spouse a landlord or a co-owner?

these illustrations will help you determine whether you have a renter’s
or an owner’s mentality in your marriage. And, if you don’t already
have an owner’s mentality, I pray you will work on developing that
mindset so your marriage will be satisfying and secure for the rest of your


Jimmy Evans

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