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Pastor Phil Ayres from Kingdomcity joins Jeziel in the studio to share wisdom on marriage and relationships. Phil has a passion for growing strong families, and is a goldmine of knowledge and advice. Phil says his passion stems from enduring many difficult years of marriage. After weathering the storm, his marriage is now stronger than ever, and he loves to share his expertise on marriage, relationships, and ledgers.

“Hang on a minute” I can hear you saying. “Are you sure he didn’t say, love with a legend?” No, but I can see where you’re coming from. Most guys (and girls) do reckon they’re in love with a legend. Or they are a legend. Either is fine. But no, Phil is talking about ledgers this week. That’s right, the same as the accounting book. A ledger is used to keep a record of accounts and transactions. So a ledger in a relationship is a metaphor for someone keeping track, and determining whether the incoming and outgoing love is equal.

Hitched: Why Love with a "ledger" mindset is so harmful

When we have a ledger, we measure out our love for our spouse based in our perceived account balance.

How does this actually work out in relationships?

Well, it doesn’t. I mean that one or both of you are comparing the input of love from their spouse. This leads to a transactional love scenario. Love is given conditionally to their expectation of love in return. You end up driven by guilt and fear, rather than real love.

Why do people keep ledgers?

Some people have personal expectation, which can be tied to identity or self worth. This situation is usually caused by some kind of hurt in the past. They may also have a family culture of it. Or perhaps their friends are influencing them.

Why is a “ledger” mindset so harmful?

Love operates out of freedom! Keeping a ledger mindset violates that foundational principle. This principle comes from the book of 1 Corinthians.

…Love…keeps no record of wrongs… it always protects always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… love never fails… (1 Corinthians 13:5,7,8 NIV)

So burn the ledger! You can’t build a loving relationship when you’re measuring each other by their performance.

But how do we practice living ledger free?

  1. Accept each other warts and all.
  2. Believe in each other. Look for the good and overlook wrongs.
  3. Celebrate successes, things done well. Encourage each other and make a big deal of what’s working!


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