A happy marriage
I have been happily married for nearly fourteen years and I can honestly say that time flies when you are having fun. Now, I must admit that we have had our ups, our downs, our sideways, and the in between but God has blessed me with a wonderful wife that I thank Him for everyday.
There are hundreds if not thousands of marriage self-help books around, seminars, webinars, retreats, and pamphlets but I have found the magic elixir to having a happy marriage guys: your wife is usually right. Seriously, she is. Well, at least mine is. By the grace of God I found an intelligent God-fearing woman who just happens to be a great cook and mother as well. If I have ever thought that she was wrong she quickly told me otherwise. Just ask her…..
Ok, joking aside I am not sure there is an all fire sure secret to a happy marriage. A great marriage often consists of hard work from both husband and wife with no overtime pay. You will find yourself in a rut, in a hurry, or in an overall funk that affects that quality time between spouses. The cares of the world will creep in and that heartfelt intimacy that you once shared will slowly fade into the background leaving both of you wondering what exactly happened.
Well, like I have said, there are no cookie cutter marriages, no one size fits all, and no fix-a-flat for the blowouts of life, but there are some biblical principles that we can and must follow to have a healthy and happy marriage.
Husband love your wife.
This is not a suggestion. This is not something that the Apostle said in passing just to mollify the perturbed women at church. Here is exactly what he said:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, – Ephesians 5:25
That is not something easy to do at all times is it? Sacrificially. Unconditionally. LIKE HE LOVED THE CHURCH. He loved us and gave Himself for us while we were yet sinners, wretched, at enmity with Him, and by nature children of wrath. When we all were at our worst He loved the church and gave Himself for it. So gentleman, are we loving our wives like that? When they are grumpy do we love them like Christ loved the church? When they disappoint us, let us down, or forget to hang the towel back up and the toothpaste cap gets lost do we love them unconditionally?
Our relationship with our wife is compared to Christ and the Church. I mean come on, Jesus was a carpenter. He could have used that analogy so we could shape our wives into what we want them to be instead of what and who they are in Christ, but He didn’t. Just as the Church is not in and of itself perfect, neither are we, our wives, or our relationships, but we are being conformed to His image and sanctified daily in our walk with Christ Jesus our Lord.
Here is something that I found in my marriage, ( I know, I know…..anecdotal evidence ) the more that I have submitted ( see guys submission is not just for the women folk ) to my Head, which is Christ, and loved my wife the way I am supposed to, the easier things are. Not always but usually. And ladies……you are supposed to respect and submit to your husbands just as He submits to Christ. Now ponder this for a second, is it easier for the wives to respect and submit to a husband who is loving her like Christ loved the church or one who tries to lord it over her? I think the answer is self-evident.
No secret formula
Husbands, I want you to realize something very, very important. Even if you love your wife perfectly ( which you won’t ) your marriage will not be without some difficulty at times. After all, you are both humans living in a fallen world. You will mess up, she will mess up, and you will both mess up together…. But that is where love, communication, repentance, and forgiveness comes in…..on both your parts. We all must swallow our pride and admit we are wrong, and trust me, that is something difficult for me to do. We must ask for forgiveness, serve our spouse, and lead them as we are called by Christ to do. Give a soft and kind answer wherever possible as a harsh word stirs up wrath. Remember that Love covers a multitude of sins ( sure am glad my wife loves me ) and that he who finds a wife finds a good thing.
2. Wives respect your husbands
I know it is hard to do at times ladies, with our smells, noises, and often caveman like behavior……but it is possible. We men long for respect and to tell you the truth I would gladly walk on nails for my wife when she respects me ( guys don’t forget point #1 here ). I feel ten feet tall when she tells me I have done a good job, worked hard, accomplished a goal, did a good job with kids, or that I successfully didn’t burn dinner to a crisp.
Ladies, when he tries encourage him. When he fails encourage him. Do we men need instructions? Why of course, as we often do not read them anyway, but wives give them in love without berating him. Nagging does nothing but engender bitterness and strife ( guys sometimes if we did things when we were supposed to she wouldn’t have to ask twice ). Wives, please remember to ask at an appropriate time and husbands give a prompt response.
Wives, respect that he most likely does not think like you. When you tell him of a problem he, especially at first, will most likely try and fix that problem when all you wanted was for him to listen. Wives remember that he most likely will not express his feelings the same way as you or in as many words as you. Remember that he is bombarded all day long with false notions of what it means to be a man: he is told that he must be stoic and distant or that he must embrace his feminine side and wear a dress with his work boots. Neither are true of course but sometimes it is hard to stay focused, so wives respect the efforts he does make to be a Godly husband and father.
No Secret to a happy Marriage
Well, there you have it. There is no cure all for what ails your marriage. No magic pill or elixir that makes every problem and hurt go away, but we have something much better: Christ and His word.
So remember husbands to love your wives as Christ loved the church and to submit to Christ as He is the head of the church.
Wives, love and respect your husbands, submitting to them in the Lord .
Pray together, study the Word together, fellowship with other believers, put Christ first, and forgive as you have been forgiven
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