Throughout the past ten years of my marriage, I have had many women come to me with their relationship problems in marriage. I listen, pray and wait. I may not have all the answers my friend, family member or acquaintance needs, but I try to get them started on a path that will lead them to a solution.
Most of the time the women relay the marriage problems like this to me:
My marriage needs help. My husband doesn’t discipline the kids at all. He lets them scream, throw fits and just sits in front of the TV.
I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t believe in divorce, but how can I go on living with this man? He is always angry, stressed and never seems to be happy. I don’t want my kids to live like this!
Seriously this is the gist of most of the emails and visits that I have received over the past 10 years. I would post more, but it would be quite redundant. Do you see a matching pattern in these two statements?
It’s always the man’s fault.
It seems now, more than EVER, women are pushing down men in order to seem smarter, more spiritual and more talented. Society is pushing the idea that women work very hard and men just have the easy life. But Is that assessment really fair?
If you’re searching for some answers for your marriage problems, I know the best place. Time and time again it has helped me in mine and helped me walk others through theirs. It’s the Bible. It contains so many principles, that if followed, will produce a happy marriage and home.
When Jesus was asked which of the commandments given by God were the greatest he responded that loving God with all your heart, strength, mind and soul was the first and most important commandment. The second was loving your neighbor as yourself. Seriously, if we, as wives, follow those two commandments many of our relationship problems would be solved.
Think about it.
If you are loving God with everything you have, then you are also striving to follow all the teachings in God’s word. God doesn’t give us those commandments to hurt us or keep us from enjoying life. In fact, He gives us those commandments to guide us and protect us. Much like we, as moms, give our children commandments. We don’t tell our children to brush their teeth and clean their room in order to take away some of their play time. On the contrary, we know that a clean room and a clean mouth helps prevent other nasty problems.
Jesus Christ said that the second most important commandment is loving your neighbor as yourself. Do you really love your husband as much as you love yourself? That means you are focused on HIS needs, HIS wants and HIS desires.
I will be honest. That commandment is a tough one for me. So many times I want to just crawl in the bed at 9:30 p.m., but I know my husband enjoys me staying up with him so we can go to bed at the same time. That’s definitely a good excuse to put the coffee on, isn’t it? What about dates, restaurants, parenting and everything else that comes up in life? Do you ask yourself first if it would please your husband?
But why should I focus on pleasing my husband? Why should we do everything he wants to do? I don’t feel like he loves me like he should!
You might be right. Maybe your husband doesn’t show his love like he should, or maybe he is caught up with other things and you are not priority in his life. However, you can’t make him obey God’s commandments and you are not responsible for him. But…you ARE responsible for yourself.
God tells us in Romans 14 that we will all give account of OURSELVES before God one day. You will give an account for your life. Your husband will give an account for his life.
But, let me let you in on a little secret, ok?
Many, many, MANY times when wives turn their heart towards their husbands, their husbands become more loving, kind and thoughtful. Psst! I didn’t say perfect. No one will ever be perfect. Don’t expect your hubby to be one of those romantic guys in your romance novels or Hallmark movies. It’s just not going to happen. However, there is a VERY high probability that your husband will start treating you more tenderly, giving you small gifts, thinking of kind things to do for you and wanting to spend more time with you if you change your heart towards him.
Marriage is a crucial part of parenting. If you want to be the best mom ever to your kids, live out your teachings to them through your marriage. Practice selflessness, servant-hood, kindness, forgiveness and love in your marriage. You WILL only reap good benefits.
Here are a few Bible truths that directly relate to our position as a wife:
A soft answer turneth away wrath.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
I know the advice I just gave is not popular, but you know what? It works. Ask the woman who “doesn’t let her husband run over her” if she is truly happy. Most likely you won’t have to ask. You can see it in her eyes when she looks at her husband in disgust. You can tell by the small amount of time they spend together. You can tell by the constant nagging and eye-rolling coming from her direction when her husband is telling a joke or saying something with which she disagrees. No one has to announce that the marriage is not up to par these days.
My marriage isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely good. I hope that in the years to come I continue seeking to become a better wife. But the only way to do that is to love God first, and my neighbor second. And who is my closest neighbor of all? My husband, my spouse.
Ladies, I write this post to you in love and with many prayers. May God encourage you in your marriage today! I know this marriage thing is tough, but it’s worth fighting for!