So I have a confession to make…I wasn’t always a wife who found joy in loving her husband.
This week I encountered many women who have lost the concept of finding joy in their marriage relationship. I met one woman who told me how her husband completely blew off Mother’s Day. When I responded with typical shock, she informed me that he’s been that way for years. WHAT?! I also met another woman who would refer to her husband as an “extra kid”, and in the same breath complain that the “extra kid” hasn’t touched her in months. Listen ladies, I haven’t earned a degree in social sciences or psychology but I learned in grade school that you get out of life what you put in. What are you putting into your marriage relationship? Does it resemble what you’re getting out? Maybe?
I recently read a book by Carol Mahaney Feminine Appeal: 7 Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother. Good book. If you get a chance to read it, do so! Carolyn points out in her book that God never intended for wife’s to abandon their passion and delight for their husbands. Titus 2:4 confirms that for us and so train the young women to love their husbands. What’s more, we as women are supposed to be encouraging each other in that behavior. When is the last time you encouraged your best girlfriend to love her husband and to delight in her marriage relationship?
Now before you start telling me about how he needs to change and how if he was more _______ (fill in the blank) you might be inspired to be more loving, let me stop you. I’ve said those very words and I do need to let you know that they never brought about any change in my husband. Many who know us will tell me, “Your husband is great, of course it’s easy to love him.” However, here’s a secret for you: We’ve been married for 15 years, but only the last 7 years have been years of true growth and maturation. The first 8 years were filled with my arm crossing and negativity. They were years of my criticizing, nagging, and resentful attitude. This is a process. It’s a process, might I suggest, that needs you as a willing participant.
Carol Mahaney brings a valid point to our attention: When we see our husbands as sinners like ourselves – sinners in need of God’s grace and mercy – it strips away any intolerance, critical, or demanding attitude we may be tempted to have. It wasn’t until I saw myself as a true sinner who was in desperate need of Jesus that I began to feel that maybe I was being a little too hard on my husband. Who was I to judge? I was no better! As we become aware of our own shortcomings, and ladies you know we have them, we can foster an attitude of humility towards our husbands shortcomings. Out of that humility we can approach our men with a changed attitude. Your husband is not an extra child, he is a man. He is a man with feelings and emotions. He wants you to see him and respect him as a man.
The Bible tells us that God created Eve as a helper to Adam. Now that word helper is a big word! That word means to surround, to protect, to aid, to succour (run to help, relief). That’s our job ladies! May I propose that we ought to surround them with our love and prayers, protect them from our harsh and critical words, aid them in their roles as men in whatever way they ask for help, run to their aid when they’re struggling, provide relief when life gets overwhelming. You would do this for your child so why not your husband. Eve was to be a helper to Adam. She was a wife first and then she became a mother out of that relationship.
You see, our role is vital to theirs. We work best when we work together. My husband can’t do his job without me and I can’t do my job without him. We depend on each other. If you did those things, how would your marriage look? How would it change your marriage relationship? I’m sure he would be suspicious at first, as mine was, but how would it change things? Sometimes, when the change starts with us we set in motion a chain of events that alters everything. I dare you to try. What have you got to lose? I’ll tell you what you have gain, a marriage relationship that may flourish in the love God gives you both.
Until another confession…