Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thoughts on Marriage

The best marriage advice I ever got was this: marriage is not a 50/50 partnership. You do not give "your part" and expect to get in equal proportion. Marriage is a 100/100 partnership. You give your all, regardless of what your partner gives. You live as a godly wife and mother and you love your husband with all you've got. If you think he isn't there for you 100%, you simply take it to God and leave it there. If you disagree with him, you tell him - once - lovingly, and then you take it to God and leave it there. And you keep right on loving and giving and helping. And you sit back and watch how amazing God is. This advice was presented to us in our pre-marital counseling over 10 years ago and I can't think of any better advice to give.

There will be times, sometimes hours, sometimes days, sometimes longer, in a marriage where one person is obviously giving more than the other. If one spouse is sick, or hurt, or grieving, the other will be picking up the slack. This is OK! In time the tables turn!

Just yesterday my husband gave and gave and I pretty much took and took. My mother had surgery to remove a tumor. My husband's team at work did so well last month they gave them all an extra day with pay to take anytime they wanted to this month. He used his day to be with me and the kids up at the hospital all day yesterday. He helped corral kids and keep them busy, he made runs to the snack machine (which was quite a walk). When things went extra long, he took the kids home and fed them dinner (at 8:30 pm ) and when I got home after nine, he put me to bed with a bottle of water. He gave and gave because I needed him to.

There have been times when he has needed me to give and give, and I can give gladly because 1) that's what Jesus would do; 2) I love him so much it really isn't a bother; and 3) I am blessed in the giving.

Marriage is supposed to be a worldly illustration of a Godly precept. Love one another. Patience. Joy. Not holding a record of wrongs. Placing others first. Dying to self. Longsuffering. Perseverance. Realizing the power of words. Building one another up and encouraging. Holding your tongue. As wives, we are to submit. We are to acknowledge our husband's headship. As husbands, men are to love their wives as themselves and to strive to be Godly leaders in the home.

None of us are perfect. There are times when I will fail to be the wife I should and times when he will fail to be the husband he should. But just because one spouse fails does not mean the other gets to "slack off." Just because you don't agree doesn't mean you get to argue. Just because one spouse makes an unwise decision doesn't mean the other gets to gloat.

Are there happy couples in the world NOT following God's plans for marriage? I suppose there might be. But there is a difference in a happy marriage and a Godly one. A Godly marriage is not only happy, it is JOYOUS! It is two people who know that no matter what, they are there for each other and God is there for them both. It is a husband who places his family first when making decisions and a wife who knows she can submit without worry to the choices he makes. It is being able to face the future together knowing that your partner is always right there, on your side, no matter what, and that together you are seeking the path God has laid out for you.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
~Proverbs 3:5-6

1 comment:

  1. I never even knew how to love a wife until I met Jesus. He's changed everything, and because of Him my wife and I have the kind of relationship you're writing about.

    Manifest Blog

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