As we have spoken so much about marriage at 24 Church lately, I have put much thought into my role as a wife and what I could do to make sure that I am honoring God as much as I can in that area of my life. I feel as if I go through seasons of focusing on my role as a wife, coasting for a while, then realizing I have slipped in areas that I didn't mean to, and trying to fix things again. What a pitiful scenario! My hope and prayer over the past few weeks has been that I will keep my marriage a priority. And Prov 31:12 came to mind.
All of a sudden I began to wonder how I might be harming Chris. The easy answer was "I'm not." But God was not satisfied with that answer. "What about a lack of respect," He asked. Again, I thought I was covered. But God began to reveal areas in my thought life that were more harmful that I realized they could be.
I have always known that respecting my husband is one of the most important things that I can do for him. And I thought that because I wasn't outright saying disrespectful things, that I was doing a great job. But God began to reveal to me that the seemingly small, harmless, disrespectful thoughts that we have about or towards our husbands are going to grow a root of bitterness toward him that may tear us apart in the future. "How can he go have fun with his friends while I'm at home with the kids?" "Why does he get to rest today? I never get a break or a nap." "I only ask him to do a few things around the house, and he can't even do those simple things." You get the picture. These are just a few generic examples of disrespectful thoughts that we could easily have on any given day without realizing the harm we could be causing our marriage.
Rom 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
We must capture these thoughts and renew our minds! Practice makes perfect. When these types of thoughts arise, we must recognize the pattern, and make the choice to change it. Practicing the right types of thoughts will have our hearts working towards more respect...and our mouth will follow. "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Matt 12:34b
This passage from "Real Marriage" (Mark Driscoll) really stuck out to me: "If you married him, you must have seen something you appreciated and admired about him. We can develop new habits of biblical thinking by being thankful for our husbands' gifts and strengths, rather than being bitter about their weaknesses and shortcomings" p. 68
Take the time to observe your husband closely and journal or make a list of things you appreciate about him: working hard, staying faithful to you, spending time with your kids, being a friend, certain tasks he does, etc. Make the positive observations about your huband over the next few days or so, and share these reasons of why you love/repsect him in a special way that I will share later.
After I read Romans 12:2, I continued reading. In verses 9-13, I found an amazing picture of what our marriages could look like! Please read them...What if we made if one of our life's goals to do everything we can to make our marriages reflect these verses. Glory to God! What a beautiful thing!
Whether we like it or not, our lives and marriages are on display. Instead of being intimidated or embittered by that fact, we should find joy in this very serious priviledge that we have. God has given us an opportunity to shine His light on the subject of marriage. What an amazing gift, that if we focus on the marriages that we have been given, and do all scripture teaches on how to make them wonderful, God-honoring marriages, we will be doubly blessed. Our lives will be full, and our lives will help others' marriages as well. Praise God!
So here is the 2 part challenge :)
1. Write your hubby a love letter. Include the following:
-Resons we love/respect them from observations
-Rejoicing for joys and hopes in your lives/marraige over the past year(s)
-Praise/thankfulness for ways that you have grown and thrived from persevering through tribulation.
2. Love and repsect your husband in a few ways that you have been afraid to, have fought against, or simply not known to be important. Make some changes he will clearly see to be for him. Here are 6 areas to make some of these changes: Appreance, Home Management, Intimacy, Words, Daily habits/routines, and Spiritual needs/prayer
May God be glorified in each of our lives. I know that our marriages are one of the ways He can be made known to us in great and mighty ways!