Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Side Note

A Side Note

The majority of my time and energy has been spent on sharing what I’ve discovered about being a woman, becoming a godly woman, and loving the woman God designed me to be.  I have also explained how I interpret and apply that new knowledge to being a godly wife.

My studies have been for my own personal growth, very one sided, because as they say…I can only control and change me.  However, there are two sides to this coin.  For every Scripture in the Bible that is designed to guide a woman to be a godly wife, there are also Scriptures for men to guide them to be godly husbands.

Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

That last Scripture is very essential to what I’ve been saying about being a godly wife.  It’s also a bit of reprieve for those wives feeling a bit overwhelmed by my recent posts.  This Scripture doesn’t change our responsibility, nor does it give us pass to disobey God’s command for a wife.  What it does do is show me that God’s plan for marriage is fair and just.

It seems there has been this illusion created that marriage is, or should be, easy.  Maybe all those fairytales where the last sentence is almost always, “and they lived happily ever after”, attributed to that skewed view?  I think we would be better served if we caught a glimpse of Prince Charming and Snow White seven years in, with a few children, a mortgage, couple of car payments, forty plus hour workweeks, bills…You know, reality!

Marriage is by no means easy.  Is it simple?  Ha!  The concept of marriage is simple; God even maps it out for us:

Ephesians 5:22-30 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, the she might be holy and without blemish.  In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.

Simple enough, right?  If only!!  What complicates this perfectly designed plan is that we live in a fallen world.  We are sinners and our spouses are sinners.  That is why God must always come first.  “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” (Matthew 6:33).  While God’s plan is good, it is only possible through Him.  If we try to white-knuckle through it ourselves, it’s really pointless.

When there is a plan laid out for two people, both parties must be working on the same plan!  Each has to be doing their part or the wheels just fall off.  Sure, the cart can roll down the path a bit on three wheels, but that third wheel is gonna fall off at some point.  Which puts an enormous amount of stress on the remaining two wheels, and they might make it for a while…But the weight of the cart wasn’t designed to be carried on two wheels, those wheels will quickly become worn down and eventually fall off too.

This marriage thing, it was designed by God therefore it is perfect.  It’s the participants that are imperfect.   For this plan to work in it’s perfection, both husbands and wives must submit to God.

I have spent a lot of time focusing on a wife’s part, because, well, I’m a wife.  But don’t think for a minute the husband doesn’t have his part to uphold!! 

Let me give a voice to what some might be thinking:  Why do I have to be the one that does all the work?  Why should I respect him if he does not love me unconditionally??  This is unfair!  I can’t do all the submitting and respecting and get nothing in return!  That’s just crazy!!! 

Those are the only the things that were right on top of my head…I encourage you to add whatever grievances I missed.  Heck, write them down!  (No really, write them down.)

Did you write them down?  Good.  Now, turn all of it over to God.  Read that list of “I can’t” and “It’s not fair” out loud to your Heavenly Father.  Read the Scriptures about a husband’s duty.  But instead of thinking, “SEE!!  He isn’t doing his part!!” know that God requires no less of your husband.  God isn’t asking you to do more; He is showing you your part.  Here’s the hard part:  You, woman, have to trust God.  Put it ALL in His hands.  Seek Him first, before you even try to respect your husband, because your husband is going to fail.  If your faith is in your husband’s ability to love you unconditionally, he will fail you.  God will not.  Without God you won’t be able to fulfill what Scripture commands, you will fail.

With that said, it’s not my job to tell my husband how to do his job, that’s between my husband and God.  My husband’s actions do not change what God has called me (a wife) to do.  It will be easier if my husband has a willing spirit.  I will be more inspired to respect him if I feel loved, unconditionally, by him.  I’m not saying just lump it if your husband isn’t meeting your needs!  I am saying trust God.

Every commandment, every instruction in the Bible has a purpose.  The Bible is designed as a guide for us to “get” what God wants for us.  God wants for us to know him.  Everything He commands us to do brings us closer to Him!  He will give us wings like eagles if we wait for Him.  He is faithful, He is mighty, He is all knowing, and all-powerful!!  We have direct access to that, through the Holy Spirit.  So trust in Him, submit to Him, and watch His glory unfold.