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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's much more than picturing Jesus standing behind them.

Originally posted 8-5-08 (edited at end)

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I've been thinking alot lately about how my role in respecting my husband influences our whole family and those around us. I know that seems like a no-brainer, but I feel so strongly about the significance of respect and forgiveness in marriage. It really does make a difference in yours and your children's lives. Between life and tv/movies, I am grieved by the attitudes of people towards their spouse.

I was recently with some people and the wife completely embarrassed and tore down her husband right there in front of me. It was an unprovoked attack that left me very uncomfortable (as I'm sure he was too) so I stepped out of the room.

And there is nothing like the look on the face of a child whose parents are fighting. It breaks my heart. I've been there. I've been that child. It is a horrible feeling. Parents are a child's security blanket, they need us to be stable and strong together. I don't care how many of their friends parents divorce...it hurts a child to see Mom and Dad not getting along. It's unsettling and it will show up in all different ways in their lives.

I know there are men who are very hard to respect. They don't live honestly or respond to us lovingly, but we are called to be helpmates. We are called to honor their postition in the family.

Eph 5:22-33
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.


23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,

27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-

30 for we are members of his body.

31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

32 This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church.

33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
NIV

Notice there are no "ifs" in front of this verse.
No "if" he deserves it.
No "if" he is a Christian (or at least your version of one).
No "if" he does all the things around the house that I've asked him to for 2 years!

NO.
God made us a team. He wants us to live like a team...not like competitors.
Seeing who can be right and how we can make our spouse look foolish and ourselves seem like the honorable one.

NO ONE wins that way.

Marriage is not a competition, it is a commitment.

A commitment to love.
A commitment to care.
A commitment to serve.
A commitment to lift up.
A commitment to uphold.

THANKFUL


I guess what I am ranting about is...be thankful for the husband that God brought into your life. Whatever the situation that brought you together, God can make a beautiful thing out of your marriage if you let Him.
However, He is going to require some things of you...#1- your life.

I've heard it said that many women who struggle with honoring and serving their husbands have to picture Jesus standing behind him and imagine they are serving their Savior instead.

I've been there, I understand that, and if that helps you through the bitterness, that is great. But I want to tell you that if you will lay down your life, truly forgive your husband and respect him...you will no longer need to have that picture in your mind.

I can remember praying after a much "heated discussion" with Mark early in our marriage. I prayed with tears in my eyes and anger in my heart-
"God, I know I have to forgive but I don't want to, he hurt me...he was wrong! God HOW can I forgive THAT?!!"
The response came so quickly to my heart...forgive him like Jesus forgave.
Then I thought of Jesus on that cross when He said...

FORGIVE


Luke 23:34
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
NIV

Ok....I said it in my heart...but what does that look like? How do I act when I get home? (I had left after our argument to go to the store). And His response to my heart was, if you will forgive him, you can go home and act as if you would if he had never said those things to you.

I have to tell you...our marriage was forever changed from that moment.
It was not "happily ever after" but it was different. I was different and because I was different, he changed too.

There was no longer a power struggle in our home. We became partners and have been growing together as partners ever since. Making plenty of mistakes along the way...but with a commitment that is solid as the Rock it is built on.

I am incredibly thankful for my husband, he is my best friend.

EDITED TO ADD:
In light of some recent conversations and questions I've been asked, I want to say something about women in ministry.

If God's called you to minister, praise God. But don't put that in front of your calling as a wife and mother- that would be rebellion. Make sure that your husband is in agreement and standing with you. You were created to be a helpmeet first.


I'm praying for our marriages,
Sue

13 comments:

Oh Sew Good said...

I love the candid honesty of forgiving even when you don't feel like it and even when you don't want to. Seeking forgiveness thwarts the enemy's plans and besides, God loves it when we act like Jesus. :)

Kimberlymac said...

Thank you! Very inspiring. I pray that women will hear God's Voice and heed it!
You know, we were created, shaped for our husbands and we have everything we need to gracefully, wisely and competently be their wives. God knew what He was doing when He made me for my husband, to complement His weaknesses. We took a vow to become One in Christ and when I speak sarcastically about him or cut him down, I am hurting myself too, we are one in Christ Jesus!

Rona's Home Page said...

One must remember that marriage isn't a competition.
My hubby and I work together not against each other.
I always have to remind couples that want to want to go into this business that attitude will not work.

Faye said...

Great post!Always a blessing!I go back to the doctor tomorrow!Please keep me im your prayers!Hope you have a great dsy.Blessings, faye

Charla (SHar-la) said...

I love these posts about marriage! Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

Kela said...

I so look forward to every Tuesday with you now.
Marriage is one area that God has given my husband and I a passion for in helping others.
Your posts are tools that we can all use.

Cristi said...

Enjoyed your post. I am SO THANKFUL for my husband who puts me first every day. (God first of course, then me.) There is no one else like him. I definitely got the better end of this deal. But being the man he is he would not agree. Can wait to get my Praise and Coffee prize! :)

Jensmere said...

Such a wonderful post, Sue. I have prayed that I would be able to honor my husband and not tear him down in any way. God has honored my prayers...

if I find myself in 'trash talk' about our hubbies, I feel a momentary pause in my spirit...God is helping me not to participate in this kind of conversation. It is a blessing to walk away feeling good about yourself and good about the man God has placed in your life!

Bless you,
Susan

3rd Wave Inc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
christinnjon said...

This is excellent and so true. Forgiving and just letting go of "being right" is not easy for the flesh, but is sure brings peace to the spirit and unity back into the marriage.
I can totally relate to just forgetting an offense and forgiving. No one said doing that would be easy, right? But it's certainly worth it and humility is more important than being "right" (whatever that means in our own minds).
Great lesson. Thank you. :)

Smelling Coffee said...

What a great post, Sue! I know the Lord is using it to speak into the hearts of every wife who reads it. Thanks for sharing honestly...

elizabeth embracing life said...

I love my husband so much and am always so blessed by him. I I would NEVER want to cast a shadow on his character to others. I love that you have posted such a terrific blog.

Glowing 4 Him said...

Wow, the edit was JUST FOR ME. While I've once lost myself in ministry, excusing it because feelings of being drained and dragged down by my husband. God has really worked in ME since then, and I have re-prioritized according to His Word. I do understand that my family is my ministry first and foremost, but the "balance" can still be a struggle. What happens when you get no support at all? or worst yet, what if your husband doesn't want you to be involved with church period. While I'm thankful the last part is not my case, it has none the less been felt. Thanks so much for your encouragement and prayers.

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