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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Two shall become One ~ Commitment


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 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.

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!

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.

I am so happily married. Maybe you think..."oh you're just one of the lucky ones, your husband is one of the few..."
And of course that is true! :)

But seriously, I have made a commitment in this life to die to my own selfish needs and desires and to serve this man with all my heart.

Before you think I'm making myself out to be some sort of martyr, you need to realize, I am an extremely happy woman!
My husband treats me wonderfully. But it was not always this way. Mostly because I was a selfish brat (and I can still wander into that attitude if I'm not careful!).


I guess what I am ranting about 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 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...


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

Ok....I said 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.

I'm praying for our marriages,


concerned parent said...

Such a strong point we all could all work on. Well written and much needed.
I was just sharing on Saturday how much you have taught me about marriage and what to do and what not to do and the impact it has had on my marriage over the past 18 years. THANK YOU, love Ali

Jessica said...

What you have written today are words and principles that will unlock the door for those who are seeking true peace, harmony and happiness in their marriages.

The problem comes when people refuse to accept God's direction and choose to make their own way (i.e. Cain). It just won't work and you'll never be truly happy.

Please, please, please dear ladies... I encourage you to try God out. His ways are always perfect.

Deut. 32:4
[He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.

Colored Heart said...

Forgiveness and Thankfulness, two words that struck me. This is my first time to join you in TSBO meme. I hope to read more from you and from the other girls around.:$ I will post my Tuesday entry at my blog however late it is. Hope you can stop by when I am done. Thanks for sharing your insights on loving our husbands the Lord's way. Shalom!:$

Growing Believer said...

Woah, this touched my heart. I have been reading the Love & Respect book after reading the snip on your TSBO and have really been struggling with showing unconditional respect, but have been moving forward. Some days I just want to throw in the towel, but I pick up the Word and remember all that He has forgiven me for and how sometimes He could (but doesn't) look at me and say "she doesn't deserve me or what I have given her". That's humbling, but for me helps to get me through another day showing my husband Respect and Love, even when I don't feel like it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these words of wisdom Sue. They are practically shouting at me from my computer! I definitely needed this reminder of my role in this marriage.

Praise and Coffee said...

Oh ladies,
I just feel such an urgency that with the days ahead, our homes need to be solid. Our families need to be strong.
At all cost, let's make that happen.

Gracie said...

That was extremely powerful. For me, the big thing is to stop and think what im taking in. Now i know im only 13, and im not going to get married any time soon, but it gave me a postive outlook and positive advice for the future.

On Purpose said...

Thank you for blogging about some really important stuff!

My husband and I made a commitment/agreement early on in our marriage to not speak poorly of each other to ANYONE...only God. It has been a challenge, but it has also helped us steer away from "joining the crowd". I follow our agreement, by reminding myself...if I don't want him speaking poorly about me...then I need to keep quiet.

I am praying with you for our marriages!

Thank you for obedience to bring out what God has laid on your heart!

Paula said...

Thank you for posting this Sue. I am 85% there. Occasionaly I slip up and will say something disrespectful about my husband either to him or in front of other people. Last week I was making fun of him because he couldn't fit into his old wetsuit in front of some other people. Later he told me that that really hurt his feelings and he felt like I was mocking him in front of our friends. He was right. It was insensitive of me and I am trying to make a concious effort to not do it in the future.

HisPrincess said...

Hi Sue, I was browsing blogworld when I came across you..praise and coffee...two of my favourite things!

This was a great post, and something that I struggle with. While I would never tear my husband down intentionally I do tend to discount him, or not include him, and I know thats because I feel he doesn't support me when I need it. This is something I need to work on.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,

Thanks for your thoughts! Glad to see I'm not the only one thinking this way!

I've been talking about the same things over at my blog if you'd like to check it out!

Glad I stumbled upon your blog through BlogHer ... I'll be coming back!


Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you for your honesty. God really used your article to help me look again at how I fail to respect my husband. What a difference it makes when we do it His way. Thanks! Terri

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