You argue and fight and you are dead right and they are dead wrong. You are in a smack down steal cage match. You feel like “If a third person would hear our story, they would obviously be on my side!” What is it you want? A referee!!! The template God gave us for the marriage covenant begins with: Honor Christ by submitting to each other.
Directly to men: …you husbands, show the same kind of love to your wives as Christ showed to the Church when he died for her. In other words, you take the bullet. You be willing to serve her, even if it’s uncomfortable – stop making excuses. And everything inside of you will scream, “But I don’t want to!” It’s your choice to pursue a selfish marriage or to be Godly and love her.
Directly to women: …and the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband-obeying, praising, and honoring him. In other words, in everything you do, you respect your man. You be willing to arrange your life to build him up and stop making excuses. It’s your choice to pursue a selfish marriage or to be Godly and obey, praise and honor him.
Is this confusing? No. It’s clear. We just don’t want to do it. We would rather be lazy or selfish and point the finger to your spouse. And of course, our culture doesn’t help. We use women to sell cars and beer. So boys and men learn to view women as something you use not something you honor. Every man on TV or the movies are shown as weak and stupid. What they really need is a woman or a child to lead them.
Scripture says: …the woman is the glory of man. NIV 1 Corinthians 11:7 Your wife is a reflection of your investment into her. How’s it going? You husbands, show the same kind of love to your wives as Christ showed to the Church when he died for her. Be the man God asked you to be. That doesn’t mean you are domineering boss and she has to do everything you say. If you think that, apparently you missed the point that Jesus died for the church and that is the model of how you love your wife. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. MSG Ephesians 5:25-26 So what does it mean to lead your wife? Look at what Jesus did with the church. He pursued the church and we didn’t deserve it. Guys, pursue your wife even if she doesn’t deserve it. Jesus walked through intense pain and suffering to love the Church. Guys, you will experience struggle in your marriage. Every time the Church seeks out Jesus, He gives life to the church. Guys, you are to give life to your wife. How do you do that? The next time she asks you to serve her, you do it. Guys, here is what you don’t know. That is the window to her heart. Get into her world.
And the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband-obeying, praising, and honoring him. Ladies, be a woman God asked you to be. Let me share with you a secret about men. We look to you to be validated on this earth. No one’s opinion matters to us more than yours. So you send your man off to work, what does he face? A beat down. As he grows older, paying the bills, does the right thing, what does he face? A beat down. When he comes home what does he face? Does he come home to a wife that ‘obeys, praises, and honors him?’ Or does he come home to lazy? You didn’t do much and you expect him to work all night. Does he come home to critical? “Why don’t you do this?” “Why aren’t you like him?” Does he come home to disrespect? Your words disrespect him in front of your kids and friends. The enemy never has to attack you man, you are doing it for him.
What did your husband face that last time he tried to lead? Did you argue him into the ground? Did you start crying, call him insensitive so that he would give in to your emotions – and you got what you wanted? Did you repeatedly point out that he made a bad decision in 1972 and if you would have made the decision, everything would be perfect?
Honor Christ by submitting to each other. God’s template to the marriage covenant works. It’s our sin that leads us to be lazy, selfish and godless. So who gets to be the referee in your marriage?
Guys, she is your referee. She decides if you are loving enough. Why? Because she knows more about love.
Ladies, he is your referee. He decides if you are respecting enough. Why? Because he knows more about respect.