Monday, November 17, 2008

At the Well - Standing For Your Marriage

has a new topic for us to discuss
At the Well.
When you are done here,
be sure to head over to her site
and join the other ladies there.

Chelsey has given us some very thought-provoking questions regarding standing for our marriages:

What Does Commitment in Marriage Mean?

As I wrote in my e-book 20/20 Vision for a Happy Home,


Settle it in your heart and mind right now and from now on that divorce is not an option.

Do divorces happen in Christian marriages? Yes.
Could a divorce occur in your marriage? Yes.
Is there such a thing as not being responsible for your divorce? Yes.
Is there forgiveness and spiritual health and healing after a divorce? Yes.
Is it possible for a marriage after divorce to be holy and successful? Yes.

Now that we have that cleared up, let me repeat myself:

Settle it in your heart and mind
right now and from now on that
divorce is not an option.

Once that word comes into one's mind or is mentioned by the other partner, it seems as though the whole thing begins to unravel. I've seen it many, many times and experienced it first hand through two of my mother's divorces. It is just too easy to pursue that choice when it is viewed as an option.

Now, your husband may not be of the same mindset. In that case, Paul said, "If the unbelieving depart, let him depart." That doesn't mean you should help him pack. In fact, you should do all you can by the grace of God to live at peace with him as Paul goes on to say later in that verse: "...but God hath called us to peace." (1 Cor. 7:15)

1 Cor. 7:10, 13 "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: . . . And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him."

Believe Love is Forever

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What kind of wife are we called to be to our husbands?
We should be the kind of wife that is irresistible. Our husbands should be the object of our closest study.
  • What pleases him physically (i.e. food, clothing, home atmosphere, intimacy)?
  • What can I do that would make his life easier?
  • Is there something I could do to further his business or save him money where my home responsibilities are concerned?
  • What kind of home atmosphere would bring him peace as soon as he walks in the door?
  • What has he said in the past that indicates what his preferences are?
  • Is there anything he has mentioned that needs to be done that either I or the children should do?
Since many men do not openly communicate their desires to their wives, we have to keep our ears peeled to discern his wishes even when they are not clearly spelled out. Ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment concerning this and grace to carry out what you discover. He would be happy to assist you.
1 Cor. 7:34 says, "There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. . . she that is married careth for . . ., how she may please her husband." Many married women still live as though they are single. They do not consider their obligation to meet the needs of their husbands. The Lord Himself in creating woman did so for the purpose of providing a helper who would be most appropriate to meet man's needs. God Himself said, " It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet (helper appropriate) for him. " (Gen. 2:18) A wife is prepared by God to perfectly meet the needs of her husband. Now, do it!

What are ways that we can biblically stand for our marriage?


The Bible has a lot to say to wives about their responsibilities in the marriage relationship. Once a woman enters a covenant of marriage, she is accountable to the God who created the institution of marriage to uphold His directives for her in it. Besides those mentioned above, here are some other verses to seriously consider when striving to stand for your marriage:

1. Submit to your husband: To yield one's opinion to the opinion or authority of another; to yield without murmuring. [1]

Eph. 5:22 (see also Col. 3:18): "Wives, submit yourselves
unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."

Some of us (I'm raising my hand) are so opinionated! We think what we think should be done should not only be considered, but implemented immediately. It's not that we shouldn't offer our advice and counsel, but we should do so with an attitude that what we suggest may not be done. When you differ with your husband, YIELD. And, don't murmur about it, either. Don't fold your arms, pout, or otherwise raise your hackles over not getting your way. YIELD. (Oh, this is so much easier to preach than to practice.)

2. Be in subjection to him: The state of being under the power, control and government of another.

Eph. 5:24 "Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,
so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."

Also, 1 Pet. 3:1, "Likewise, ye wives,
be in subjection
to your own husbands. . ."

3. Give him the benevolence you owe him: The disposition to do good; good will; kindness; charitableness; the love of mankind, accompanied with a desire to promote their happiness.

1Co 7:3 "Let the husband render unto the wife
due benevolence
: and likewise also the wife unto the husband."

In context, this speaks specifically of the intimate relationship between husband and wife. You are not being good, kind, loving, or charitable if you are withholding intimacy from your husband (other than the exceptions Paul gives in 1 Cor. 7:5).

4. Give him your body:

1 Cor. 7:4, "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband:"

This, of course, corresponds with the verse given before this one. Denying your husband access to your body should be very, very rare. You must understand that men need intimacy with their wives. Go ahead even when you don't feel like it. By seeking to meet his needs, you may be very surprised to find that you have your own needs met in the process. It's good for his health and yours, too. Don't ask questions, just listen up and obey the Word.

5. Seek his counsel:

1Cor. 14:35 "And if they will learn any thing,
let them
ask their husbands at home:
for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."

You may say, But my husband isn't a believer! Engaging your lost husband in a question concerning something you are wondering about the Bible or what you've heard from spiritual teachers could unlock the door to his eventual salvation. By not being a know-it-all, you may open the conversation that leads to his spiritual awakening. Don't discount what God may reveal to him when you ask. For women who have believing husbands, I just have to ask in light of this verse, why aren't you approaching your husband first when you have questions about the sermon or about the Bible in general? Hm?

6. Love him:

Tit. 2:4, "That they may teach the young
women to be sober, to
love their husbands..."

Need I explain this one?

7. Reverence him: to regard with fear (awe) mingled with respect and affection (editor - like the respect given to a father or other authority).

Eph. 5:33 " . . . the wife see that she reverence her husband."

Ouch!
This one is especially difficult for those of us who were reared in the Western culture. We have been taught from an infant that all people are on equal levels. Husbands are no different than girlfriends. Sadly, many women don't even view their husbands on the same level with their fathers. Let this verse be your guide and pray for grace to overcome the inclination to demote your husband in your own eyes.

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I know it can be very discouraging to read these verses, especially when we are not walking in the light of the Word regarding our husbands. Sometimes, it can even be so overwhelming that we don't think things will ever get any better. Let me encourage you, dear one, to walk on. Confess your sins to the Lord and ask Him for grace to obey His Word.

It would be a good idea, also, to speak with your husband regarding the things you are learning here and at the other blogs At the Well. Confess to him that you have not been the Christian wife you should be and that you desire from now on to be a godly wife. Be quick to confess your sins and to surrender to God's will in every situation and conflict. Then, and only then, can you ever hope to see your marriage emerge into what God intended it to be, a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the Church (Eph. 5:17-33).

[1] All definitions are taken from Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary.