Friday, May 4, 2012

Ladies, You Can Impact Your Marriage

Often, ladies come to me for counsel and ask what they can do to best impact their marriage. These women are godly and have a heart for God. They attend church, have devotions, and see that their children are raised for Jesus Christ. They really want to know what they can do to make the marriage the best possible. What I say next is usually not what they are expecting to hear. They want me to tell which verse to memorize or some technique I have up my sleeve that can get their husband to church more often. but, what God wants is not technique, but lifestyle. It's what 1 Peter shares in the first part of chapter 3:
In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live when they observe your pure, reverent lives. Your beauty should not consist of outward things [like] elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. Instead, [it should consist of] what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God's eyes. For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming. (1 Peter 3:1-6 HCSB)
In our society of egalitarianism and feminism, these words can seem foreign. I think so many have written off these word that even claim the name of Christ. When it comes to Scripture, that is always a dangerous way to live. These last few blogs (Men Pt. 1, Men Pt. 2) have been uncomfortable for many of us men as well. God has never promised us comfort. His top priority in our lives are holiness and godliness.

So, then what does God want from a godly, holy woman? I have taken the opportunity to use some of what Elizabeth George shared in her book, A Wife after God's Own Heart (This is from Chap. 2, "Working Together as a Team", you can get your own e-copy copy here.

So, what does God look for from a wife who wants to impact her husband?

A wife helps her husband - In fact we might say this is why God created a wife for Adam, the first man. When God surveyed his remarkable handiwork on day six of creation, one more thing was needed. As the Bible reports, "Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, into every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him." Genesis 2:20. "And the Lord God said it is not good that man should be alone I will make him a helper comparable to him." In other words, man needed someone could share man's responsibilities, respond to his nature with understanding and love. She could wholeheartedly cooperate with him in working out the plan of God for their lives. The result was Eve, the first woman was the helper God created for Adam. She was God solution for man's need for a helper and a companion.

A wife submits to her husband - This makes sense after learning that the husband is to lead in the marriage. If someone (God says the husband) is to lead in the marriage, then someone (God says the wife) must follow. Here's how God expresses it: "Wise, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord as is fitting in the Lord be submissive to your own husbands." This means wives must adapt himself to their husbands leadership and their way of leading.

As an aside, don't you think it's interesting to know that God did not tell husbands to lead? No, this communication was with wives, letting you know that you should follow your husband's leadership. It cannot be a demand from her husband.

A wife respects her husband - God instructs, "let the wife see that she respects her husband" (Ephesians 5:33). A Christian life is to "reverence" and respect, praise, and honor her husband. This is honoring. A sense of awe ought to come over you when you see your husband.

I would like to take am moment and share what my wife, Kelly, shared with me when I was doing research. I wanted to know what it means to her when she shows me respect. For her, it is not being a doormat, it is so much more. Her respect for me flows out or her deep love and trust for me. I could not have asked for a better biblical model for a godly wife. Thank the Lord for our 30 years together.

She told me that respect has to do with things like:
  • She seeks my opinion
  • She wants to know my advice
  • She supports decisions
  • She longs to be with me
  • She shows me affection
  • She doesn't put me down, especially in front others.
This is the kind of wife God is looking for. this is the kind of wife a husband longs for.

A wife loves her husband - Here's where the fun begins! Married women are "to love their husbands" (Titus 2:4). In other words, wives are to be affectionate and treat husbands in a loving manner – two cherish and enjoy our husbands as a best friend!

A wife enjoys her husband - And here is where the fun continues. The Bible says in first Corinthians 7:4, 5 "A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. Do not deprive one another." The one thing that God told us to do and we have ever even try to attempt to keep was multiply and replenish the earth. Isn't it a shame that men and women who adhere to this world's system have decided that this part of the relationship is somehow not as great if you're married? May I say, THAT'S JUST NOT TRUE!

Ladies, God designed this part of your marriage to be exquisite. Throughout the Bible, from the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament, to the book of Hebrews (13:4), God tells us that this part of the relationship is wonderful and enjoyable. Guilt should never enter in, because God said that you are to have a marriage that is undefiled. In other words, make sure that your marriage bed is exclusive territory reserved only for your husband. Otherwise, guilt will destroy your relationship. So, there ya' go... that's the only restriction you have a closed marriage bed except for your husband. God is telling you to have fun and enjoy yourself. When that happens, I have to wonder why you would ever deprive one another (1 Corinthians 7:5).

Ladies, I can't force you, only encourage you, find fulfillment and joy as a wife for your husband. You will never regret it. He will rise up and call you blessed and praise you (Proverbs 31:28)

Honoring wives everywhere,

Pastor Trey Rhodes

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