In the fall, I taught a women’s Bible study based on material from my current work in progress, A Wife of Valor: Your Strategic Importance in God’s Battle Plan. This seven-week course focused on teaching women to more effectively partner with their husbands as fellow soldiers in God’s battle.
Here’s what participants said they found most helpful, challenging or thought provoking from Week 1:
“The illustration of battling back to back with my husband, being warriors together for God’s cause.”
“The reminder that we should just give thanks for the man our husband is, instead of desiring a ficticious delusion of who our husband ‘should’ be.”
“When I make ‘sacrifices’ and humbly yield my own desires, I am following Jesus’ example.”
Thank you for a great post. I wish my wife would more deeply embrace these ideas. Could I share my story with you and maybe you could offer me your wisdom on the matter….
I have a concern with my marriage but I don’t know what to do. My wife and are somewhat newly wed (3 months), but my wife does not seem to be concerned with working on the marriage, while I feel very strongly that we should. We get along great unless she’s annoyed with me which happens suddenly and turns into anger instantly (though she denies being angry it is clear that she is more than what I consider “annoyed”). My wife is a believing Christian, and she will read the Bible with me when I bring it out (which I try to do daily), but she seems to have no motivation to really deeply consider its teaching or to pray outside of when I remind her to (and even when I do she kinda groans, which breaks my heart). I don’t know what to do! I’ve explained to her with calmness and sincerity how I feel that it would make her own life so much more peaceful and happy if she would embrace a more Christ-like attitude and forgive me for my trespasses (which are minor and unintentional bad habits like interrupting her to interject a point or idea during conversation). Yet she feels justified, and maybe she is. But I keep telling her, if the Lord Christ forgave the people who tortured, rejected, and humiliated him, shouldn’t she forgive me for being annoying?
You have so much experience and wisdom, please pray for me and offer me any advice or guidance you think might help.
I’m sorry to hear about your struggles, and I will certainly pray for you and your wife. My advice to you is to work on loving her self-sacrificially, as Christ loved the church. We were not just angry but hostile and abusive toward him, yet he persevered and never gave up on us. You can’t change your spouse, but you can change your own heart. In every relationship, somebody has to be willing to go first. Another thing to consider: When you have offended her (even if you don’t get why she is offended) are you humbly asking her for forgiveness, or demanding that she forgive you? If it is the later, it’s likely to only increase her annoyance level. Demanding that she forgive will probably come across as a lack of true repentance on your part. Keep in mind also that forgiveness is a two part process. We often have to first commit to forgive someone, and only after that do our feelings toward them improve. Perhaps you are not allowing her the time and emotional space to work her way through both steps in that process. Be patient, keep praying, and don’t give up.
You’ve said here many things that make a lot of sense to me. I do try to do a lot of them, but as I think about it I know I could/should do much better. I need to have more patience and approach things from a gentle angle. And forgiveness on my part is key. Thank you so much for your advice and your prayers 🙂
I’m glad to know my counsel has been helpful. Gentleness, patience, not keeping a record of wrongs, and returning good for evil are all Christ-like ways to keep on loving your wife. Remeber she is a priceless gift from God to you. God gave the two of you to one another to help you grow, but spiritual growth can be very challenging. I will keep you in my prayers.
🙂 I just wanted to let you know that I’m feeling much better about the situation and things have been much better since keeping your advice in mind, thank God. I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to you for your words and prayers!
Praise God! Marriage isn’t for cowards, but you will find it is well worth the effort, especially if you remain open to letting God use this relationship to make you more like Christ.
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