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I Thee Wed …

December 26, 2014

happily-married-coupleThis is a continuation of the three part series on marriage.  It is not all inclusive regarding issues married couples face and I highly recommend several books if you’re looking for a more in-depth topic study for you and your better half.  My suggested list is at the bottom of this article.

The thought behind this series is to look at just three of the major problem areas faced in a marriage and help give some insight as well as a challenge.

As a reminder, the issues I’m going to tackle in this series are generalizations.  The husband generally is not the one who specializes in domestic skills, but in your case, it may be different.  The husband may be a gourmet chef!  The wife generally isn’t the one who knows how to quickly take apart and re-assemble a carburetor, but it’s possible your wife is Mrs. Goodwrench.  So, please keep that in mind as you’re reading through these blogs and allow the Lord to convict you where it’s applicable.  Again, the goal in this series is address some hot buttons, offer some (hopefully) helpful thoughts, and pray that your marriage will improve in the process.

In the last post I confronted women and challenged them to be more open to meeting their husband’s needs.  And in this blog I’ll be pushing the men to step to the plate and be what they are called to be — men.  No more excuses, alibis, or someone else to blame.  It’s all on them!

~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~

Modern men tend to behave juvenile with a strong addiction to entitlement.  Our society continues to dumb down the role of man and the men follow right along playing the village idiot.  Many don’t settle down until they’re in their late 20’s or early 30’s … or even older.  The majority of video gamers aren’t the 10-15 year olds.  No, it’s the 30 to 40-year-old crowd who has chosen not to grow up.  They’ve remained irresponsible in regards to society and irresponsible in caring for their family.  They’ve chosen to be 40-year-old adolescents.

And if they do, by chance, get married, they expect everything to be done for them.  Someone else will cook, clean, and do their laundry. Someone else will help with the household income.  Someone else will do the work of raising their children.  The U.S. Department of Census reported that over 43% of children in the United States do not have a father living in the home.  They are off somewhere else with someone else doing ‘their thing’ while life and the personal responsibilities that go with it are ignored and picked up by others.

Men live with a lifestyle that the world and it’s pleasures revolve around them.  Men never seem to grow out of “play time”; only play time now consists of video games, drugs, porn and alcohol.  If things aren’t going their way, they believe it’s not their fault, it’s someone else’s failure.  It’s these very mentalities that are driving forces in broken homes, hearts, and marriages throughout our society.  Instead of men being problem solvers, they are the problem.  Men have lost sight of what it means to be a man.

So what does it mean to be a man?  At the beginning of time God gave clear, defining statements about manhood.

Genesis 3:17-19 — And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of youin pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat breadtill you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (ESV)

Man’s rebellion was against God, and he tried to weasel out of responsibility by blaming Eve, but God held Adam accountable.  Adam did not obey God.  He did not meet his responsibilities of caring, protecting, loving or leading his wife.  Why was Eve deceived?  Probably because Adam wasn’t really paying attention when she left the house and he just mumbled something to her as the door closed.  I’m sure later he was wondering where she was when he couldn’t figure out how to work the stove.  And where was Adam while Eve was being deceived?  Probably playing Madden Football on the X-Box.

Either way, it was Adam’s sin and he was also responsible for Eve.  The entirety of their sin fell fully on his shoulders.  Why?  Because God had united them and placed the husband as covering (protector, defender, care-giver) over the wife.  The unity is made abundantly clear in the preceding chapter:

Genesis 2:24-25 — Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (ESV)

God joined them together.  Two separate and distinct people with their own thoughts, likes and personalities, but made one in the sight of God.  A beautiful union.  Due to our sin nature everyone struggles.  In marriage neither mate is perfect though both will act as if they have no faults while fully noticing the other’s failures.

Men want to complain that their wives aren’t submissive, respectful, or loving (by their definition – sexual).  There may be some validity to those charges, but the man, the husband and head of the home, has for centuries abdicated his role as a loving, sacrificial leader to his wife and family.  He has run from his responsibilities and then has the audacity to complain at the results.

For the husband, his responsibility all comes down to this verse …

Ephesians 5:25-27 — Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (ESV)

When was the last time you did anything sacrificially loving, tender, or compassionate for your wife?  Think of how Christ loved the church.  He loved her enough to lay down His life for her while she was off playing the harlot with the world.  He paid her sin debt she could never pay because He loved her so much.  That is how you’re to love your wife.

Now think of how Christ loves you – even when you blow it.  When you come back with a repentant heart does He brow beat you?  Does He continually throw your sins and failures back in your face?  Does He yell and belittle you?  Does He give you the silent treatment you until you’ve learned your lesson?  Does He completely ignore you when you come to him in prayer?  NO!  Yet these are very common approaches of a husband towards his wife. By the way, she’s God’s daughter and you’re comfortable treating God’s daughter that way?

We are to love and cherish the treasure God has given us.  If God calls her a treasure why do we so easily treat her like something we stepped in while mowing the yard?

1 Peter 3:7 — In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. (NLT)

Not getting your prayers answered?  Check how you’re caring for your wife.  Are you showing her honor and understanding?  She is not your servant, but your equal that God gave you; your helpmate.

Colossians 3:19 — Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. (NLT)

Men have a tendency to be easily frustrated and angry.  I’ve had to stop myself when I’m irritated by something and catch myself being short with my wife.  There have been times I’ve apologized because I knew immediately it wasn’t her fault that I was angry, but I took it out on her.  Loving her, really, deeply loving her at all times is a choice, and is a way to protect her heart.

Proverbs 31:28-29 — Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:  “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” (NLT)

If you had a treasure, a jewel, a prized possession, something so rare that no one else in the world had, how would you talk about it?  You’d probably brag about it, boast in it’s splendor, it’s beauty, it’s goodness.  When was the last time you talked like this about your wife?  God gave her to you to care and love.  He trusted you to protect her heart, body, and emotions.

Hebrews 13:4a —Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. (NLT)

To love and protect your wife, you’re going to have to man up.  You’re going to have to take the lead in your home.  You are her spiritual covering.  God doesn’t leave that decision up to you whether you want to be or not; you are her covering.  You are responsible for her and God will hold you accountable for what He’s put in your care.  Running from that isn’t going to change those facts.

It’s long past time for you to repent for how you’ve treated your wife and in the areas you’ve let her down.  You’ve left her figuratively uncovered; naked and having to fend and defend for herself.  What kind of real man does that to his wife?

Stop living for yourself and realize your responsibilities.  Then instead of running from them, run to them and watch God’s favor and blessing in your life and your wife’s life.  Seek God’s help in taking up the role of being a Godly husband and leading your wife and family in a way that would bring Him honor and glory.

Men, you want your wives to treat you with more respect and be more responsive when you walk through the door, then man up — give her a reason to love and respect  you.  Reassure her daily she is loved, cherished, and the most prized part of your life.  Brag about her to all you know.  You’ll be surprised what will happen!

In the next post I’ll tackle the task of walking together before the Lord.  It may be the most crucial part of a successful Christian marriage.

— Pastor Rick

 


I recommend the following books for further reading on Christian Marriages:

Married. Happily. — by Greg Laurie
His Needs: Her Needs —
by Willard F. Harley, Jr.
When Sinners Say “I Do” —
by Dave Harvey
Real Marriage
by Mark and Grace Driscoll

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