Dying in Your Marriage
Marriage is a place of sacrifice. We sacrifice our single life to merge our life with another person. We no longer live just to ourselves. We now have a man who depends on us to work outside the home, (at least until children enter the picture), and still cook, clean, run errands, satisfy him sexually, — need I go on?
Jesus told us that if we want to follow Him, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. (Lk. 9:23) Paul tells us that we are to die daily. (I Cor. 15:31) Many times, it seems like we are so willing to ‘die daily’ for our career, our boss, our pastor, our women’s group at church, our extended family, yet when it comes to ‘dying’ for our husband, we put up a wall. Maybe that is why we are specifically commanded in Eph. 5:22 to submit to our husbands. Yet, notice that the husband isn’t commanded to be the leader of the household. Hmmmm…..seems to me like God is trying to make a strong to point to that stubborn streak in many of us women.
Many of us have fallen into the trap of being a nagging wife. Dean calls me “Naggy” as a joke because I did have times when I used to be that constant dripping that is mentioned in Proverbs. While it wasn’t funny at the time to be called “Naggy” (because the truth hurt), we can joke about it now. Thankfully, for the most part, the ‘naggy’ part of me has died!
I remember how I used to get so upset when Dean would go to his mother’s house. It wasn’t that I minded when he visited her. What made me mad was the fact that he wouldn’t tell me he was going, then he’d be out there anywhere from five to seven hours, and I had no idea where he was. Often, I would have worked hard at the end of a long day to fix a nice meal, only to find that he wouldn’t show up to enjoy it. THAT is what made me mad. Also, as a woman whose emotions could run wild, I’d begin to think that something bad had happened to him.
After allowing the Lord to show me how my approach in the matter was wrong, I approached Dean, affirming the importance of his visits with his mother. He often was going out to mow her yard since none of the other family members will pitch in to help her. I think it’s wonderful that he cares enough to honor his mother by helping her in this. I was able to express that it didn’t make me mad when he went there, but that I’d appreciate a phone call, letting me know that he is going out there because then I can fix something really simple for supper, and not worry about feeding him since I know that his mother will take care of that. In other words, if he simply lets me know that he is going to visit her, I know that I can have an easier evening because I won’t have to be cooking a big meal for all of us. Now he knows that he won’t face nagging from me whenever he is going to see his mother. It has brought a sense of peace to our home, knowing that this won’t be an ‘issue’ anymore because we now understand each other’s views on the matter.
There are many rewards to be reaped when we learn to die to ourselves and be the submissive wife that God wants us to be. We will have a gentle and quiet spirit. (I Pet. 3:4) Peaceful tranquility can be an everyday atmosphere in our home, even on really busy days. Our husbands will be much more relaxed when they come home because they know they no longer live with a nag. They won’t have to be ‘on pins and needles,’ just waiting for the next blowup to take place. You will be able to have pleasant and peaceful conversations with each other, instead of the previous harping and bickering.
When we learn to crucify our fleshly desires in our marriage, we will learn to be more supportive and encouraging to our husbands. We will be willing to lay aside our plans in order to do things that could help make his day a little easier. We will pick up on signals from him that he may be struggling with depression, so we will take time to bake his favorite cookies or do something else that will help to show our love to him. When we see that he is really stressed about a situation, we will learn to crucify our flesh which may tell us how tired we are, in order to give of ourselves sexually.
We will learn to pray for him more often. It is a good idea to pray for your husband several times a day. I bought an Italian charm bracelet, and I’ve added some charms that remind me of my husband. One of Dean’s morning rituals is to stop at a convenience store and get a cup of coffee. Naturally, when I saw a charm with a cup of coffee on it, I just had to get it! I also have one that says “I love my husband” and another which says, “Wife.” When I look down at them during the day, they remind me to pray for him. It is also a good thing to try to remember to pray for your husband shortly before he is due home from work. Here are some guidelines to follow:
1. Pray that if he needs an attitude adjustment, the Lord will work the adjustment as he drives home.
2. Pray for God to help you to be responsive to his needs that evening.
3. Pray for God to direct your evening together.
4. Pray for God to adjust your own attitude so that you don’t take any of your frustrations out on him when he walks in the door.
5. Pray for harmony between the two of you.
6. Pray for him to have a peaceful sleep that night.
7. Pray for the children to be obedient to him.
8. Pray for him to be responsive to the needs of the family.
Do you feel the need to ‘die’ today?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller