April 20, 2015

Honor In Marriage

If you’re like me, you may think of ways to show honor to your spouse like, “I think I will buy my spouse nice things or do something cool for her and all will be well.” The truth is to reach a culture of honor in your home, it may be much more than a weekly date night or a gift from time to time.

In my short time dealing with marriages, what I’ve found is that when people need marriage advice, almost every time there’s a much deeper issue that is below the surface. It’s a root problem they may not even recognize because it’s so deep. It’s part of their subconscious. The difficult thing is that we must evaluate what that is based on the information we have. For example (hypothetically), if Leah and I fight over finances and I spend money like it’s burning a hole in my pocket, the assumption would be the problem is with my spending, but that very well may not be the case.  Leah may have grown up poor, she may loathe the fact I am acting like my father, she may have a fear of losing everything and being on a street corner because I run up credit cards and spend anytime there is an extra dollar in our house, and it comes to a fight.

Here’s the truth: I often say problems don’t take care of themselves, they multiply and get worse even if on the surface they look temporarily better. Why? e deal with the outward behavior and not with the heart.

Whatever it is you’re facing today in your home, at work, in lives of people all around you: While perception is reality in leadership and in business, perception at home is only the cover of the book. As a man or woman of God who strives to build an honoring marriage, we must dive in and find out the “why” behind the “what.”

If you had cancer and it was deep inside of you but a doctor could cut it out and you’d be healed, would you go for the surgery?  Of course you would! So why is it in our marriage we look at our spouses and think I will ‘fix them’ and my problems will go away?

So often it’s the rehab process that makes people throw their hands up. We want the surgery but we want to be perfectly healthy the day after and forget the process it takes to get back on our feet.  Surgery hurts and it’s hard, but there is a clear answer for us in scripture. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5 the way husbands and wives should treat each other:

21 Submit to each other out of respect for Christ. 22 For example, wives should submit to their husbands as if to the Lord. 23 A husband is the head of his wife like Christ is head of the church, that is, the savior of the body. 24 So wives submit to their husbands in everything like the church submits to Christ. 25 As for husbands, love your wives just like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.26 He did this to make her holy by washing her in a bath of water with the word. 27 He did this to present himself with a splendid church, one without any sort of stain or wrinkle on her clothes, but rather one that is holy and blameless. Ephesians 5 CEB

Is that the culture of your home?  Submitting to one another? Husbands, pastoring your home and leading your wife and kids the way Christ leads us?  Wives, are you letting him lead you if he’s trying?  Husbands, do you love her the way Christ loves us?  He gave His life so we could live, have freedom, and as orphans be called His sons and daughters! It’s the most selfless act in human history and so, men, in order to have a Christ-centered honoring marriage, “selfless” should be the first word used to describe you by your wife. Whatever it is that makes her say you’re not selfless, cut it out! Wives, whatever it is that makes him not feel the leader/pastor of your home, nagging or treating him as if he’s a child (even if he is acting like one), cut it out! Be the woman of God you were created to be and let your man lead you.

Why should you do this? Paul finished chapter 5 with these 2 verses: 32 Marriage is a significant allegory, and I’m applying it to Christ and the church. 33 In any case, as for you individually, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and wives should respect their husbands.

That seems worth following right?

The solution is to constantly correct and check yourself by asking: What can I do to help this deep-rooted problem become a source of strength in my home?  Motivation is the key to freedom because guilt-living leads to a dungeon of doubt and despair, while freedom in a home comes from Holy Spirit’s conviction to change.  It’s being pulled by the Lord versus guilted to make peace for a short time.

The rewards of honor when it becomes the culture of ,our home our endless, but it will never happen if you don’t change your ways.  Change hurts especially when it’s deeply rooted, but ask yourself is a painful process or a dying marriage how I want to live my life. The choice is yours.

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