"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Saturday, May 18, 2013

It Depends

So, you and your bride have gone round after round after round on the same topic.  You feel God leading you and your marriage in a direction, and your bride is resistant for whatever reason. what do you do?

Do you give up or keep fighting?  When is it time to stop pushing forward and accept a hefty dose of reality?  When do you resign yourself to the fact that at this moment your marriage is as good as it will ever be?  How do you make the decision to put aside the plan in order to make your bride (and your marriage) more peaceful and happy?

I've been read about this lately, and the solution seems more difficult than it appears.  A good, middle-of-the-road answer is "it depends."  But that seems like a cop out.  Taking the easy way out.  The low road.

However, "it depends," is the correct answer.  Let me explain.

In Galatians 6:9 we read, "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."

"Weary" in this verse refers to becoming discouraged or exhausted.  This is something many husbands can identify with, as we strive for the umpteenth time to lead our wives and children toward the goal God has set forth in our hearts. We often become exhausted, especially when we can clearly see areas where the Holy Spirit is guiding toward growth, but we are met with resistance from our wives and families.

When it becomes a choice of going down that path again where the discussion always ends the same way or just going along to keep the peace, A weary husband often submits to his wife's authority, even though we know it isn't what God wants.  I this case we should consider the consequences.  Will it hurt their marriage?  What will the relationship look like a month from now?  A year?  Ten years?  Will they grow closer together or drift farther apart?  Will she be able to respect him?

Husbands, if God is leading your marriage in a direction that you are sure will bring you closer toward the one-flesh union He wants for you, keep pressing on.  Do not stop trying to turn things around. Hold on to the vision God gave you and carry on.  Your persistence and faith will be rewarded.

However, if you are pushing an issue that doesn't involve improving your marital oneness, but rather a selfish agenda, then you must consider the same consequences.  Your self-centeredness will destroy your marriage; You and your wife will drift apart. After all, the above verse says we should not grow weary of doing good, not bad.

So, I guess the answer, "It depends," is after all the correct answer.  If we are truly following God's direction as we lead our marriages,  then we must continue to lead in that direction, whether our brides agree or not.  I'd be a fool to say they will instantly understand and submit, but the fact is that we will go on having the same conversations, arguing the same points, hitting the same wall.  But God knows our hearts and the hearts of our brides, and He will change things in His time if we are faithful.

On the other hand, if you are trying to mold your bride to comply with your selfish goals just to make your life more pleasant, then you need to confess and repent.  Over time you will destroy your marriage.

Husbands, we are responsible for leading our wives toward a knowing one-flesh marriage.  It's up to us to remain true to the picture God has planted in our heart for our marriages.  We can't force our wives into submission - it has to be their choice.  Sometimes they'll submit and many times they'll rebel.  Nevertheless, we must not grow weary of doing good. 

  

8 comments:

  1. Thanks. You have no idea how bad I needed this word at this time. Pivotal.

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    1. Praise the Lord! I pray that you keep following the Lord's guiding hand in your life.

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  2. It boils down to love, real Christian love.

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  3. Thanks, there is an issue, an important one, that DW needs to do her part on resolving before we can more forward any more on it, and for the past two years I've had to gently make sure that this wasn't going to be something that would just vanish over time by her ignoring it. Still no movement so far, so discouragement is real.

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    1. Yours is a very common issue. The good news is, if you are being led by the Holy Spirit to invoke change in your marriage, then you are doing the right thing by gently remind her that the issue is still alive and unresolved. The bad new is that even if you are convicted and absolutely sure that your marriage should take this step, she might still refuse to move. In this case you just have to remain patient, as difficult as that is, and understand that you might never see the change on this side of Heaven.

      It is our jobs as husbands to lead, but we cannot force our wives to follow.

      "Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them."

      Colossians 3:19 ESV

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  4. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, Thomas. It's interesting that you should pick this topic, because I don't often hear about it from the man's point of view. But I wholeheartedly agree that men who are pursuing God's will--surrendering their own will's to God--should persevere in leading their families even if the wife refuses to submit. I think God will bless your efforts. I think God will soften her heart in time. I think it models Christ-likeness. And I'm not talking about beating your agenda over her head! I'm talking about "surrendering to God's leadership" as you lead your family. I think you know what I'm saying, because I see you talking about it here! :) Great thoughts and so glad that you joined Wedded Wed for, I think, the first time. Would love to have you every week, my friend!

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement. I always try to lead with a gentle hand rather than, as you said, beating my agenda over her head. Sometimes it goes smoothly and sometimes not. The thing I must always remember is that I cannot make her submit. It is her choice, and just as I will answer for my leadership, she will answer for her submission or rebellion.

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