When the Word of commands how a wife needs to be in her marriage, it reads like this: “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husband” and it doesn’t stop there. It says, “Submit to your husbands as you do to the LORD”. And the Word commands husbands this way: “Husbands, love your wives” and it doesn’t stop there. It continues saying, “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”. (Ephesians 5:21-33)
God already determined how the standard of our married lives should be. The Word tells us to what extent a husband should love his wife and to what extent a wife should submit to her husband.
Just because we decide to marry doesn’t mean that we will automatically achieve the God given standard of “living” in the marriage. It is through process that a wife submits to her husband and a husband loves his wife to death. As they grow in the Word and understanding of the Will of God, they start conforming to the Word. That is why it says, “they shall become one” (Genesis 2:24); means they will be coming to be one. As she submits to him without any reservation and as he starts loving her to the point of laying his life down for her, their oneness approaches perfection and completion.
We become the kind of people to our spouses to the extent of our understanding, acceptance, belief and obedience of the Word and Will of God.
We may know more Bible verses than many Christians and we may be involved in ministries to help and minister others. Those activities won’t test our spiritual “muscles”. Our spiritual muscles will only be put to the test when we do life in our marriages, not in the church, not when we stand behind the pulpit; not when we sing and dance.
Our devotion to the Word and Will of God will be tested and found to be genuine or fake when we live our lives in our homes. When we grow in the Word and Spirit of God, we let go of our own understanding and reasoning and we strive to achieve the standard God sets for us.
If a wife doesn’t obey God and doesn’t give priority to her devotion (prayer, reading and meditating the Word of God and fellowship with others), she can’t submit to her husband. Submitting to a husband will be closer to impossible for her to do. She can only submit to her husband as much as she is able to submit to the LORD. That means her marriage is a direct reflection of her spirituality.
We can’t find a wife who submits to God but refuses to submit to her husband.
In the same way, if a husband doesn’t make following Christ the priority of his life, he can’t love his wife as Jesus loved the church and gave Himself up for her. All his wife’s beautiful body figure and face he was attracted to will fade away. Yes, nothing remains the same. When all those external things disappear, a husband will be faced with the reality of life.
Remember marriage looks at the inside of the person; while dating sees only the outside. And when everything becomes naked before his eyes, he finds it hard to love the same woman he begged to marry. Unless he makes his spiritual devotion (prayer, reading and meditating the Word of God and fellowship with others) a priority of his life, he can’t love his wife. He will soon be run out of a reason to love her in a daily basis. It is impossible for him to do.
But when he becomes in-tuned with the Spirit of God and gives himself up for the obedience of the Word and Will of God, he starts unraveling the hidden beauty of his wife. He actually finds it hard not to love and die for his wife.
Yes, our marriage is a direct reflection of our spirituality. The environment of our home mirrors back to us the extent of our devotion to the LORD.
So, sometimes, in the counseling room, I don’t listen to “she did this and he did that” kind of discussion. I concentrate on their spiritual life; their understanding of the Word and Will of God in the area of marriage because all of us live Christ-like lives only when it is revealed to us. And the Truth of God only is revealed to those who seek it more than life itself.
This is what I’m trying to say, then: Before we complaining about our marriages, let’s take our spiritual lives seriously.
Let’s fix first our spiritual lives before we try to fix our marriages because our marriages are as good as our spirituality. ///