Have I ever told you how much I love my husband?
I don’t think I have. When I scrolled down the page, I didn’t find any topic where I talked about that. So, I guess today is the day.
Yes, I do love my husband. I put my eyes on him when I was 17 and I still don’t believe that he is mine. I know! Isn’t that wonderful! I am very thankful to God! It is always good to grow with someone you love, isn’t it?
Of course there were many ups and downs in life but hey, without the ups and downs of life, there is no way we can enjoy life. So, I’m thankful for everything and above all, I am thankful that I always wake up in the morning with the man I so dearly love.
On weekdays, every morning when my Berhan (my husband) steps out of the house, I follow him and ask, “Where are you going?”
No smile on my face. Just a serious look!
Why do I ask him like that?
Well, I’ve never, ever rejoiced seeing him go, leaving me behind.
Whenever I ask him that question, he’ll say, “I have to go now but before you know it, I will be back.”
I follow him to his car and kiss and hug him like nobody’s business. Then I wave goodbye to him until he disappears from my eyes. Of course I pray for him as I wave goodbye, covering him and his car with the blood of Jesus.
And at the end of the day, when he leaves from work, even before he gets to his car, he calls me. He has a 30-minute commute. So, we use that 30 minutes to chat and catch up with our lives. I love giving him all the updates including what I felt during the day and why.
Has this always been the case in our marriage since day one?
Hahahaha! I will be a big fat liar if I say, “Yes.”
Nah! But we grew into it. 22 years ago, we started off our marriage as everybody else, trying to figure out each other’s language because we sure were speaking different languages, like me, speaking Chinese and he, German.
If you ask me to tell you one thing that helped us to grow into the place we are now, I will say this: Through time, we learn how fight to win together.
When a fight breaks out, we sit and find a solution so, at the end, after all is said and done, we both win because we learned that there is no, “Hooray! I win, you lose” kind of joke in a marriage.
In a marriage setting, whether both a husband and a wife like it or not, in every circumstance, they both lose or they both win together. Remember what the Bible says? “The two shall become one.” (Genesis 2:24)
Well, this is not just “the nicest” way of saying things or an exemplary way of writing a poem in the Bible. This is the “T” truth about marriage, two people, one man and one woman, becoming ONE. It is not like, “they will become as if they were one.” No, my friend. They become one! That is why God hates divorce because it “splits” one person into two. May God save us all!
Well, after lots of trials and errors, my husband and I learned this one good lesson called “fight to win or lose together.” So, when we win, we have a special date night and enjoy our victory and when we lose, we sit at the corner of our favorite spot in the house and cry together. Then little by little, guess what became true in our marriage?
What Martin Luther said:
“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”
“War-free” or “fighting-free” marriage is just a paradox. Are you kidding? When two selfish, sinner to the core of their being, people live under the same roof, war can breakout at any moment, from anywhere. This is just “a given!” Jesus didn’t say, “If a storm hits the house,” instead, He said, “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house” (Matthew 7:24-29) which house? Every house! That means, fighting is part of the package of marriage.
Well, if fighting is the inevitable reality of marriage, I mean, duh, it will be outrageous for us not to prepare ourselves to welcome it, and welcome it well. Do you know the general term for this strategy?
“Emergency preparedness!” Preparedness: “a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response.” Loooooove it!
Okay, how can we prepare? First and foremost, we need to ask ourselves: “What is the correct, biblical way of responding to a fight?” (Notice, I didn’t say, “reacting to a fight” but “responding.” – “Reacting” means, you just react in any way you feel like it, at any moment and brain doesn’t have to be consulted, only emotion! My friend, this is nothing but a disaster!)
Okay, so, the answer for that specific question will help us to prepare ourselves to “respond” to a fight, not to react. If we choose to react, we destroy our marriages quickly without anybody’s help in a very short time, or we settle to live in a “dead marriage.”
So, what is the follow up question we need to ask ourselves next?
“What is my goal in this marriage?”
If you always desire to see the glory of God in your life, your answer will be: To stay in my marriage until death do me part from my spouse. And I don’t want just stay in a dead marriage, but in a marriage that lives and thrives and helps other marriages do the same.
If that is your answer, [not “To stay in this marriage as long as my needs are fulfilled,”] GOOD!
So, what are you doing here? You are coming up with a strategy that ensures not only the existence and survival of your marriage but a marriage that flourishes by the day. This is called, “fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 1:18, 2 Timothy 4:7) – Good fight of faith!
Yes, without faith in God, forget staying in your marriage. You’ll wear out very quickly and everything looks a solution to you except staying in your marriages.
Some people genuinely believe that they can live in their marriage just by doing what they love to do; like going to work, making money and buying the things they love to buy and not talking to their spouse. They might be successful and happy for a very short time then they quickly hit that “dead-end” turn and they ask themselves, “How did I get here?”
Well, marriage is a place you die for the person you marry so your spouse lives happily ever after. Did you hear that? I know, it is hard to swallow but true. But it is not too hard to swallow it when you read it vice verse.
The Book of Ephesians, chapter 5 tells us what a wife and a husband should be in the marriage. In short, the Scripture is telling us to die so WE CAN LIVE. Reading this chapter and striving to live accordingly by the grace, mercy and spirit of God is called faith in God. There is no faith in a vacuum. There should be an “object” of faith. And the object of our faith is the word of God.
So, if you are a wife and “submitting to your husband” didn’t yet feel like dying to you, you ain’t submitting to him yet. If you are a husband of one woman and if “loving your woman the way she wanted to be loved” didn’t yet introduce you to the taste of death, you ain’t loving your wife yet.
Jesus summed it all up this way: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 26:24-25)
Yes, “a husband, loving his wife as Christ loved the church and died for her” and a wife, submitting to her husband in the same way “as the Church submits to Christ,” is indeed a call “to die for self.” When we agree with it, we find the life that only comes after death, resurrected life. (Romans 8:11)
When we disagree with the word of God for whatever reason and say, “I will come up with my own version of life and marriage, we may continue smiling, dressing up nice and doing the things we are supposed to do but “abundant life” that is ours through Christ for us to enjoy and share with others will be history in our lives. (John 10:10)
Oh, how bitter the truth tastes but we have a God who is for us, a God who lives in us to help us be the people His word calls us to be so this dark world may see who His Son, Jesus Christ, is in and through us. May the name of Jesus Christ be praised forever! ///