Ephesians 5:33 (NIV) However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
A few days ago I was at the grocery store. As I stood browsing through the buy one get one free bins, I noticed a man meticulously going through every flower in the flower section. He touched the bulbs and lifted the vases to smell the floral scents. I found myself looking up at him a time or two just fascinated with how much he paid attention to detail. We made eye contact and smiled respectfully at one another. He said, “I’m looking for the best flowers for my wife.” To which I replied, “That’s so nice. I’m sure she will appreciate them.” I began to wonder if she might be sick. As if he heard my thoughts he said, “I enjoy buying fresh flowers for her a few times a month and she doesn’t seem to mind that they are from Publix. I enjoy this simple way I can show my love for her and how much she means to me.” I knew in that moment, I’m talking to a man who understands how to love his wife as Christ loves the church. After I told him how I thought he should receive one of the husband of the year awards (after my hubby of course), I then said, “You sure do love your wife as Christ loves the church.” He smiled and replied, “And since you could sense that, you must also have a husband who loves you as Christ loves the church.” To which I replied graciously and with tears in my eyes, “Yes, I do and I thank God for him.”
Genesis 2:24 (AMP) Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
There is so much that can be said about the two becoming one flesh but today I want to share with you respectfully about marital sex. When God ordained for a husband and wife to become one flesh part of this union included the beautiful act of sexual intimacy.
“Love makes you kind. And kindness makes you likeable. When you’re kind, people want to be around you. They see you as being good to them and good for them.” Love Dare
Several years ago I ministered at a church in Virginia on the 4 ways to care for your covenant. At the end of the function a woman approached me and started to cry. She shared how the message touched her heart, particularly when I shared Proverbs 21:9; it made her really look at herself.
Proverbs 21:9 (AMP) It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop [on the flat oriental roof, exposed to all kinds of weather] than in a house shared with a nagging, quarrelsome, and faultfinding woman.
She said she is that woman—nagging, fault-finding and always complaining about anything and everything. She said her Mother was the same way while raising them and she began to wonder if she hadn’t followed suit. She told me that she was always asking her husband why he was so late coming home and he said, “I’m not in a rush to get home! You’re always nagging at me and complaining about the children, work, your family, nonsense at your church and so on.” As tears streamed down her face, I held her and prayed for her and her marriage.
As I held her she whispered in my ear, “I don’t think I’m a very kind person. I wouldn’t want to come home to me either.” I felt pain pouring out of her as I ministered to her. She was a beautiful Christian on the outside but had a lot of wounds on the inside that needed the beauty and healing of Christ to penetrate and I was determined to guide her in the right direction that day—right to the arms of Jesus where true healing from her past could begin. Unresolved pain from her childhood was conflicting with her ability to be the whole wife and mother God created her to be. She was saved but not in fellowship with Christ; there’s a difference, I know this because I once lived it. My heart hurt for her. Our connection continued beyond that day as I meant with her and ministered to her from the Word. Her husband had areas he had to work on too, and as he saw the changes in her he began to desire to get himself together as well. I remember the day she told me, “he likes coming home to me again and we are laughing together again.” I cry as I write this just as I did the day she told me; there’s nothing like the healing touch of Christ within the heart-walls of a marriage!
Just last week my own husband said to me after he arrived home from a long day, “you know babe, I love coming home to you.” That blessed my heart tenderly. I don’t know that he felt this way early on but I’m so thankful he does now. I thought of that precious woman from many years ago and I dug out her email and reached out to her. I’m happy to say they are on year 10 of their marriage and all is going well in the Lord! I then found the saying from the Love Dare calendar and it fit perfectly with this message!
Now, ask yourself some tough questions–
Are you kind? Does your spouse want to be around you? Is your spouse eager to come home to you at the end of a long day or are they delaying their arrival home because they know they’ll be greeted with complaint, nagging, fault-finding, harsh words, yelling and a person who is unkind? Please do not beat yourself up right now if that’s you. But, please do feel the drawing of the Lord; He’s drawing you to Himself for the healing your heart and mind (thoughts) needs right now.
A few tips you may want to try:
1. Take action now–Pray and ask God to show you the reasons why you are complaining, nagging, fault-finding, using unkind words toward your spouse, etc. This may hurt but being transparent is the first step toward receiving the healing you need. Trust that God won’t hurt you and He will help you.
2. Ask God to help and heal you in those areas. This will be a journey not an instant process so be patient with yourself and the process and most importantly trust God.
3. If you can, talk to your spouse about what you discovered in numbers 1 and 2 above. Apologize wherever necessary. Have the discussion during a time you are both calm and at ease with each other. Involve your spouse so that they know you are serious about wanting a marriage that is whole.
4. If necessary, turn to Christian help—pastoral, counseling, etc.
5. Take a breath when you’re about to complain, nag or fault-find. Pause and pray right at that moment. You’d be surprised how that deliberate, on-purpose action will bless your marriage.
6. Journal some of your feelings (past and present) but also journal all that you are grateful for about your marriage and family. Keep that list in an easy to reach place.
7. Remember, there is no perfect person or perfect marriage only a perfect God and He desires for your marriage to be blessed. Lean on Him.
I want to invite you to read the message I shared previously titled: “I’m not wrong you are!” I hope it will encourage you. Marriage is a beautiful covenant that is filled with blessings and some challenges. It’s far more than the Wedding day or the Honeymoon night—it takes prayer, love, respect, commitment, a desire to bless each other and honor God, and lots of hard work and every bit of it is worth it. If I can pray for you I’d love to so reach out. I always say, we’re in this marriage journey together.
“Love is responsible—Can your spouse say that you have wronged or wounded them in any way and never made it right? Part of taking responsibility is admitting when you’ve failed and asking for forgiveness. God wants there to be no unresolved issues between the two of you”. Love Dare I love this rich quote… Continue Reading
With tears streaming down her face, she clinched her tissue tightly and with a quivering voice she said, “My hubby doesn’t know Jesus yet. I don’t know what to do. I love him so much and I want him to know Jesus like I do.” As she thought of what it would mean to his… Continue Reading
Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. A married couple faced a rough patch in their relationship that led to a very painful argument. After an hour or so of slinging words at each other the wife, in frustration, said to her husband: “You never listen… Continue Reading
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. In my previous post, “The Prayer that will Change Your Marriage” I… Continue Reading
Psalm 26:2-3 (Message Bible) Examine me, GOD, from head to foot, order your battery of tests. Make sure I’m fit inside and out so I never lose sight of your love, but keep in step with you, never missing a beat. Over twenty one years ago, a mid-twenties struggling, wounded Christian woman married a man… Continue Reading