05 March, 2012

Spousal Consideration

Perry Noble recently wrote this post about how men should consider their wives. It got me thinking how we prepare men to be husbands (or if we really do!). Too often we focus on creating a woman of God or preparing a girl for marriage that we don't stop to look at the male side of the equation. While girls are over saturated with the Disney idea of love, men are confronted with images of being "masculine," aloof and distant, annoyed and closed off to the woman they love (or more often are "stuck with"). Think about most TV shows and movies out today. It's more important to be "cool" around the boys then to treat your wife with any kind of respect. He is frustrated at her "nagging" while she is desperate to be seen and given anything other than an annoyed grunt. And the message within the church is no better.

In our quest to redefine everything, we've lost the gentleman.When did "respecting" women become about being a jerk to them? While women have struggled to gain our independence we've love something vital in requiring that we be treated with respect. We've left behind the one who would care for and love us for the one who debases and abuses us. This is what we've fought 40 years for? Really?

I love Noble's list but choose to highlight only five:
#1 – Before she was your wife she was God’s daughter…and He is VERY concerned about how someone treats His girl!
#4 – One of the biggest questions that a woman is always asking of her husband is, “can I trust you with my heart?”  And the answer to this question is not simply declared but rather demonstrated over time.#5 – Every word you speak has meaning to your wife…and HOW you say those words carry even more meaning.
#6 – No woman responds well to condemnation…and if we are supposed to love our wives like Christ loves the church, and there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1) then we MUST watch our words carefully.
#10 – Pursuit must be intentional!  You did not accidentally fall in love…and you will not accidentally stay in love!

And it's not a one way street. Someone I know recently went to marriage counseling. The session was filled with ways for him to connect into her world, but what about her? Men are not the only one who need to pursue in a relationship, men need to be pursued too!

Noble needs a list of what a wife should consider about her husband, things like thankfulness for provision and edification and encouragement. It's not easy, it's complicated and messy, but anything worth having in this world is not easy. You will not stay in love without work and maybe at it's core it's not taking anything for granted. Stop assuming your spouse will always be there and start working to make sure you have the kind of marriage you want. The opinion of your friends is one thing, but you made a commitment to your spouse before God and that should take importance over everything else.

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© Amanda Lunday