If we do not apply God’s Biblical word to our marriages, we will be buried deep in anger, disappointment, resentment and a fight for rightness and control. If I had only wanted to know this, or how God could even be the center of my marriage, years of strife may have been prevented. Instead of understanding that marriage was going to reveal our sins and a Christian marriage was to be a place to help each other grow with love and grace, we both drowned in our self-centered pride.
After the newness of the marriage wore off and I began to see the truth of who my husband was, I was devastated. I felt tricked because I felt the man I was seeing soon after marriage was not the man I dated or married. I felt I truly had not known him. I had no idea that seeing another side to him was to be expected as we spent every day together and could no longer hide who we truly are.
When the shock wore off, resentment took over my heart. As my resentment grew, my self-righteousness inflated. One way I justified my self righteousness was by focusing on the things that my husband and I did not have in common. I had mentally developed a long list of how different we were, which meant in my mind that we had to be incompatible.
As self-righteousness inflated I became more right in my eyes. I could not see anything wrong with myself. I was the one trying to keep our marriage together. I am sure that everyone outside of my marriage could see my imperfections, but those imperfections did not have as much as an impact on friends or family. It is in the marriage that my imperfections were felt the hardest because they were inflicted on the one person that I had pledged to love, honor and cherish for the rest of my life.
After I became a Christian God dropped a bombshell on my heart. He revealed to me how alike my husband and I truly were. God allowed me, by self examination, to see into my heart. When I married my husband I was self-centered, self-righteous, prideful, greedy, selfish and to some extent, lacking compassion and empathy. God allowed me to see that all the attributes I had labeled onto my husband also belonged on myself. I did not marry someone completely different than me. I married someone just like me. Without God, that is a recipe for destruction.
When two people come into a marriage and each person is only thinking about themselves and their own desires and expectations, many times it will lead to divorce. Each person will only think about what is wrong with the other instead of examining their own heart and motivations, asking God to reveal the sin in their heart, cleanse their heart and change their desires.
By the grace of God, my eyes could see. I was horrified with the reality of who I was. The curse God placed upon Adam and Eve after they ate the fruit of the tree rang in my heart. Genesis 3:16-17 “To the woman he said,…..your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” To Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree…”
Eve told Adam to eat the fruit and Adam chose to listen to her instead of following God’s instructions to not eat the fruit. Not only did Adam blame Eve as the reason he ate the fruit instead of taking accountability for his own actions, he placed Eve’s authority over God’s. The result of this disobedience is a curse that will cause enmity in a marriage. The woman will want to rule over the husband. This is a result of Adam’s fall to sin. I could see how my husband and I had been living in the same way. I led my husband and he listened. How dare I lead my husband away from God’s authority?
I prayed and asked for forgiveness. I asked God to cleanse and change my heart and my desires. God answered my prayer and changed the desire of my heart. I no longer wanted to be that person. I hated the sin of that person. I wanted to be the model of a wife that God reveals to us in the Bible. I no longer wanted to be the head of the household. I no longer wanted to be in control of my husband, my marriage, or my family.
In today’s world it is typical to hear a man refer to his wife as the one being in charge. In the past I reveled to be referred to in that manner. It now made me cringe. How could I want to emasculate my husband in that manner? How could I revel in my power and control over him and the family? God clearly refers to the man as the head of the household. 1 Corth 11:3 “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.”
I earnestly began to step back from the role of ruler of the house and lovingly encouraged and supported my husband in his God ordained role. As a result, my husband began to confidently step into his position as head of our marriage and family. By showing love, kindness, grace and support to my husband, our marriage flourished as God became our authority.
Imagine a marriage based on God’s word as authority. Imagine a marriage where each person consistently thinks about the welfare of the other. Imagine each person asking the other where he/she is in need of improvement. Imagine each other showing grace to the other and lovingly expressing where each may need growth. Imagine praying for each other and with each other. This is a Godly marriage and it is not a fairy tale that we only see in a good fiction book. In fact, we do see it in a good non-fiction book. That book is called the Bible.