Most of us wives are familiar with the passages in Scripture that instruct us concerning our roles in the marriage relationship. In spite of my knowledge of these passages, I still found myself challenged and convicted when I read over some of these passages again. A good friend loaned me the book, Becoming A Woman Who Pleases God. This book addresses many issues, but right now, I am reading the section on The Primary Reason Marriage is Significant to God. Anyway, the book reminded me again that our marriages are to represent the relationship between Christ and the Church. I find that sometimes I have a hard time submitting but want to demand my own rights. This passage was convicting because I realized that so long as Jonathan isn’t asking me to sin — something God would never require of us in our relationship to Him — my response to my husband is to parallel the Christian’s response to God: honoring God in all areas of my life (obedience to Christ). It is easy to react to the thought of submitting to our husbands because we live in a society where everyone demands his rights and doesn’t want to yield to someone else’s rights. Our society is selfish, at best. My natural inclination is to want my own way, but that is not God’s way nor the best for me. Neither is it what brings me true joy and peace. An unhappy person is one who has everything the world says will bring happiness and success; yet, finds these “trappings” only bring limited happiness or temporary pleasure.
The book I already mentioned states some excellent quotes. Here is a quote from the book:
“God’s expectation is that husbands and wives will develop an enduring love by keeping their eyes on the ‘marriage’ between Christ and His church (2 Cor. 211:2). After urging both husbands and wives to see their distinct roles defined by the relationship between Christ and the church, the apostle Paul wrote: ‘For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.’ (Eph. 5:30-32) These expectations of God offer great promise for a marriage. They are expectations that lift us above ourselves and call from us the kind of love that has its source in God. These expectations form a basis for the covenant that is at the heart of marriage.”
The book also quotes a Gary Thomas in saying the following: “To spiritually benefit from marriage, we have to be honest. We have to look at our disappointments, own up to our ugly attitudes, and confront our selfishness. We also have to rid ourselves of the notion that the difficulties of marriage can be overcome if we simply pray harder or learn a few simple principles. Most of us have discovered that these “simple steps” work only on a superficial level. Why is this? Because there’s a deeper question that needs to be addressed beyond how we can ‘improve’ our marriage: What if God didn’t design marriage to be ‘easier’? What if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness or comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? …Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person. It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust Him more fully, and love Him more deeply.” Wow! Great thoughts and exhortations!
Comment: There is a Scriptural basis for getting counsel for a marriage where there are problems. Being selfless doesn’t mean we ignore problems that need to be dealt with. Ignoring problems is not for our husband’s best interest either. We are to help each other become all that God has called us to be. I believe that the above passage though is a great encouragement to be more selfless, submissive, and serving to husbands that are trying to honor the Lord yet are imperfect (meaning not perfect so they occasionally do something selfish too, etc…).