“Follow the lead of one another because of your respect for Christ.”
~ Ephesians 5:21 ~
If you are wondering what to give your Valentine this year, I have the perfect solution.
When we get united in marriage, we are filled with love and warm fuzzy feelings. We say all of our vows with a sincere heart and certainty that we are going to carry out the promises we make. We move in together, and with great expectations we begin to set-up and piece together what we believe are the makings of what we consider to be a “happy” home. However, once we find out the person we married doesn’t quite meet the expectations we had built up in our head, we begin to look at them in a different light. The love for them is still there, and divorce NEVER comes into mind, but we begin to treat them a little different. Especially when we find they are our polar opposite, and we wonder what the Lord was thinking when He brought the two of you together.
There are two reasons for this – The first reason is, as Christians, it helps us to learn balance. Anyone knows that in order for a motor to work, a battery is needed. On that battery, in order for it to work properly, it has to have a positive and a negative. Somehow, once the motor gets started, it runs perfectly. The second reason – Once a couple works out the wrinkles and overcome the obstacles of being opposites, they are able to “walk out of the wilderness and into the promised land” so to speak. Then they are able to minister to others and shine brighter and be a more radiant light for the Lord’s sake.
So how do we get to that place, you might ask. This is where the perfect gift comes into play. The gift is – respect. This is a simple little word, but it must be put into action to make a big difference.
Ladies, I am going to address you first on this subject. My husband and I have been married for 24 years and I was very independent when we were first united in marriage. I had thoughts of what the “DNA of a man” should be, but yet some of that DNA was not in MY man. I would get so upset with him. I would say things that were unkind to him and demeaning. In Ephesians 5:22-24, it says that we are to respect our husbands and follow his lead. When I spoke to the Lord about the “issues” I had with my husband, He reminded me that my husband was my covering and when I stood before the throne, I was not going to be asked about my husband’s deeds, I was only going to asked about my own. That made me quit criticizing my husband and realize I needed to keep the logs out of my own eyes. The Lord also brought to my attention, my husband is the one who will have to answer for the household when he stands before God, so he had a lot more responsibility than I did. Then the Lord re-educated me by taking me to the scripture in 1 Corinthians 11:7-12, this is where Paul writes that the woman was made for the man and not the man for the woman. This is only a reiteration of the scripture in Genesis 2:18 where it says that God saw that it was not good for man to alone, so He created a “help mate” for him. So, I began asking him to do things I was capable of doing myself. Asking him questions or opinions of things I already knew. But then I began seeing a change in him, myself and our marriage. I realized we were more pleasant to each other. He began helping around the house more, and I was more considerate of his feelings. The respect I was giving him started making a big difference in how I viewed his position. Remember, keep the “P” in the word “help mate” because as the wife, we are the one that sets the temperature of the household. If the “P” is not kept in the word “help mate” you become the “hel_ mate” which makes perfect sense, because without the “P” it can get pretty heated in the house.
Gentlemen – I saved you for last because you have a much heavier load to carry. You are the one that will have all the accountability for the things that were allowed to go on in the household! If your wife steps out of God’s will and you turn your head, the Lord is going to hold you wholly responsible! This comes out of the same scripture that I brought to the attention of the ladies. When you look at the scripture in Ephesians 5:25-30, it says that men are to respect and love their wives like the Lord loves the church! I have seen and heard men treat and talk to or about their wives like they were a street walker! It is ONLY MY OPINION that this type of behavior is not very respectful to the wife or the marriage. Also, according to the scripture found in 1 Corinthians 11:7-9, you are your wife’s covering. You are there to protect her and have her back. This will raise her respect toward you. You are the person she is to honor, second only to God. Now, looking at verse 11, it states that we are not to work independently of each other. The Lord did give your wife a brain and she was given to you by the Lord for a “help mate”, so let her help you. I have also heard and seen men disregard their wives opinion or ideas when they suggest something that maybe help in different situations. Then the man becomes angered or resentful when the idea works, only because they did not come up with the idea on their own. We like to help and this one of the ways we are able to show our love to our husbands. In our minds, it proves the concerns of our husband’s matter to us. Plus, husbands and wives are supposed to be a team, we wives are just being a team player, so jump on board.
Working in unity is a possibility, but we have to be open to respecting each others place in the marriage. This takes patience and love, which is all described in the scripture we have all come to know in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, and becoming able to overlook and forgive each other of their infractions. The thing each party needs to focus on more are the blessings their partner brings to the table, NOT the issues that cause grief and angst.
Hopefully, this will help you all have a Happy and Loving Valentine’s Day.