One thing I’ve learned as a Christian woman who’s married for the second time, is that in order to have a successful marriage, we have to put away our selfish thinking and remember that love is not about feelings.
Too often women expect those fluttery feelings of love to stay in their hearts like they did back when they were dating. Most of the time, when a dating couple (or a married couple for that matter) breaks up, it’s because of the lack of “feelings” or because of a need that she had that he didn’t meet. It’s never going to work if we make it all about us. Never. All this “I love you because of what you do for me” stuff is not real love. If you base it on that it will never work because people will fail you. Always. I think that 9 times out of 10 women build up standards in their marriage that men could never meet anyway. Too often we just can’t be pleased.
I complain about my husband a lot. (Actually, I don’t really complain out loud, but in my heart to myself.) There are many ways that I feel that he isn’t measuring up to Biblical standards (Ephesians 5:22-33). But, am I? No. Ephesians 5:22, 24 & 33, which are the only verses that refer to the wife, say “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord…as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything…and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” I certainly can’t be subject to my husband if I keep expecting him to do things for me. And what else am I doing when I’m complaining about his lack of being a Biblical husband? Read this:
For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
Ouch. Enough said.
Okay, yes, I’m venting here. I get so frustrated with myself when I get frustrated with my husband. I fail everyday at being the servant wife that I should be. Brad has a part that he is supposed to play – servant leadership. I don’t get his servant-leadership to my satisfaction. Am I the servant-wife? A helper to my mate? Hardly! Why? Because I don’t have his servant-leadership to my satisfaction! It’s a ridiculous, vicious cycle:
I want but he doesn’t give – he doesn’t give because I don’t give – I don’t give because he doesn’t give.
Isn’t that the stupidest thing you ever saw? But how many of us are like that?
I’ve often said to women who have balked at the idea of being submissive to their husbands, that it’s absolutely true that if a husband treats his wife like a queen she’ll practically lick the ground he walks on and cave to whatever he wants (remember that it says in the Bible, “husbands love your wives, wives be submissive to your husbands”). And I believe that’s true of all women. I know it is for me. I remember the one time that my first husband did something incredibly sweet for me (he cleaned the whole house and had supper made and on the table when I got home from work), I was willingly his love slave for the next couple of days (and I’m not just talking about sex).
So why aren’t we the love slaves first, so that he’ll do the sweet things?
I guess it’s all about trust. I don’t dote on my husband because I don’t trust that he’ll do anything in return. And that’s pretty selfish, isn’t it? According to the Bible, we’re supposed to give without expectation of earthly reward. Our silent and humble obedience is what stores up treasures in heaven.
But how do we do that? I just can’t seem to give selflessly to my husband. It’s so weird. I can give of my time and money quite easily and joyously to total strangers and people from my church, but I can’t do that for my husband. What’s with that? It seems pretty backwards to me. So how do I change it?
I guess I just need to listen to my own advice. I’ve written more than once over past blogs that we can’t do these things on our own. It’s only possible in God’s strength. It takes a surrendered heart – a totally surrendered heart.
I guess I’ve discovered what part of my heart I haven’t totally surrendered.
I guess it’s time to get on my knees.