Many years ago, I discovered a few secrets that transformed my marriage. Don’t get the wrong idea. We didn’t fight. We didn’t have major issues—well, that’s not exactly true. My major issue in marriage was between my ears. It was an attitude issue. It was wrong thinking.
For example, I’ll share some of the problems I had, along with others that are typical.
- He didn’t …
- I hate it when he …
- Why can’t he …?
- I wish he would …
- I know he could have …
- I feel lonely.
- I do all of this (accompanied with a list). Doesn’t he see?
- I need a hug / kiss / whatever.
- “Mr. Smith” gives his wife roses. Why doesn’t my husband?
- “Mr. Smith” takes his wife to beautiful restaurants and on cruises—unlike my husband.
- My husband never tells me he thinks I’m beautiful. (“Mr. Smith” compliments me at work.)
- My husband spends too much.
- My husband is cheap.
- My husband is great with the kids and others. Why isn’t he sweet with me?
- My husband is grouchy.
- My husband is (anything negative and judgmental).
- My husband doesn’t lead the family spiritually.
- I don’t see my husband praying, reading his Bible, etc.
- My husband doesn’t pray with me.
- My husband is not Spirit-filled.
- He leaves his clothing on the floor.
- He forgets to clean up after himself.
- He doesn’t even notice he (something else that bugs you).
We could go on and on.
Looking back over my list, I can make a few observations:
- I am thinking only about what pleases me.
- I am thinking about his shortcomings.
- I am comparing him to another man/men.
- I am judging his spirituality, motives, actions, etc.
- I am actually thinking I know better than he does.
Let’s turn this around. Would you like your husband to think these same ways about you? Of course not.
The Bible gives us the perfect outline for marriage. Of course, there are instructions for husbands, but we’ll limit this blog post to our side of the issue and see what we can learn—specifically what kinds of thinking we’re supposed to use. The Bible is the most amazing Book. It’s God’s Word. And, one thing that surprises me is there aren’t a lot of key passages written for wives. So, God makes it easy for us. Let’s explore them.
Read these passages looking for how a wife is to think about her husband.
1 Corinthians 7:2-5 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
Obviously, this is mostly about the physical relationship in marriage, but we can learn something about communication, here. It’s obvious that the husband and wife both have a say in their relationship—a mutual understanding—even when it comes to prayer and fasting.
1 Corinthians 7:34There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
A married woman cares about pleasing her husband.* It’s the major difference between her and a single woman.
Ephesians 5:22-24, 33 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing…. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Submission has gotten a bad rap. Submission is actually accepting that one’s husband is the head of the family, just as Jesus is the head of the church. It is the position of leadership in the family—a reflection of the way He ordered the Godhead. Wives are not less than their husbands, but they yield to their husband’s leadership. (You can’t have two leaders.) This passage says in everything, and uses the term reverence, which means respect. This is talking about voluntarily yielding to your husband’s leadership.
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
This is the same concept of submission we saw in the Ephesians passage, above.
Titus 2:3-5 The aged (mature) women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Mature Christian women are to be examples and teachers of a godly lifestyle, which includes loving their husbands and being obedient to their own husbands.
1 Peter 3:1-6 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
This passage begins with the believing woman who’s married to a man who isn’t born again. The word fear is a biblical word which means respect. Then, the passage talks about the adorning of women. It says the outside fancy stuff isn’t what a Christian woman should be known for. She should be known for a meek (strength under control) and quiet spirit—which God values. It goes on to say that women should recognize their husbands as heads of their households and gives the example of Sara.
So, if we put all of this together, what kind of thinking should we have towards our husbands?
- Respect. It doesn’t say he has to earn it, deserve it, or even that he has to be a believer. A Christian wife is to show respect to her husband.
- Submission. Submission is yielding. It means the husband has the last word. The couple can discuss anything together openly, but the decision—and its consequences—are the responsibility of the husband.
- Love. Our thinking should be motivated by love.
Many years ago, I turned around my negative thoughts about my husband. I started respecting him, loving him, and dwelling on what is good about him. I recognized his position of leadership in our family. I turned my marriage around.
Because, when you obey the Bible, wonderful things can happen.
*Note: Pleasing one’s husband, obedience, and submission are not talking about accepting abuse. If your husband mistreats you, please reach out to someone and get help. You might want to read my posts about spousal abuse: https://intheway-lk.blogspot.com/2017/09/i-will-make-you-submit-domestic-abuse.html and https://intheway-lk.blogspot.com/2017/06/ten-red-flags-in-relationships-how-to_3.html.