As we journey our way through this marriage series, undoubtedly some of you are disappointed that I am not addressing the issues of single women. Please hang in there, your day will come, I promise!
In my counseling and discipleship ministry I usually get the marriages that are in trouble. People don’t come when things are good. Typically, things have disintegrated to a point where one person may even be contemplating divorce. There are a plethora of reasons for marital discontent and I am trying to address a few of the common ones here.
In this “me” generation everyone is concerned with themselves. How can my needs be met? How can you please me? How can you serve me? Too many women go into marriage with the wrong believe that he is going to make them happy. When she realizes he is only human and a sinner just as she is and oh my word he is truly NOT concerned about meeting her needs all the time (because he is concerned about his needs being met) trouble brews quickly!
If this describes you, the first thing to understand right now is this: you are not obligated to receive but to provide for him. You are expected to be the giver of affection, grace, mercy, kindness, love, service, and everything else. The good news is that God requires the same thing of your husband toward you.
Your obligation in marriage is to provide for your spouse. A common complaint in difficult marriages is that he or she is not meeting my needs. What they are saying in part is he/she doesn’t spend time with me! Ladies, as gently as I know how I want to tell you that this is not a choice. Marriage is an act of live where you vow to meet each other’s legitimate needs for life
We all have legitimate needs. We expect that when we marry that our spouse will love us and care for us and provide for us. We expect they will be our life-long mate and will be there when things are going wrong or we need help.
When you agree to marry someone, you are committing yourself to do these things for the rest of your life. This is not something to enter into for the supremely selfish. The problem for the marrieds we see is that maybe no one ever told them that! Each person goes into the marriage with an “its all about me” attitude and is unwilling to be the initiator in giving.
Contrary to popular belief, marriage is not a 50/50 relationship. It is a 100/100 relationship. Each of you has to be willing to give it all away. You have to give it all away and expect nothing in return. You do it because you agreed to in the beginning, and because doing it glorifies God.
Fundamental question: How can I glorify God and please Him?
You will glorify God by rightly pleasing your spouse. Sacrificial living for your spouse glorifies God. I have told women I counsel that to serve their husband no matter how ungrateful and selfish he is; brings God glory. They are to look at serving him as though they are serving Christ. There is usually fear that their husband will take advantage of them or that he will lord this over them or come to expect it. They don’t like my response when I say, “so what if he does?”
1 & 2 Peter are 2 books I suggest spouses read to understand godly suffering. There are times when glorifying God is going to be a time of human suffering, especially if one person is not fully committed to glorifying God in the marriage.
Did you know that the marriage commitment is a covenant? We will look at that next time. You really ought to know what you have committed to and what that covenant you made before God means.