Do you know why I write this blog? Early mornings, late evenings, sometimes over lunch. Why I take time to put down the methods, principles and thoughts about how we have learned to be the happiest couple I know? Do you know why right now I am working on a short (10-15 page) eBook on three simple ways to have a happier marriage?
Do you know why?
I could sit back and keep this all to myself. Sally and I are tremendously happy! The time I typing these things up could absolutely be spent with her. Seriously. I love all of you that enjoy the blog, but I love her more.
After our first couple of years of marriage, when we really started to get a handle on how to have a truly and deeply happy marriage we were asked to mentor engaged couples. We did that for some time and with several couples and really enjoyed it. Over the years we have repeatedly taught marriage classes and enjoyed that as well. Now I blog about marriage, we completed our Marriage Mentor certification and are looking forward to teaching, mentoring and coaching many, many more couples.
I have a friend who has been a pastor throughout his adult life. He’s always been an associate pastor, on staff doing his part. He supported the senior pastor but never had that role himself. Then one day he announced he was planting a church. Not only was he going to be the senior pastor…he was starting a church from scratch. This is arguably the most difficult type of pastoring a person can do.
Because he was called.
God called this man out of his comfort zone to do an incredibly difficult job. He obeyed because of the call of God.
Do you know why I do what I am doing?
If you’ve been reading this blog you know that recently Sally and I were on a personal focus retreat. The purpose of that retreat was to discover God’s will for the next season of our lives. Summed up here is what the Lord revealed to me, “I am called to make good marriages great.”
That is why I am writing this blog, why we have taught marriages classes, mentored young couples and why I am writing the eBook. Now I know it is unlikely that you share that same calling, but for every husband who follows Christ we have something else that is shared.
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” – 1 Peter 3:7
I’d like to dig into this verse a bit more, but before I hit the main point I want to note that in the 21st Century some women (and men) may be offended by the term “weaker partner” or in some translations “weaker vessel”. This has absolutely nothing to do with emotional, spiritual moral or mental strength. It refers to the GENERAL case that men are physically stronger than women…note this is the general case and is not always true. Please don’t get hung up on this and miss the important part of this verse. If you’d like to dig more deeply into the “weaker vessel” statement then check out Pastor Mark Driscoll’s excellent coverage of this verse.
Here is the reason I want very much to get the meat of this verse. “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect “ The first part of the verse is a command, or an admonition, but it is a command with a follow up result, “so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
As a husband my relationship with God will NOT be what it should be unless I treat my wife with consideration and respect. You want a better relationship with God? You want to be closer to the Lord? You want to hear more from the Lord? Then follow the command to be considerate and treat her with respect.
Our behavior toward our wives directly affects our relationship with God. Notice the exact words at the end of the verse, “so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Ever had an exceedingly dry season in your prayer life? Maybe we need to check how we are speaking to, serving and THINKING about our wives. Don’t just respect her in your outward speech and behavior, but respect and honor her with your thoughts. Our behavior is caused by what is on the inside of us, not by outside circumstances. Children believe that they have no choice but to respond based on outside circumstances. Mature adults know that they control their reactions…based on their inner decisions on how to react.
I don’t know your calling and it may change over time, but I do know this. Your (and my) responsibility as husbands is to love, honor and respect our wives. Both inwardly and outwardly.
Honor her and God will honor you.
Love you all!