Let’s pick up from our previous post. Men also have needs. Wives are to be like the church in surrendering to the love that Christ has for them through their husbands. The church receives Christ’s love, is filled by it, is set apart by it, is cleansed by it, and becomes radiant through it. Wives are to be open to receiving love from their husbands and be impacted by it in these ways. Husbands need submission to this love from their wives which also has to do with respect (Ephesians 4:33). To respect a man, a woman has to have a deep sense of admiration for his abilities, qualities, achievements, character and his heart. God has created men with specially designed egos to be a force in this world, and so men need their wives to look up to them for their accomplishments. Submission then becomes the yielding of one will to the will of another. A man needs a women who admires him so much that she will entrust herself to him and yield her will to his will. Therefore, it is important for a woman who is dating to intentionally choose a man who connects with her heart in such a way that she admires him and is able to entrust herself to him. Once a woman is married, it then becomes a choice to intentionally find ways to admire and entrust herself to her husband as her day to day relationship unfolds with him.
This relationship requires two persevering individuals who collaborate to manage their life together (Genesis 1:27-28). Both individuals pursue God’s leading for their hearts as their first priority. This marriage is not free from tension. In fact, there’s always tension in this marriage precisely because there are two individuals seeking God’s best direction. Yet in working out this tension and seeking together what God has for each of them, they move toward one another by displaying the fruit of the Spirit in how they discuss and debate issues. Defensiveness, stonewalling, criticism, and contempt are momentary. Voices are not raised for too long before there is realization that they need to come to a lower level. Nor does anyone walk away without explaining when he or she will be back to the conversation. There’s an agreement to not use manipulation or passive aggressiveness to control one another. If this happens, it is for a moment and then realized. Confession, repair and forgiveness are pursued within hours of an incident so that bonds are not severely broken. Couples go to bed agreeing they love each other even if they need more time to ponder the best resolution. These marriages seem to be full of joy and radiance, rather than draining the life from each individual in the relationship.
Let’s move toward God’s intention for our Christian marriages. In these practical ways, we can move toward one another and reveal Christ’s love for His church to the world around us. As we do, our families, communities, churches and our society will benefit from our movement toward God and away from marital breakdown.
Question for discussion: How will this impact the way you interact with your spouse?
Contact information for speaking, training, consulting, coaching and writing:
Dr. Jeanine Parolini, PhD, MBA, MA