In a word, it’s not about you. Nope. Not even close. You may go into a relationship, engagement, and marriage thinking that it is, but you’re wrong–seriously wrong!
What is marriage? It’s a pride swallowing, self-denying, calendar adjusting, anger managing (if you can do that sort of thing) sort of thing! It’s a relationship of 2 people who, even though they may have “meant” something else in their minds when they proposed or said “yes,” actually believe that the eternal relationship in which they’ve entered is in fact not a relationship but a JOB. That’s right, marriage is work! If you’re having trouble with it, then you’re either 1) unaware that marriage is work or 2) you’re aware of it but refuse to actually give in to the labor of love that is marriage. (There’s a 3rd option, too. It’s misery…and there are a lot of miserable people out there. I hope you’re not one of them.) In my humble opinion, there are simply too many people who are fantastic at their jobs but terrible at their relationship, because they don’t approach their relationship with the same ingenuity that they do their jobs. Listen, relationships are work and you get the bonuses when you put in the effort!
As a man, I can tell you that I’ve learned a lot about life and marriage from my wife. She’s smart in a way that I simply am not. But I also think that I have smarts that she doesn’t. So, like most couples, we have the ability to REALLY compliment each other. The question is, will we? Will I give way to her? Will she give way to me? Do I always have to be right or followed or argumentative about secondary stuff? No. But the sin in all of us, and certainly the sin in me, wants to focus on the ego. So, we break, re-break, and break again a relationship that was designed on the pivotal idea of putting others before one’s self (Matthew 7:12). It’s craziness. Our marriages are cold, then hot; loving, then distant. Marriage shouldn’t be this way…ever!
If you’re a wife, and you’ve read this far, let me take advantage of you for a moment and quote a wonderful passage that I found in an article this week. “Men need respect. That is true of our husbands, our sons, and it is true of the men we work with. When you show a man respect, you will earn respect in return. This doesn’t mean you won’t disagree. It is the opposite. When you do disagree, with respect, and offer another view or solution, you will be heard” (Selma Wilson, the article is here). Whether you think he deserves it or not, giving him respect will open channels of strength in him that he never knew he had. God knew this. That’s why he said, “Wives, respect your husbands” (Ephesians 5:33).
I pray and hope that Jesus is anointing your marriage, and that you’re giving Him something worthy of His anointing!