What holds and keeps a husband and wife’s relationship is their intimate relationship in and with the Lord Jesus Christ?
I dare say that Jesus Christ is the glue that bonds a marriage relationship together, much stronger than any superglue that any counselor on earth can offer till death do them part. True marriage is not determined by how long a couple has been married but how happy, fulfilling and prosperous their marriage has been.
How secure and sealed up are they in their salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ? Both a man and a woman must need to learn to die to themselves in order to allow the Lord Jesus Christ to take precedence or preeminence in their lives. No captain can win the attention of their crew or team unless they have learned humility, submission and obedience.
The same principle applies in any marriage and goes for both husband and wife. There is no such thing in Holy Scripture saying a wife should only to submit to her husband; absolutely not.
The Bible teaches that men must show the love towards their wives before they can expect submission in any manner of behaviour and conduct: “So ought men to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; (I have not seen any man slap his own face, does he not realise that slapping his wife in God’s eyes is like slapping his own face?) but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.
For we are members of his (Christ’s) body, of his flesh, and of his bones (man and woman equally). For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined (cleave/tatomo) unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh (weave/rangaranga).
“This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you (all you men) in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Ephesians 5: 28 – 33).
This is real, true and pure Christian marriage. Without that reciprocation of love, responsibility and accountability from one unto another, it shall remain a lifetime conflict, competition, war and hell the rest of their married life which inevitably ends up in separation and divorce and the poor innocent children ends up bearing the brunt of the storm as a consequence.
What stupid wife would ever refuse to submit, to reciprocate the overwhelming and outpouring love and favour that her husband showers upon her. What ignorant husband would abuse and mistreat his own body (wife) and expect submission or favour in return?
Wives, stand up for your own rights as a precious child of God whom Christ shed his blood for against any unprovoked, violent, abusive and drunken fool. As the Apostle Paul has stated above, marriage is a mystery it don’t come by easy, cheap or like a fanfare.
It is deeply imbedded in our relationship with Jesus Christ and his church. So every time I see marriage being taken out of its Christian context like so many civil and secular and all alternative lifestyle form of marriages are, then it ceases to be real as such. Instead, it becomes a miscarriage of justice and a distortion of the truth of a proper Bible-based Christian marriage.
I have travelled a lot and have been shocked and horrified to see in almost all our Pacific Islands cultures that women are still being treated like second class citizens or slaves in their homes, rather than eating and sitting on the same level with men and claiming that as Christian protocol.
I have seen even in many so-called Christian churches where men sit on one side and women on the other, both worshipping the same Christ who in Ephesians 2: 14 “…hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between them”.
Every duty and responsibility in any marriage is a shared effort. In sharing both partners are demonstrating the notion of care.
Husband’s position in Christ: He is the Bridegroom, Head, Leader, lover, Protector, Provider, Servant and Initiator. Wife’s position in Christ: She is the Bride, Body, Follower, Companion, Supporter, Helper, Encourager and Receiver.
Here are ten practical commandments for a husband:
1. Be neat and clean. Most men don’t seem to understand that seeing them looking untidy and unclean in public sadly and unfortunately throws a bad reflection on their wives. But the truth of the matter is, most husbands are stubborn as a rock not heeding to their wife’s instructions for cleanliness outside the home.
2. Be courteous in and out of the home.
3. Love expressed through gifts is better than secret love. Every woman likes to be remembered and rightly deserve to be acknowledged (Birthdays, Mother’s day, Valentine, Anniversary, others).
4. Be grateful, appreciative, compliment and congratulate her for every little surprise, marvels and wonders she has done for you and the family.
5. Take her out from time to time. Romance and courtship is never over. 6. Always be considerate and understanding.
7. Listen to your wife’s advice and take suggestions.
8. Make it a habit to always read at least one Bible chapter daily and pray as often with her.
9. Maintain openness in all manner of conversation, thoughts and purposes.
10. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stirreth up anger (Proverbs 15: 1). You’re not the only one who has been busy all day.
Ten practical commandments for wives:
1. Seek not to manipulate your husband or assume leadership in the home.
2. Be neat and attractive, take time to shop and beauty treat yourself often.
3. Control your nagging, avoid criticism, listen to no gossips. “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman” (Proverbs 21: 19).
4. Pray more than talk more about your husband and family.
5. Work at creating a loving and peaceful atmosphere in your home. “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22: 1).
6. Look always for the best things in your husband. Make allowance for his mistakes. Encourage him, compliment him and respect him.
7. Be wise in how you handle money (Proverbs 31: 11 – 25) As long as the bills are paid and there’s money left over, you will gain your husband’s total confidence in your management of the finances.
8. Be content with whatever your husband labours hard to get. Much money, wealth and richness is not everything. “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right” (Proverbs 16:
9. Stand by your man as he leads, guides and directs your family. Be the map reader, time keeper and GPS while he keeps his eyes and mind on the wheels. (Ecclesiastes 4: 9 – 12).
10. Love, devote and serve your own husband and family as if they are the only family on earth.
Rules for a happy marriage:
1. Never be angry at the same time..
2.Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.
3.If one has to win the argument, let it be the other.
4.If you have to raise a critical matter, do it lovingly, ask for consideration and accept whatever the response or reaction might be; again with love.
5. Stop digging up rotten bones or bring up past stories or mistakes.
6. Neglect the whole world rather than one another.
7. Never go to sleep with an unsettled argument.
8.At least once a day, try to say one kind complimentary thing to your spouse.
9. When one has done something wrong, be ready to confess, admit and ask for forgiveness.
10.Never turn down a kind invitation nor withhold forgiveness from a truly remorseful heart. Better restoring peace than leaving an open house without walls.
Any husband can make himself irresistible to his wife by learning to meet five basic marital needs:
1. Meet her need for affection with plenty of hugs and kisses at every given opportunity. Tell her how much you care for her with steady flow of words, cards, flowers, gifts, outing and common courtesies. Affection is the environment and atmosphere to grow a wonderful marriage.
2.Meet her need for intimate conversation by talking with her at the feeling level. Listen to her attitudes about the events of her day with sensitivity, interest, and concern.
All your conversations with her should convey a desire to understand her, but not to change or intimidate her.
3.Meet her need for honesty and openness by looking her in the eye and telling her what you really think. Explain your plans and actions clearly and completely because you regard yourselfas accountable to her. You should want her to trust you and feel safe and secured with you.
4.Meet her need for financial support by firmly shouldering the responsibility to house, to feed, and clothe your family. If your income is insufficient to support your wife and family adequately, don’t feel sorry for yourself. Instead, look for concrete ways to increase your earnings by upgrading your skills. Or sit down with her to determine how to make better use of what income you have, agree to perhaps cancel a hire purchase plan, extra loan, lower your standard of living if necessary in order to raise your marriage to a safer, more manageable and more fulfilling level. Do all you can together to save your marriage rather than risking it under financial pressure. Most separations are caused by increased stress levels rather than sexual problems.
5.Meet her need for family commitment by putting your family first while providing for time out one or twice a week. He commits your time and energy to the spiritual, moral and intellectual development of your children. For example, read with them, play with them, worship with them, engage in sports with them, take them on recreation and outings and better still a holiday away from home. Don’t not play the fool’s game of working long hours, trying to get ahead; finding time to play business house competitions with your friends while your children and spouse are neglected
Whenever a wife finds such a husband who exhibits all five qualities, she will find him irresistible. But a note of caution: if he exhibits only four of them, she will still experience a void that will nag persistently and incessantly for fulfilment. When it comes to meeting the five basic needs, batting 800 is not good enough; every husband must try for 1000.
Why so much fuss and emphasis on husbands? If he is to be the head of the home and in marriage, he is the brain box who holistically articulates and analyses all operations and functions that occurs within this godly relationship.
A malfunction or disorientation in the brain causes harm and danger to the whole marriage and family; and in all seriousness, dysfunctions the whole world.
My final prayer for all husbands and wives and families in this final part of our four-week discussions and observations on Christian marriage:
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 4: 23). Amen!
Have a safe, fun-filled, marriage and family orientated Jesus weekend.
Bishop Tutai Pere