Husbands, you can overcome the seasons of tension in marriage.
All married couples will agree that marriage has its “seasons”. We enjoy it when it is “in season”. These are times of understanding, forbearance, friendship and contribution. But there are the odd times when marriage seems to go “out of season”. These are times of misunderstanding, intolerance, unmet expectations and tension, unfortunately. All marriages will encounter such bumpy patches, and some more than others. These are unavoidable. But what matters is how soon we resolve our marital differences and return to the “in season” mode again. And our attitudes play an important role in our response and ability to resolve marital issues.
When we come into the Kingdom, our attitudes must be adjusted, if not overhauled. One of the ways we as husbands can minimize or even avoid conflict with our wives is to heed the biblical advice found in 1 Peter 3:7 which says: “Husbands, likewise dwell with them with understanding.” This is where most husbands lose the plot. They fail to “understand” their wives. And where understanding is absent misunderstanding will be present. To dwell with our wives with understanding is more than being patient, kind and tolerant. The word “understanding” refers to divine understanding. It is about understanding things from God’s perspective. For a husband to dwell with his wife with understanding, he must view her through the lens of the Almighty. Husbands are the priests of their homes and ultimately responsible for keeping their marriages within the design of God.
So, husbands, here are some golden rules from the Scriptures to assist you:
To ‘honour’ your wife means that you think no evil of her. It means that you have to maintain her dignity at all times, especially in your mind. When you do encounter a bumpy road make sure you don’t confuse the problem with the person. It may seem hard to distinguish between the two but you must do it. When you do, her person will still be esteemed and held in high regard. If you don’t, you will violate her in your mind and assassinate her character. In so doing, you will be adding more fuel to the fire instead of putting it out.
So husbands, don’t devalue the biblical truths about your marriage or your wife. The Bible presents some powerful principles, truths and imageries about marriage. For example, marriage is a symbol of Christ’s union with His church (Eph.5:25-33). Such truths must become part of your core values. Keep them at the forefront of your mind.
Be committed to your wife no matter what. Don’t be too quick to throw in the towel. There is a solution and you must find it. Also, make a concerted effort to seek her highest good at all times. We all fail dismally in this regard. But we can at least try. Don’t deceive yourself: You are in no danger of loving your wife too much. Consider how Christ continues to love & cherish the church unfailingly. Likewise, give all of yourself over for her wellbeing (“And He gave Himself for her…”).
True. This is what the Bible says. This is the vow you took on your wedding day…unless you were lying. Interestingly, it is also the only way to promote your own wellbeing & happiness (v. 33 “He that loves his wife loves himself”). And be assured that your loving-kindness towards her will be more than repaid.
Being one flesh with your wife means that your destiny is intertwined with hers. Your purpose, breakthroughs, successes are all locked up in her. ThIs means that you can never be fulfilled or attain your successes apart from cooperating with her. 1 Peter 3:7b says that we are “heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayer be not hindered”.
Like most Christian husbands you may have formulated your own expectations about what a “helpmeet” should be. But your bubble is burst when she fails to live up to your expectations. You must understand that, although she is your helpmeet, she is still the “weaker vessel” in comparison to you (no offence to wives intended). Marriage is not supposed to be an equal effort relationship as you may have thought, expected or wanted. But you say: “I give 50% & she gives 50%”. That is a myth. The reality is that she is weaker than you so she is definitely expected to contribute lesser (perhaps about 1/3, while you contribute more, maybe about 2/3). So you cannot set unrealistic expectations for your wife, and it will be unfair if you do.
Her weakness is not only physiological but emotional, mental & spiritual as well. It seems that we are not just ‘heads’ of our households but ‘ahead’ in almost every regard! Please note also that this in no way makes your wife inferior in her person, mental endowments or contribution. It just means that she is tenderer & delicate, more prone to infirmity and weakness, and less capable of enduring rougher conditions than you are. You must understand this. She must be treated more delicately, with special kindness and extra attention, like a beloved child.
You are bitter towards her when you become ill-tempered and confrontational. It is hypocritical for us to be polite with other females but rude and bitter towards our own wives especially within the confines of your homes. As husbands we must make every effort not to be bitter towards our wives nor relate with them unkindly. Harsh language or treatment is a no, no. From today resolve to be kinder and more obliging towards your wife. Remember, emotionally she is designed to be weak & fragile. This is how God designed her. You should not subject her to your “over-manly” spirit, headstrong attitudes, brute nature, aloof moods or harsh speech. You must tread cautiously & sensitively.
Man is not the originator of marriage. God is. As the original designer of the marriage covenant He also holds the blueprints to an ideal marriage. So husbands, to become BETTER HUSBANDS, we must position ourselves at His feet and glean accurate patterns to proactively build our marriages.