Owner’s manuals. Tutorials. How-To’s. Rule Books. We come in contact with these guidelines and regulations when we seek them out, when we have an intent to use them.
But what about the systematically disguised formula,or rubric, that has been interwoven into us. This rubric that is widely taught and expressed by an unaccredited source. A source that has proven only to fail, and yet we ignorantly follow the rubric that is, by nature, designed to disappoint.
Have you ever felt like you were running in a hopeless hamster wheel, running because you have to, hoping that you won’t fall off until the wheel itself rust with age and finally slows to a squeaky, deteriorated halt? Have you ever felt that way about your marriage? BE HONEST with Yourself.
Have you ever thought that marriage was a total disappointment? The wedding- a Fluff before the Thud? That after the “Honeymoon” stage wears off, marriage is meant to be endured not enjoyed? That if you can just hold it together for the kids then you will be one of the fortunate ones, a marital martyr? That if you just keep on plowing that same dismal ditch, called marriage, that eventually you’ll come to a drop-off point where when one of you falls off and dies at least one of you made it out alive? Have you ever just wanted to give up because the statistics report: It’s just bound to happen anyway? Have you ever said “What’s the point, why try to make this work”?
fact: Marriage is hard sometimes. And sometimes it seems downright impossible.
These ideas are more common than we think. Some women are very expressive, almost proud, of their Martyrdom. They want you to see their dissatisfaction with their marriage. They publicly disrespect their husbands, leaving him embarrassed, or angry, or both. They talk badly about their husbands to other women, their children, family, or whomever will listen. They disregard his directions and belittle his ideas. And in doing all of this the Martyr Wife feels unfulfilled and more fatigued and the hamster wheel keeps turning til it eventually breaks.
Why does Marriage have this hidden black label on it? Like a medicine bottle that list all the benefits on the outside but you have to pull the label back and find a magnifying glass to discover all the side effects.
Its because we have been submersed in a sin-sick society that devalues every good, pure, and holy thing that God created.
We only have to glance to the left or right while standing in the grocery checkout line to comprehend how careless Society is with marriage. There they are, all smiles and joyful bliss today, but don’t blink because that artificial bliss is soon withered by dishonesty and affairs. But just hold on, because they will finally find their “true love” in a matter of weeks or months. Until the cycle repeats itself, again.
Before we became influenced by media and the names of high society, we were taught how to be women by the women in our lives. Their influential behavior probably saturated us more permanently than any other source.
And now we absorb the preacher’s wake up calls when he startles us with failed marriage statistics.
The world’s view of marriage is pretty simple. Temporarily Blissful…… but Doomed.
But there is wonderful, refreshing hope found in God’s word! A fulfilling, enjoyable, and strong marriage is not only possible- it’s attainable!
God never intended for marriage to be a drudgery. He didn’t design it to be a life-sentence in marital prison.
He designed it to be a glorious, sacred, and cherished union between a husband and his wife.
In fact, He was so pleased with it’s design that he uses it as a model for the most significant relationship ever established. The relationship between Himself and the Church. And what a glorious union that is!
When marriages fail to live up to their divine design its because one or both spouses have been following the wrong rubric.
When we put pencil to paper and begin to see the dramatic contrasts between wives that follow Society’s philosophy for marriage and the godly examples given to us in the Bible, the differences are like night and day. Lets compare-
The Martyr Wife:
-She is independent, making her own money to be spent as she chooses. She has her own preferred responsibilities: a career, hobby, etc that take precedence.
-She has equal stock in the partnership in the marriage. She sees marriage as a 50/50 effort that remains in a state of “Pending”. Her vote counts, as much or more at times, about all things. Her rights as an “Individual” woman come first.
-She is self-seeking. If she doesn’t want to go there, do that, or feel like it- she doesn’t HAVE to.
-She willfully speaks her mind on all occasions. She argues with her husband to prove her point and she doesn’t hesitate to shine a spotlight on all his flaws.
In the Bible we read about a wicked queen who not only was the Martyr Wife, she was the head of the household. Her story is found in 1 Kings. Jezebel was her name.
*She was married to King Ahab of Israel (chap. 16:31)
*She was the spiritual leader in the marriage from it’s beginning (vs. 31)
*She commanded that God’s prophets be put to death (18:13)
*She weakened her already weak husband by writing letters in Ahab’s name to claim possession for him the vineyard he coveted.(21:7-10)
*She “stirred” her husband to do wickedness (21:25) -she lorded over him spiritually
Jezebel was extreme in every since of the word. She forced her agenda on her king husband and also on her sons who would reign after their father. She was wickedly selfish and deceiving. Her personal motives were to be the one in charge: of her husband; her children; the kingdom of Israel as a whole. In today’s terms she would be glamorized as a true Feminist who does her thing “like a Boss”. She didn’t let a man keep her from obtaining her goals. She would be seen as a true leader for women’s rights. We could say that “she wore the pants” in every relationship that she was a part of.
Is that the kind of wife you would like to be? Mother? Leader?
Now, lets take a glance into the characteristics of a godly wife…
The Godly Wife:
-She is willing to forfeit her personal goals, hobbies, or achievements to be a help meet to her husband. She doesn’t feel that depending on her husband makes her degrade. She genuinely feels that as her husband gains and grows, she reaps the blessings from being his helper.
-She seeks to cheerfully follow her husband’s leading, acknowledging her husband’s divine placement as the “head” of their family.
-When asked for her opinion, she is ready to present her opinion with full understanding that her husband is the determiner.
-She seeks to please her husband and his needs above her own. She is not selfish and delights in delighting her husband.
-She willfully holds her peace in a moment when she disagrees. She has temperance and discernment. She calmly discusses not argues. She prays for her husband instead of criticizing him.
This list seems so foreign to today’s typical wife mold but the Bible gives us some wonderful examples to help us break free from what society says is the character for a wife.
One of the best examples of character both for a single or married female is found in it’s very own book in the Bible- the book of Ruth.
Ruth was a woman of rich character. Her gentleness and positive determination allowed her to be placed in the divine ancestral lineage of Jesus himself!
*She humbled herself to be a gleaner- a job on the very bottom of the career ladder. (chapter 2:3) Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen. -Proverbs 25:6-7
*Boaz commented on her being a virtuous woman (3:11) Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. -Proverbs 31:28
*Although she interacted with other young men in the fields, she maintained her purity both physically and emotionally. (3:10)
*She requested a major task of Boaz and then waited patiently for his response. (3:18) She did not nag him or rush him.
The entire book of Ruth is a beautiful example of true female character as God intended. In Naomi’s case, a widow who no longer needed to be a help meet to her husband, she dutifully taught her daughter-in-law to be patient with her petitions and gentle in her approaches. Naomi’s attitude toward her homeland and her God must have been a strong factor for Ruth when deciding to leave Moab to become a foreigner in the land of the “House of Bread”. Ruth was a wilful learner. Her heart was tender toward Naomi’s instructions and her hands were not slow to work. The bond between these two women are an excellent depiction of the ideal relationship between an older woman and a younger woman mentioned by Paul in Titus 2.
The aged woman likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to lovve their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. -Titus 2:3-5
It really is up to you.
If you feel that your marriage is in a stagnant state, not growing or strengthening or growing unified, You have the ability to change that. You can go from enduring to Enjoying! You can go from a state of discontentment to being completely Enthralled with your husband and your marriage! You can save, nurture, and even enrich your marriage. God’s design for marriage is without flaw, you need only to follow His rubric for a glorious marriage!
-from my heart to yours,
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