I recently heard about several couples I went to college with who are getting divorced. Every case is obliviously unique and I don’t know the details. But no matter what the cause, my heart breaks as I see Christian marriages failing everyday.
Christian or not, marriage is hard. But Christian marriages are especially hard, because you are a threat to Satan, and he has every reason to destroy you and your spouse. Your marriage is a spiritual battleground.
Corey and I don’t claim to be marriage counselors and I feel very unworthy to give anyone marital advice. But there are a few basic things that Corey and I have found incredibly helpful during these first few years of our marriage and I want to share them with you.
“Husbands, LOVE your wives, just as Christ loved the church.” Ephesians 5:25
How does a man show love to a woman?
- Cherish her- Make her feel important when you come home.
- Give her ALL your energy- Leave your work at work. When you come home, make sure you are ALL in. Your family is top priority; don’t just give them your leftovers.
- Show her affection- When I say “affection,” I don’t mean sexual affection, men! Hug her, kiss her, hold her hand, and STOP THERE! (And don’t do those things with the assumption that they’ll lead to something else… But I promise if you do this, it will pay off.)
- Talk to her- Ask her about her day. Ask how she is doing. Ask her how you can pray for her. And when you talk to her, make sure you are LISTENING. Be tuned in. (Ladies, this doesn’t mean go off for 30 minutes about blah blah blah. Make sure you engage your husband in the conversation, so he will want to listen.)
- Pray- Take time to pray with her. Step into your role as the spiritual leader.
Men, I promise you, the little things mean the most to us women!
“And the wife must RESPECT her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
How does a woman show respect to her man?
- Cheer for him- I heard at a marriage seminar that every man desires a CHEERLEADER! A wife should be the biggest cheerleader for her husband! Be an encouragement to him to when he comes home. Your house should be his safe haven, ladies.
- Allow him to lead- Let him make decisions. As women, we often try to control everything, but there are times we need to let go and allow the man to lead. Respect him with your trust.
- Honor him in public- Make sure you build him up in front of other people. Do not cut him down or undermine him in front of others. Instead, be a public CHEERLEADER.
- Tell him thank you- For awhile, when Corey would make the bed, fold the laundry, or wash the dishes, I found myself criticizing him for how he did it. Even if the shirt wasn’t folded correctly, I should have shut up and just said THANK YOU. When we’re critical of our husbands, they’ll eventually stop helping.
- Pray- Pray for your husband. Pray for his job. Pray he will make the right decisions. Pray for the protection of his heart and mind. Pray he will be the husband God intends him to be. And when you think you have prayed enough, pray more!
As husbands and wives, we can’t fix each other. Only the power of the Holy Spirit can give us the ability to LOVE and RESPECT when our flesh doesn’t feel like it. God has not forsaken your marriage, so you shouldn’t either. When things feel out of control, get on your knees and pray.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from
all their troubles. Psalm 17:6
How do you show your spouse RESPECT and LOVE?
Photo taken by Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography