Two Becoming One in our Roles (For the Wives)

Slide1This is part two of Two Becoming One in our Roles. This time I want to share some insight to wives that might be reading this blog. I trust you will find this helpful.

Roles of the Wife

What are the ROLES that a wife needs to be doing in the marriage relationship? Let’s look at them: 

R – Respect – Ephesians 5:33

   “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)

Every husband needs to feel and know that his wife respects him. Nothing makes for bad morale than to feel and know that you are disrespected. Wives, don’t go there.

Family Life Weekend to Remember teaches, “Respect is a choice to receive your husband in spite of his weaknesses.”

What can a wife do to show respect to her husband? Again Family Life teaches that a wife can practice the following things:

  • Unconditional respect.
  • Honor him – especially before family and friends.
  • Words of affirmation – show gratefulness for all he does for you.
  • Praise him – Be creative here.
  • Don’t criticize him before his peers. Never in a public setting.
  • Listen to him tell his stories.
  • Affirm his masculinity. Receive his sexual advancements.
  • Support his decisions. It doesn’t mean he is always right. Allow room for failure.

O – Oneness – Genesis 2:24 

We read in Genesis 2:24, “and they shall become one flesh.”

No doubt that is speaking about sexual relations, but I believe it speaking about far more. I believe its speaking about emotional, physical, mental, and social oneness. It’s the whole package for marriage that God originally intended for couples.

Wives, you play a significant role in the development of spiritual oneness in marriage. I was reading the other day that 84% of women don’t feel that they are experiencing oneness in their marriage. Okay, what are you going to do about it? Oneness won’t just happen – it takes WORK!

Wives, here are some suggestions for developing oneness in your marriage. Why wives? Because by nature women are nurturers. Wives you can push for oneness in your marriage and never obtain it, or you can nurture your marriage and develop a healthy oneness.

  • Keep your eyes on God.
  • Pray for your husband – The Power of a Praying Wife. (Talk with Kathy Thompson).
  • Take walks together.
  • Share your secrets – Let him into your heart.
  • Be his greatest cheerleader.
  • Treasure your man.
  • Like sports (a lot of husbands do).
  • Play together – Find a hobby you both enjoy.
  • Protect your oneness – Keep other people out of your marriage.
  • Acts of kindness – Be quick to serve your husband. There is a boomerang affect that will occur – it will come back to you.
  • Prioritize him – He is to be your priority.
  • Render physical affection– don’t make it a chore. See it for what it is – it develops oneness in your marriage.

L – Loyalty – Proverbs 31:11

A lot of woman are tired of hearing from Proverbs 31. There are a lot of wives that just don’t feel as if they meet the criteria of being that “Virtuous Wife” that we read in that book. Maybe that is true of you. Perhaps you feel like right now you just don’t measure up. Well, let’s not focus in on the various nuances of the passage, but let’s hone in on just one area.

Let me draw your attention to Proverbs 31:11, “The heart of her husband safely trusts her;” 

Trust is a BIGGIE in marriage today. Last week I mentioned a lot of reasons why this is so. Go back and listen to that message.

Does your husband know that you are going to be loyal to him? How is loyalty spoken?

  • Tell him that you will always be faithful to him. He needs to hear those words of affirmation.
  • Be devoted to him – Give him your attention.
  • You dress for his eyes-only.
  • Remind him that he has your heart. You are a one-man woman.
  • Be present. You are aware that you can be present, but not present! Loyalty really is all about showing up and being present.

   Here is a biblical truth: Woman was taken from mans side, therefore be by his side.

E – Esteem – Philippians 2:3-4

   “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” 

Men need the respect of their wives to have esteem. And a wife can respect and build esteem into their husbands.

  • Show and Tell – Show him and tell him his worth.
  • Remind him of his value.
  • Hold him in high regard.
  • Have a strong opinion of him.
  • When making a judgment call about your husband, make it a good judgment call.
  • Think the best of him, and tell him what you’re thinking. 

Build your husbands esteem. Tell him through words how much you appreciate all that he does for you (and the kids if they are in the picture).

When your husband understands certain facets of you as a woman – when he has an “Aha moment” – PRAISE HIM. Let him know it when he’s getting things right.

S – Submission – Ephesians 5:22 

   “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)

We also read this same idea over in Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”

We are NOT speaking about dictatorship when the Bible uses the word, “Submission.” We are taking about a word that when properly understood actually sets marriages FREE.

The word “submit” actually means:

  • To subordinate.’
  • To obey.
  • To submit one’s self unto.

Patrick Morley in his book, The Man In The Mirror writes, “The wife’s duty is to submit to you, which is the ultimate expression of respect.” Why does everything seem to go back to respect? Because a man needs to know he is respect by his wife.

When a husband loves his wife, and a wife is submitting to her husband it does away with control issues in a marriage relationship. They labor together in oneness.

Someone once said, “No man should ever think that his wife should submit to him, if he is not first loving her.”

A woman needs love and a man needs respect. If neither receives what they need in marriage, the result is what Emerson Eggerich calls, The Crazy Cycle.

Husbands love your wives, and they will graciously submit to you, and you will receive respect. You will get what you need (respect) as you give them what they need (Love). Wives, submit to your husbands. This is God’s design.

When God created woman He took a part of Adam’s side. Eve was not taken from Adam’s head to rule over him, or from Adam’s feet to be walked upon by Adam. No, Eve (the first woman) was taken from Adam’s side, so that the two of them could forever walk together in companionship.

The wife submits to her husband. The husband submits to Christ. Christ submits to God. And all of us are to submit to one another. Submission is not a bad word. It is required in every other institution – business, government, judicial, military, and on and on and on. And it must also be a part of the institution of marriage as well.

Two Becoming One in our Roles (For the Husbands)

Slide1Roles are an issue. Consider the following email that was sent to me: “What a topic.  Jerry and I have personally struggled with these roles through the years. For seven years he was really checked out.  He was raised by an alcoholic single mom with no intention of teaching him about roles.  My dad was very overpowering in his idea of roles.  It wasn’t good either.  We were both confused.  Just when we were figuring out a healthy marriage, and a peaceful balance, Jerry lost his job and I became the worker while he stayed home.  It was miserable for both of us because our roles were messed up!!!  It was awful.  He felt terrible about himself, not providing for us financially, and I hated having to go to work instead of caring for our home.  Thank God he brought us through that time, it was terrible, but we did learn a lot.  We really work together.  I do struggle with being more of the disciplinarian, because I was raised that way and he wasn’t.  Also, it’s that curse from the beginning where Women are always struggling to be the head over their husbands. It’s something I work on and pray about every day.  I know my tendency to try to be in charge, so I really work on it.”

In this post I am going to take the word, ROLES, and I am going to use it as an acrostic to provide principles for husbands, and in the next post I’ll share some principles for the wives.

Roles for the Husband 

What are the ROLES that a husband needs to be doing in the marriage relationship? Let’s look at them:

R- Relational – Genesis 2:23

   Relationship is everything! We live for relationships. God created us with a need for people – this is why we are born into a family. This is also why friendship is important. This is also why having a relationship with God is important. Every man needs a relationship with God. Establish a solid vertical relationship with your Creator, and it will be much easier to have a healthy horizontal relationship with your wife. Get RIGHT with God – Be RIGHT with your wife! Relational problems usually arise when people are out of fellowship with God. They are clueless to God’s perspective and try to muddle their way through marriage.

Men you romanced your wife to win her heart. You took initiative to build a relationship with her at the beginning. What are you doing now? Are you still the pursuer? Far too many men stop pursuing their wives after they get married. It’s like hunting for a man – I’ve bagged my wife, the hunts over. Now I must move on to something else. I would like to call husbands back to the role of being the pursuer of his wife.

Husbands are to be the initiator and pursuer of the wife, and the wife is to be the receiver and responder. Don’t get it turned around. Husbands, chase after your wife!

Husbands are responsible for relationship building in their marriage. I cannot overly state the importance of doing everything you can as a husband to BUILD HEALTH into your marriage. Women are designed for relationships – this is why they can travel in packs!

You have got to love the words that Adam says when he sees Eve for the first time. He says,  “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” (Gen. 2:23)

What a difference we would see in marriages if more husbands would see their wives as a part of them – “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” Try it – view your wife as a part of yourself! I believe that was what Paul was saying in Ephesians 5.

O – Operations – I Corinthians 11:3

   “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

Did you hear what Paul wrote? Don’t miss this:

  • The head of every man is Christ.
  • The head of woman is man.
  • The head of Christ is God.

God is NOT asking us to do anything that He Himself is not already practicing. Headship exists in the Trinity.

The head is the central-processing center. My brain operates my body. As husbands we are to use the brain that God blessed us with in our marriage relationship.

As Operations Director I believe that husbands are responsible for the following:

  • Maintenance – House, car, equipment.
  • Finances – Bank, savings, retirement, investments.
  • Personnel – Wife, children, family.
  • Chores – Outside and inside the home.
  • Recreation – Dates, vacations, and trips.

L – Loving – Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,(Ephesians 5:25)

Far too many wives have to ask their husbands if they love them. This should not be the case. Our wives should have no doubt that we love them. They should see an evident love that is always on display.

How did Christ love the Church? He gave Himself for her. This is the greatest display of love ever written down anywhere or anyplace in all the annuals of humanity.

What are some practical ways in which men can love their wives? Here are some ways:

  • Give up something for her – sacrifice for your wife. Be willing to give up thing for her.
  • Cherish her – make her feel it. Make sure that she knows she is the most important thing in your life. Nothing rivals her – nothing!
  • Nurture her – help her to become all that God designed her to become.
  • Protect her – let her know you are watching over her. You will protect her.
  • Lead her – provide the direction that is needed for your relationship to grow.

E – Encourager – Ephesians 4:29 

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)

Lets focus together on the last half of this verse. There are actually two parts here. Make sure you get this down. Here is how you encourage your spouse:

  1. Only use words in your marriage that are “good for necessary edification,” 

This does not mean that you don’t deal with problems in your marriage, or that you don’t speak truth. What it means is that you weigh your words very carefully before you speak them. Don’t use damaging words (corrupt words), but words that build the other person up. 

  1. The words you do use ought to “impart grace to the hearers,” 

Is anyone guilty of saying things in the heat of the moment that you later regret? I’ve been married for 35 years, and I have no doubt that I have said a lot of things to Debbie that did not “impart grace” to her. I have been guilty of actually inflicting damage to her.

Grace defined is, unmerited favor.

We can either choose to build our mate up, or tear them down (Remember our series on WORDS?) I believe that the role of the husband, like I said in message number one, Two Becoming One as Friends that our responsibility is to make our spouse shine (Christ will present His Church as a glorious bride – Eph. 5:27). 

S – ServantMark 10:43-45

You did not marry a slave girl, or someone who jumps at your beckon call every time you snap your fingers. No, you married the daughter of the King. Try that on for size!

Marriage is not about being served, but serving. Husbands are called to serve their spouse. The very term “husband” literally means, “to cultivate (soil or plants).

I can tell you right upfront that you will never grow anything in a garden unless you spend time cultivating the soil, and caring for the plants. You will not have a strong marriage unless you spend adequate time cultivating the soil of your marriage, and the plant (wife) that you are responsible for. I read the following quote: “Husbands, you are responsible for the fruit in your wife’s life.”

Several years ago I had a man in my office that was having marital difficulties, so he came to me for some advice. He kept telling me all the issues he was having with his wife, and at the same time how much he loved her. I stopped him and I asked him, “So tell me how have you been showing your wife that you love her?” He couldn’t come up with one way in which he had been outwardly demonstrating to his wife that he actually loved her. No wonder he was having marital problems.

Love is a VERB!

Listen to what Jesus taught, “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43-45)

ACTION is written all over those verses. Husbands, how are you actually serving your wives? Write it down. Don’t just think you are doing something – actually do it!

Take what you can, and begin to put it into practice. Go and make your marriage better.