Thursday, October 20, 2011

A better way to love your spouse, Part I

If your husband is not acting in a way that shows love or respect to you, if he complains, doesn't want to interact, or belittles you, then maybe you ought to look at what you are doing. Are you meeting his needs by affirming him and his masculinity verbally, offering your body to him sexually, making sure he comes home to a peaceful, quiet, and clean environment? If you aren't doing these things, then you should not expect him to be meeting your needs, for men need affirmation, sex, and servanthood to feel like "real men." If your man isn't feeling like a "real man," then you are not loving him as Christ would have you love. Take careful prayer and thought so that God will open your eyes to new ways that you can serve your man and make him feel whole...and by all means, do NOT ask him to change, as this is an attack on him. Instead, go to greater lengths to love him, and pray more for him.
...did reading that shock you? If not, then it should. This is a common idea portrayed in many of the "good wife" literature. For a variety of reasons, I do not often read books on "christian" wifedom (yes, I did just make that word up), and this is one of them. Here is what the above thought boils down to:
  1. You should not expect that your husband has the ability or that he SHOULD act appropriately regardless of the circumstances.
  2. If YOU tried harder, then he would treat you better. His actions are a direct reflection on what you are doing or not doing, so ultimately, you are responsible for his actions.
  3. You offer your body, affirm him, and surround him with peace and joy in an attempt to modify his behaivor.
Doing the named things: praying for your husband, thinking of ways to encourage and affirm him, etc., in and of themselves aren't a bad thing...but is approaching them this way the best way? Maybe it is, or maybe it isn't a sin to manipulate a person to do something. Maybe we shouldn't use the word "manipulation" and just stick with "behaivor modification" instead. Maybe it doesn't matter at all...but what if there is a better way? Is it not worth a second look?

What if, instead of doing these things in an attempt to get a spouse to act the way we want them to, we did these things out of love, expecting nothing in return? What if, instead of shutting our mouths and not believing that our spouses are capable of or required to be responsible at all times and regardless of circumstances, we held them to a higher standard, and gently but firmly reminded them that they do have the ability and are expected to act appropriate regardless of how they feel? What if we forgot about behavior modification, the reasons why a spouse may act a certain way, and focused instead on LOVING that person while also holding them ACCOUNTABLE?

...maybe marriages would change, and families would be in a better place. The truth will set you free. Don't be afraid to look at what you are doing, why you are doing it, and if it's actually Biblical or just something you have been taught.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing and linking up to Domestically Divine. May God give us the wisdom to pray and respect our husbands in such a manner that please our God.

    God bless you and I hope to hear from you again.

    ReplyDelete

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