It's sweet, but almost humorous when we see a young couple (dating or newlyweds) and think back on our early years with our spouses. I can see myself in them. Some are good things, while others, not so much.
- the love (if it's truly love).
- The selflessness
- the desire to make the other happy.
- The warm fuzzy feelings
- The willingness to compromise (as long as it doesn't compromise our faith).
- Neglecting friends
- Waiting by the phone
- Being overly sensitive
- Making baby voices (matter of opinion, he he).
- Being in denial of red flags
- Obsessive calling/texts
- Wanting to ALWAYS be with them and actually ALWAYS being with them.
- Ignoring people's warnings regarding red flags or ungodly relationship habits.
- Making more time for the relationship than for God.
This behavior can follow us into marriage. The baby voice and obsessive calling will get old. Neglecting friends will reveal itself to have been a bad choice. Red flags will stare you in the face.
But the good and healthy relationship habits also follow us into marriage. Those are the ones we want to nurture in ourselves and in others. We can prayerfully consider bringing something to the attention of a family member or friend we may be concerned with.
Okay, that was my introduction- quite lengthy, I see. My concern is that many of us may end up making an idol out of our husbands. Remember, we serve a jealous God and He alone is worthy of our adoration and worship.
Our husbands, whether we are happy with them or not, are our husbands. They deserve respect, not based on who THEY are or what they've done or failed to do, but based on who WE are in Christ, and how we want to represent and obey Him.
BUT- it can be easy to cross the line onto idolatry. If we are not emotionally stable, we will end up seeking in our husbands what our hearts lack; more of Jesus.
An absent father/mother, whether physically or emotionally, has a lasting effect on a young girl's heart that is carried even through the adult years of life. Many times, it goes unnoticed. Even when it IS noticed and identified, it can continue to wreak havoc in the spirit, mind, and marriage relationships (among other things). We seek and long for something only Christ can bring; true and lasting emotional healing, peace, security, self worth.
Our husbands are not Jesus. There is only One Savior. We may elevate our spouses to a level of an idol when we worry more about pleasing them and being with them than pleasing the Father and relying on Him for everything else to fall into place. Our heads may know the right answers; Jesus is Lord above all else and on Him alone we depend. But our actions and thoughts may say something completely different:
Do our husbands complete us? No. Our Lord and Savior does.
Do we love our husbands? Yes, but not more than God.
Consider, do our actions reflect that?
Are we making time for fellowship with other sisters in Christ?
Do we make time to do our own thing, apart from one another (a sport, hobby, etc.)?
Are we obsessive about knowing where they are and who they're with? We are entitled to know, but the right to know and the obsessive NEED to know can be two different things.
Should we worry about pleasing our husbands and being the perfect, loving, "Martha Stewart" wife? No. Striving to be a good, godly, Proverbs 31 wife is "a good thing," (no pun intended), but worrying, is not. To worry, implies we are relying on our own merits to fulfill our wifely duties. This definitely should not be so. God is our source. Period.
As women, most of us are nurturing by nature. That, and the fact that we do love our husbands, will motivate us to do our best, relying on God's grace, to be good, godly wives. Now, here's a shocker: our husbands aren't perfect. They will hurt us, they will appear to be thoughtless, they will be messy, and they WILL pass gas (sorry, ladies, for the reminder of this annoying shameless act they have going, he he). Don't let their flaws make you demonstrate YOURS. Our actions and words do not depend on THEIRS. A dysfunctional marriage can just as quickly become an idol in our lives as a happy marriage. We do a lot of damage ourselves when we do not deal with our own issues and bring them into our marriage. Filter it through God's Word. Cover it with prayer. Give it its proper place in your life and in your heart. But never let it take God's. You are His, completely. You are your husband's, on a more limited basis. Both relationships can and SHOULD co-exist in a way that they blend together from day to day through prayer and service, yet have their distinct, unmistakable position of authority in your life: God first, then your husband.
My good friend, Natalia Crawford, from The New Bride blog, says, "No, I haven't made my husband an idol. I love my husband a ton, but my love for God and him are different. It is because of God's love that I have love for my husband. Otherwise, I wouldn't have it."
I admire Natalia for many things, one of them being her stability in Christ, while being a young newlywed. That is tough to accomplish for anyone, let alone a new bride.
- We CAN live without our husbands; we CAN'T live without God.
- Marriage is a covenant instituted by God, but it shouldn't compete with Him.
- There IS life to be lived outside our four walls.
- We MUST deal with our personal emotional struggles to have the best marriage possible.
- God is the answer.
Be blessed and examine yourself!