A friend of mine recently posted a picture of his wife. He talked about all she did to serve her family and her church. The picture was taken at the end of a long, exhausting day of work and family obligations and she was fatigued. She was using her last bit of energy before heading to bed to study God’s word. In his mind, she was a beautiful example of the wife of noble character described in Proverbs 31 and he rose up and called her blessed. He also recognized how blessed he is to have a wife who is so godly.
I don’t know this couple well, but I can tell you that from what I know, both of them are blessed in an amazing marriage. They have put Jesus Christ first in their lives which allows them to grow closer to each other. It sounds like a paradox, I know, but the best way to grow closer to your spouse is for both of you to grow closer to God each day. It is an amazing blessing for a husband to read these words and think of his own wife: “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:28-30)
The conventional wisdom among followers of Christ is that marriage is under attack from many different outside sources. While we could spend hours discussing problems over the views of marriage in our world today, if we want to strengthen marriages among Christians we need to focus on the problems we have in the church. It’s safe to say that married couples in every church are contemplating separation or divorce. It’s safe to say that there are what society calls “dysfunctional” families in every church. There is physical and emotional abuse happening among couples in our churches. None of this can be blamed on outside forces. The blame, if we want to start assigning blame, would rest on churches that don’t model good marriages; that don’t teach husbands and wives how to deal with the stressors of life. Many people have no other model of marriage than the family where they grew up and that model wasn’t so good. We need churches to be places where people are having trouble can find married couples who are working through their troubles to support them rather than places where we have to pretend that everything is ok when it’s not.
Obviously one post won’t solve the marital woes of people in the church, but I hope that if your marriage is having troubles, I can give you an idea that will help begin the process of healing you need. So here’s my hint: Husbands, take these verses to heart. Your wife isn’t perfect, I know that. Instead of looking at everything your wife does wrong, make the effort to find something she does well and praise her for that. Ok, she may think that you’re being sarcastic at first, but after a while, she’ll begin to realize that you really mean it. Those things she does that bug you? close your eyes, take a deep breath, and then find something else to praise her for. Wives, look at your husbands and let them know that they are loved and appreciated. Many people ask how my wife and I have stayed married for so long. These suggestions are based on what has helped our marriage stay strong for almost 38 years. That friend I mentioned earlier, has an amazing wife, no doubt about that. She may be the second-best wife in the whole world. I know she’s not the best, because my wife surpasses all other women. Here’s praying that each of you men out there could say the same thing each and every day.
Oh Lord, thank you for my amazing wife of such noble and godly character. Continue to work in her and use her to show others Your love. Meanwhile, Lord, make me worthy of being married to her each day.