Have you ever wondered if your marriage stands a chance? It seems that marriages are falling apart everywhere we look. This week, my friend, Aimee is here to share a positive response in the face of all the negativity. Read her tips on how to do marriage God’s way!
What is the success rate of a lasting marriage? 50%? 60%? Well, according to most statistics for North America, you have between a 40-50% chance of failure in marriage. It’s even higher if you argue about finances, your parents have been divorced – and if you’ve already been divorced, that rate of failure is crazy high. Sounds hopeless, doesn’t it? What if I told you those stats are rigged? That those numbers would be much different if we looked at marriages that were following God’s design? Is it possible to know How To Do Marriage God’s Way?
I have good news friends. Very good news. We have a 100% chance of success in marriage if we do it God’s way. 100 PERCENT! When we follow God’s plan for marriage, it is possible to have a thriving Christian marriage. I believe the main reason why marriages are failing so much today is that we are trying to do it our own way – or we are following worldly standards for marriage – instead of how God designed marriage to be.
What is God’s design for marriage? Well, His design for marriage in the Bible can be found in Ephesians. You know the passage, I am sure. And if you are like most people, you cringe at the thought of it. Sure, you like what it says about your spouse. But when it comes to what God’s commands are for you, you don’t like it. Don’t worry, I’m in that boat right with you. I don’t really like it, either.
BUT…I also know, without a doubt, that it is God’s way for 100% success in marriage.
Ephesians 5:21-32 tells us How To Do Marriage God’s Way.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
How to Do Marriage God’s Way
Well, now that is a terrible word today, isn’t it? I co-lead a senior youth girls Bible study and the topic of submission came up. I was shocked and disappointed to discover that most of them did not have a Biblical understanding of what submission means. Instead, they had fallen for the lie of how feminists have defined submission – which is basically being a doormat, mousy wife. This definition is so far from the truth.
Biblical submission is about serving each other – it’s about being selfless, nurturing our partner at the expense of our own desires. Notice that the first part of the passage in Ephesians says for both husband and wife to submit to each other in the fear of the Lord?
When I think of submission, I am reminded of my Savior, Jesus Christ. He is not a doormat nor is He mousy. And yet He submitted to God, the Father. He submitted to God’s plan for salvation. If submission was fine for my Savior, then it’s fine for me.
What About Submitting to MY Husband?
I’ve spent a lot of time studying this idea of submission in marriage…and I’ve had a lot of experience in putting it into practice (and not putting it into practice). In a nutshell, submitting to my husband means that I trust his authority over me. I trust him completely. If you don’t trust your husband, then that is an indication of a problem that needs to be dealt with.
I’ve also discovered that when a woman feels secure with a husband who is selfless and sacrificial, she will have a servant heart towards him. Men make this super easy for your wife to submit to you by serving them and attending to their needs. Trust me, you won’t be sorry. PS – a man doing housework is incredibly sexually attractive. Just sayin’. HINT, HINT.
Intimacy in Marriage
When we do marriage God’s way, we can have amazing intimacy. Intimacy is the prize of marriage. The gold star. I’m not just talking about sex here. I’m talking about being vulnerable in every way. Opening our hearts to each other. This is not going to happen in a threatening environment.
If we want true intimacy in marriage, we need to trust each other. And often, that trust comes after a lot of forgiveness and healing. Ladies, when we honor our husbands, he will start to trust us. Men, when you start nurturing and cherishing your wife, she will begin to trust you. This follows the model in Ephesians 5 – God designed marriage this way so we could meet each other’s needs and make us attractive to each other. Honor and security will develop a strong, healthy, long-lasting marriage.
Releasing Our Full Potential
When we embrace Ephesians 5 as our model for marriage, we will begin to release our spouse into their full potential in Christ. This idea is profound. I discovered this truth by submitting to my husband (go figure!).
Verse 29 tells the husband that his duty – his responsibility – is to feed and nourish his wife. I didn’t know this before, but the term ‘husband’ is a farming term – well, I never made the connection between husband and husbandry before. But they go together for good reason. A good farmer will care for his crop. He will protect it from harm – from frost, hail, storms, etc. That is the responsibility of the husband – to protect his wife from anything that would affect her negatively.
Now, life happens. We can’t escape pain. But, my husband’s protection and security sure make those storms more endurable.
I also need to help encourage my husband in his full potential. My job is to honor him and help build up his ego – men do have fragile egos! It might not seem like it, but they do! One harsh or critical word from us can derail them. Ladies, we must be careful of our tone!
This point is going to make some feel quite uncomfortable…and that’s ok. 1 Corinthians 11:7 is a good verse on what the Bible says about marriage.
Men reflect the nature of the God (or god) they choose.
Women reflect the nature of the husband they choose.
In other words, women reflect the character of their husbands, who reflect the character of their heart of worship.
Does that make you squirm? It does me – and it sure made my husband squirm! And that is a good thing. If we aren’t open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, then we won’t grow.
Ladies, let’s be our husband’s greatest cheerleader (you can get a uniform to really play the part if you wish…just throwing that out there…). Look for reasons to praise your man, to build him up. Make sure your man knows that you believe in him. That he knows you think he is a good man. That will go a long way in helping you do marriage God’s way.
As you study more about How To Do Marriage God’s Way, try out these mini challenges to help build up your marriage this week:
Ladies ~ find one thing each day this week to praise your husband for.
Men ~ be intentional about pursuing your wife every day this week.
Both ~ find ways to enter the world of your spouse…just because.
Please join me for a blog series on marriage this February that will cover topics like communication, love, sexual fulfillment, divorce-proofing, affair-proofing, prayer, and more – just click here for more info.
In addition to Aimee’s series launching in February, she has a course on understanding what it means to be a valiant wife. I would strongly recommend this course as a step of faith and encouragement to those who are ready to learn more, to dig deeper, and to see what God’s Word says about our role as wives.
You can read about the course here, and I hope you will take some time to look through it. I’ve been so blessed and encouraged by Aimee’s ministry
Aimee is a home educating support teacher who lives in the sunny Okanagan, BC. Aimee has been blissfully married since 1998 and she still swoons at the sight of her tall, dark and handsome husband, Marcus. When she isn’t home educating her 3 kids, she enjoys sewing, quilting, scrapbooking, baking, writing and hanging out with her family. Aimee is a certified teacher who works from home, supporting and encouraging homeschool families. She blogs over at A Work of Grace. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.