Part 4 of Contentious Wife Equals Terrible Life

A pro-active man, makes sure that his wife has proper spiritual food on a very consistent basis.  You see this guy isn’t just cowering and ducking around and trying to avoid what hits the fan.  No, he confidently stands on the strong foundation of the Word of God and his eyes are fixed on His Savior Jesus.  The key thing that he knows is that if he is to have any hope of doing right by his wife, then Jesus has to have priority over her.  Is that true in your life?  Can you honestly say, “Jesus has priority over ____” (insert wife’s name here).  If you are not willing to go there – well then you go into the category of no one can do much for you until you repent and turn to Jesus.  (Please don’t try being proactive without having Jesus as your priority – because you will mess it up and give the rest of us a bad name.)

Okay, now that we have the key element known and solid, here is a list of the proactive things these guys are going to do:

1.  He loves his wife as Christ loves the church.
Basically this means that he is sacrificial and works hard to take care of his wife.  It does not mean that he just says yes to whatever – though Jesus is sacrificial for His church (to death) does not mean that he just says, “yeah sure whatever you want” in His relationship with her.  No Jesus’ goal for His church is for us to be pure and whole.  We should have this same desire for our wives – that they would in every way reflect the character of Jesus Himself.  In short, a godly wife is a lot like Jesus…loving, tender, compassionate, truthful, bold and sacrificial.  Let me tell you that it’s great to be married to a woman who’s life doesn’t revolve around herself or just the things in her immediate world!

2.  He is watching and observing to see that his wife is eating good spiritual food on a consistent basis.
He refuses to sit back and watch her starve herself.   Along these lines he does the following:

  • asks what she is reading in the Bible and praying about

He knows that his wife needs to eat daily of the Word of God and to spend time with her God and Savior.  He knows that if her fellowship with God is on point then the time they share together will be more fruitful and less contentious.  When my wife is regularly reading her Bible and praying then we are having some good times.  If either of us are slack, then we are headed for trouble.

  • is faithful to take her and be with her at the primary meetings of the church (Heb. 10:24-25)

Men, please listen to this one.  Your wives are generally more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and Word of God than we men are.  So there are opportunities each week for your wife to be challenged and encouraged in her walk with the Lord.  Especially if you are working to get rid of your pansiness then you can at least stand up and make the right sort of priorities so she doesn’t miss the meetings….of course this means you will need to be there too.  If one of you has to travel frequently on business then you need to arrange things to make sure you are both still getting good inputs.
I can guarantee that if you are both faithful in regular attendance (as in 6 out of 8 meetings of the church a month Sunday/mid-week…75% (this level of attendance would get you fired from your job in a hurry) at a Bible teaching and practicing church and are at all open to the work of the Lord in your hearts, then you will grow in your walk with Jesus.  If you think that you can step away from Christian fellowship and teaching for weeks or months at a time and continue to grow then you are absolutely kidding yourself.  You will stagnate and then digress…it is just a fact jack…and no you are not the super spiritual exception that doesn’t have to follow the clear principle of you get out what you put in.  (Note: there are dozens of other reasons you should be meeting for worship, Bible study and prayer – but I’ll keep this post to IT WILL HELP YOUR MARRIAGE!)

  • encourages her to have friendships with godly women.

Now when I say this I don’t just mean friendship with women who are “christians” and “go to church”.  How do you know your wife is spending time and being influenced by the right women?  The proof is in the results.  After spending time with “x” woman(en) is your wife more prone to gossip or pray, spend or give, watch some junk show on TV or read her Bible?  I’m not saying that all of the women in your wife’s life have to be off the charts godly women – hopefully your wife has women who don’t know Jesus in her life that she is witnessing to.  What I am saying is to encourage your wife to examine the type of influences in her life from other women and to make sure she is getting a heavy dose of the healthy influence.  Even as adults our choice of friendships have a great affect on us.  So gentleman, you also need to examine this in your own life.  How about make a list of the 5 friends you hang out with the most and then make an honest evaluation of their influence on your walk with the Lord.  You might find that exercise to reveal that you need some new friends or you need to reorder the time so that you don’t sabotage your own life.

Bottom Line: If our homes, churches, and communities are to have any hope of being all that they can be for God’s glory, it will be because men who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus are standing up and answering the high call of our God and Savior.  It will be because we refuse to be lukewarm, pathetic boys and grow up by the Holy Spirit to be passionate men for our King Jesus!

Advertisements

Part 2 of Contentious Wife Equals Terrible Life

The way I see it there are four basic categories of men:

Category 1:  Losers. These are the guys who have always been fascinated with themselves yet generally have low self-esteem.  If he thinks there is something better elsewhere then he is ready to walk. Basically this has been in the back of his mind since the beginning.  His marriage proposal could have gone like this, “Baby, I love you, I really do.  How about we spend an undetermined number of years together? Maybe we will even have some kids followed by a terrible stretch at which point I’ll upgrade to a younger better looking model and you can go look for an old sugar daddy.”

Well if you are in category 1, then there isn’t that much anyone can do for you until you realize what a pathetic loser you are and repent of your sin and selfishness and turn to Jesus.  (If you think that is harsh then you don’t understand that without being in Jesus and then living in the Spirit – we are ALL spiritual losers and that there is also no hope for the proud).   At that point you can leave Loserville, and work hard to put your marriage on the right track…since it never was on the right track.  If you’ve already passed the point of no return (divorced and at least one has remarried), then Jesus still offers forgiveness to you and you can take comfort in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Of course there are harsh realities that cannot be undone but with God there is comfort and a new day…think King David.

Category 2:  Passives.  If wife is happy than it is all good, and I’ll put up with whatever.  These guys are the guys where all but the few Category 4 guys and the wives who have it together think, “He’s a nice guy.  Look at all the nice things he does for his wife.”  But if you look a little closer you will notice that is about all he is.  He is a yes man.  Or should I say a, “yes maam” boy.  He will do anything to make his wife happy regardless of how wrong she is or how bad of an idea it is or how much debt there is or who else has to get stepped on in the process – as long as she is happy.  He really does care about her so he will cajole and console, but rarely if ever will he say, “No, honey. I hate to tell you this, but you are wrong.”  When he does it usually isn’t over anything that matters – just little stuff – so he can maintain his illusion of being more than a little boy in an adult body.  Most Christian men fall into this category so please think a little more before you just pass over it with, “Hey that’s kinda funny,” and “I’m glad it isn’t me thoughts.”  I hardly know any good men who will say they’ve never had a stay in Passiveville.  The decision you have to make is whether to be a reluctant visitor in moments of failure or a willing long-term resident.

If you are a category 2 guy, then man you really need to go to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and help.  Then you need to go to your wife and apologize at which point you will need to tell her that things are going to change and she might not like what some of that process looks like.  She may look at you like your crazy because she is going to need to SEE IT in your life.  Rhetoric is not going to save the day.  You will need to be humble.  We are not looking to trade pansies for brutes.  At this point you really need to find a category 4 guy to hang out with – SOMEBODY WHO IN LOVE WILL PUT THEIR FINGER IN YOUR CHEST AND TELL YOU WHAT IS UP!  A category 4 guy can be your best earthly ally in this deal – hey he knows what it takes and you can ask his wife to verify the results.

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:7-10).

Next up – Category 3: Brutes and Category 4: godly men

Part 1

“And the LORD God said, “It is not good that a man should be alone; I will make a helper comparable to him…Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:18,24).

My wife and I recently celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary – this in combination with the constant stream of bad news in the realm of marriage and the general pandemic state of the home have given me a desire to write the following posts.  Let me state up front that my primary intended audience for this one are the males readers – but ladies – please feel free to pass this one along to hubby, dad, brother, future hubby or friend.  So men whether you are single, happily married, in a distressed marriage, or in a marriage that isn’t your first, it’s time to strap on the helmet and get ready for some big hits!

Proverbs 21:19, states that it is better to sleep alone on the roof than in a house with a contentious woman.  It was true when it was written thousands of years ago and it is true today.  No one wants to live with a woman like that.  So men, what actions are you taking to help lessen the possibility that you will wake up one morning and realize that your wife is miserable, that you are miserable and that your marriage is a marriage on paper and that’s about it?

The reason I say this is because when things don’t work out and the woman appears to be contentious either one of two things happened.  Either the guy didn’t do his job or he picked poorly.  And even if he does pick poorly if he does the right things in the Lord’s strength then the marriage still has a chance to turn out well.  Of course what I am writing is much like the wisdom literature in the Bible – it tells you what is generally true – though there are exceptions and therefore the truth here is not a 100% guarantee but it has you fighting the battle for your marriage from a position of victory instead of defeat.  Obviously we have great sympathy for those who have really sought help from the Lord and generally have done the right things yet would legitimately be better off sleeping on the roof.  Remember that the Lord Jesus is gracious and compassionate whenever being gracious and compassionate is called for, and we should seek to be like Him.

In the next couple of posts I will talk about several basic categories of men and what godly men do to give their marriages the best chance to be long and joyful.

What does it say about our society when the news of Jon and Kate divorcing is the 2nd most read article on CNN.com (#1 for a good portion of the day)?

Does it reflect that people care more about the “news” surrounding the Gosselins then they do about the news of political turmoil in Iran?  Or perhaps is it that more people can relate to the Gosselins as almost everyone in our country has been affected in a close personal way by divorce?  Perhaps it’s the novelty of their situation with 8 kids (6 of which came at one time) and a tv show?  In any case their personal life and failures have become the news of today.  It is indeed sad news.

After reading the article and then getting a feel for America’s response via the comments I was surprised how many people ran over Kate and gave Jon a pass.  It is obvious her priorities got out of whack and that she tended to be bossy, but I’ve got a different take on the situation.  Put simply Jon has failed to lead his wife, his children and his home and now EVERYONE in their family is paying a steep price.  It all comes back to him – he could have lovingly told her “no” a long time ago to a myriad of things – he could have said “no” to the tv show at any point during the past few years, he could have said “no” to her speaking engagements, he could have said “no” to her book promotions.  He could have said “no” to their combined selfishness.  He could have said “no” to “hanging out” with women not named “Kate Gosselin”.  More importantly he could have said “yes” to leading his wife and kids.  He could have said “yes” to marriage counseling.  He could have said “yes” to the biblical charge he was given.  He could have said “yes” to his commitments.

Instead he just went down the road of the average “husband/man” (Christian or not) and lived in Pansyville for years until he finally got tired of living in Pansyville and realized he could “be liberated”.  The following comment by Jon proves my assessment to be accurate.  “I just let her rule the roost and do whatever she wanted,” Jon said. “Now I finally stood up on my own two feet and I’m proud of myself.”  Notice even here the deceitfulness of sin.  He doesn’t just say that he has sinned and failed and that he is sorry, no he is “proud” of himself.  I can tell you after being alive for almost 34 years and having read the Bible that there are only two responses people have when they are confronted with their sin – one is “godly sorrow that leads to repentance” and the other is “I’ve made the right decision, and I am proud of myself.”  Most people go with the latter time and time again.

Men, the bottom line is that we have stop hiding behind the excuses of her inadequacies and do better.  During the past few weeks, I’ve been working on an article entitled “Contentious wife equals terrible life” with the focus being on practical things we husbands need to do in order to avoid the situation where you would rather sleep on the roof (or with another woman) than with your wife.  I’ll have it posted by Thursday.

Final thought on the Gosselins, If you have access to God through praying in the name of Jesus, then say a prayer that they would turn to Jesus and have reconciliation.  If you took the time to read the news or to read this post then you can take a minute and do that.

 

Claire and I are very excited about our new bikes.  We got them for our 5th Wedding Anniversary which was June 7.  It was Claire’s idea, and to be honest I wasn’t too thrilled about it at the beginning.  I actually said, “What if this turns into one of those couple activities where one person loves it and the other person is bitter!”  You see I was one of those odd kids that didn’t learn to ride a bike at a normal age – I think I was post 10 when I started riding.  Our house just wasn’t suited for bike riding.  It wasn’t in a neighborhood and was on a road where some pickup truck could run you down at 65 mph.  Therefore, I have never had much of an affection for bicycles.

So I broke down, and we went to the bike shop on our anniversary.  The guys at “The Hub” were great. Test riding the bikes was too much fun, and I was hooked.  We went with Raleigh hybrid bikes, because we aren’t hard core enough for either the mountain bikes or the hard seat road bikes.  We have had good times with them so far, and the activity provides a great time for us to talk.  Having time to spend together and talk is important to keep our marriage strong and healthy, as we seek to honor God and each other in our relationship.

We’ve already started to look into a longer bike trip in the fall.  So far the “Comet Trail” looks the most promising. It runs 60 miles from Atlanta to Alabama where it connects to the Chief Ladiga trail, and you don’t have to worry about getting run over by a car etc.  On the funny side, I came across a blog for “Things White People Like” and #61 is bicycles. In my opinion it is hilarious.  If you don’t take it seriously, and don’t waste your brain cells reading people’s comments about it, then take a few minutes and have a laugh.