Friday, 20 March 2009

Who's in charge? Our roles in marriage

For the past two weeks, Pastor has been discussing on this topic. The issue of roles in marriage. I just discovered that Pastor is using Selwyn Hughe's Marriage as God intended as the supporting text for the classes and I got my copy this week. So far, so great! It's a wonderful book and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone whether you are just considering marriage or already married.

Anyway, back to my ponderings...roles in marriage. This can usually turn to a hot topic because usually it's the man is the head, the woman should submit e.t.c, e.t.c. As always, Pastor referred us back to the Bible which tells us that 'husbands should love their wives...let me get it straight from the apostle's mouth.

Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, Because we are members (parts) of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church. However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; Ephesians 5:28-33

Pastor taught us that the role of the husband is that of a LOVING LEADER. Not just a leader or a tyrant or the Big Boss but a loving leader. The Bible commands men to love their wives as they love themselves and as Christ loves the church. Most importantly, as he loves himself. I've come to realise that the men actually have the 'tougher' deal. How did Christ love the church? He loved her enough to shed His blood for her on calvary even when she did not acknowledge the love. This is the type of love shown by Hosea for Gomer. I don't think this type of love can actually come from one's self but from the Lord. Pastor explained how this love can be shown practically.

The husband must express his love through acts of service and acts of kindness. Dates, gifts, words of affirmation, touch, hugs kinda reminds me of the 5 love languages. He should also be willing to sacrifice for her and a sacrifice is not a sacrifice if it isn't worth something to the other person, he must be willing to keep her in high esteem and be patient with her when she makes mistakes. There's a last one I can't remember at the moment! Wow, I guess Mr O has his work cut out. I pray that he be the man that God has created him to be because this is no easy task. I and Mr O have this saying when one of us thanks the other for something that has been done. We say "It's part of my job description" so if it makes you happy, I do it because that my job!

For us the women (wives), Apostle Paul didn't forget us and although this verse has been preached in so many ways with so many responses, I got a new insight when I read Rev Hughes words on this matter. The Scripture says;

Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord...As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands...and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly Ephesians 5:22,24 and 33b

My first feeling was wow, God is this possible but if God has asked it of us, surely He must know that I will be able to do it by His strength of course. I like the way it is written in the Amplified Bible. I should adapt myself to him as a service to the Lord. God has already given us the pattern of how this submission should be. I am defining submission as an attitude in which I acknowledge the fact that my husband is the loving leader in our home. As Jesus was subject to the will of the Father and I am subject to Christ in all that I do, so my will should be subject to that of my husband. There can be no submission without love and trust. Jesus loves me this I know, I trust that whatever He asks of me is always in my best interest, this does not always mean that I willingly go in the direction, He asks of me.

Pastor said that the fact that your husband is the loving leader and you the submissive follower does not mean he just says this is it and that's that. A loving leader asks for the opinion of the one who follows because if you don't need others opinions then why did you get married in the first place. Adam needed Eve and it would be silly for him to discount her say on the matter. Pastor said that we need to get to a place where our husbands had the right on the final say in a matter.

Hmm, I know I'm not there yet but this to me buttresses the importance of the choice I am making in a life partner. It's not that I don't trust Mr O but honestly, I'm not sure I'm in a place where I can wholeheartedly say that I can trust all his decisions but then neither can I trust all my decisions either, there should be room for both of us to make mistakes. So far in our relationship, he usually tries to get my opinion on matters especially those that directly affect us. I'm not a good one with ultimatums, I was remarking this fact to a girlfriend...don't tell me "or else" because I'll come back with "or else what". I know I have some way to go before I get this submission thing but Father give me the grace and strength to walk in the attitude of submission. Help my husband to be to be a loving leader in Jesus name.

The other role of a wife is to respect her husband. Respect The Amplified Bible shows how. I know I've not perfected this yet but by the grace of God I will make a conscious effort to praise, honour, respect, reverence, admire and love Mr O. On my way home from the class I sent Mr O a text indicating I would try my best to do these and more by the grace of God and his reply made me smile.

"Madam. Thank you for being you. Your smile, voice, understanding and of course I'll respect, honour, celebrate and love you always xxxxxxx". Me thinks I must be doing some things right or what do you reckon?

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