Ladies, I’ve got a question for you: Would you like to have a happy marriage? Funny question? Probably. After all, who has ever known anyone to get married hoping to have a bad marriage? We all have our hopes and dreams, our “what if’s” and “I can’t wait for…” that excite us with their possibilities. But marriage isn’t about the fun times, it’s not about the hard times, it’s actually not about us at all. It’s a reflection of Christ and the church, another proof of how much our beautiful Lord loves us.
If you want to have a happy marriage, you can prepare to. It doesn ‘t matter if you are already married, are engaged or just hoping to meet him someday, there’s a very important thing that you can do to ensure that, for your part, your marriage will be happy. What is it? Love God and obey Him. That’s it. There’s nothing that you can offer a husband that is more important than a heart totally consecrated to God. There’s nothing that can make a man’s life sweeter than living with a woman who loves God more than she loves him because it will cause her priorities to be straight, create unselfishness in her and make her gentle.
We’re not called by God to hold a marriage together alone. If a husband (or a wife) is determined to sin against God and against their partner, it’s out of our control. What is in our control is our own response, our own behavior towards them. Because of this, preparation is vital. That preparation starts with repentance and obedience towards God and grows as we grow in holiness, godliness and righteousness.
So here’s a few things to ask yourself:
- What occupies your mind when you are free to think of anything at all? Is it cute shoes? Hair styles? New recipes? Cleaning? Your work? A new novel? How happy your guy makes you? Things that stress you? That argument you had with your beloved? Is it being right? Or is it God Himself?
- How is your prayer life? Do you struggle to pray? Is it easy or hard? Do you pray about everything? Do you believe God hears and answers your prayers? Is prayer more about you or more about God? Have you asked God to teach you to pray? The disciples had Jesus right there with them for several years and they could have asked Him anything; what they asked Him was to teach them to pray. We ought to do the same.
- How much time do you devote to studying the Word of God? Not books about the Bible, not devotionals, not “how to” guides, but Scripture itself? Have you read it enough so that you understand it? Do you see how it fits together? Do you hunger for deeper and greater knowledge of the One Who made you and saved you? Do you make excuses for not reading? Other books have their place but the Bible must be preeminent.
- Do you find yourself saying “I know…but…” when talking about what God’s Word says? “I know God said that He made the world in six days but I believe….” “I know that God says we’re not to let the sun go down on our anger but my husband….”. This is a sign of a heart desiring its own way more than God’s ways.
- Do you find yourself saying “If…then…”? “If only we had more money, then I could be happy.” “If only Johnny wasn’t so sloppy then I wouldn’t get so angry at him.” Again, this is a sign of a heart desiring its own ways more than the ways of the Lord.
- Do you see yourself as a servant? Christ, the Son of God, was the ultimate Servant. He went to the Cross and died so that men might live. We too must die to ourselves, to our own ways, to our desires, and seek to serve God through obedience and through servanthood towards those God puts in our path…including and especially our husbands.
- Do you desire to obey God? Or do you find it easier to make excuses? Do you ever find yourself thinking or saying that “God will understand” why you don’t, can’t or won’t do thus and such? Do you blame others for your failures? Do you accept responsibility? Do you use lack of time, talent, training, etc., as a reason not to do what it is you know needs to be done whether it’s eating right, exercising, helping out others, finishing a project or anything else? If you make excuses about why you aren’t “able” to obey God in one area of your life, you’ll do it in another also. You’ll find it bleeds over into your duties and obligations as a wife.
- Do you constantly look for ways to bring glory to God? If you do, your husband will be blessed indeed and so will everyone who comes across your path.
And that’s about it. It’s not hard. It’s just all about God. If we love God more than we love ourselves and more than we love our beloved, we’ll love our husbands as we ought to.