It is a Sunday evening. Thoughts have been stirring in my heart since this morning’s church service. Our pastor has been preaching for quite some while through the book of Matthew. Today we arrived at Matthew 19, where the Pharisees approached Jesus to test Him with the controversial subject of marriage and divorce. Of course, Jesus, in all His wisdom, could never be trapped in their deceptive questions. Instead, He returned to God’s original design in the creation of marriage.
Our pastor proceeded to preach on God’s intent in marriage. Now, I need to say that the subject of marriage is not new to me. For many years, I have studied what Scripture says, have written studies, have taught classes, and have spoken to ladies’ groups on this very subject. So what was it in today’s message that grabbed my heart and thoughts so strongly?
Simply put, our pastor emphasized how selfishness causes problems in every marriage, and specifically in every troubled marriage. He explained that we focus on our spouse’s faults and our wants/needs. But then, he described how when we get closer to the Lord and He works in our hearts, we begin to see our faults and our spouse’s needs. How profound! …. And I know that is exactly how the Lord worked in my own marriage.
But here is where my thoughts traveled today. Through many years I have walked beside Christian women struggling in marriage … struggling to be the wife that the Lord designed and desires them to be. I myself have struggled there many times. But today, I thought of what a fine line (but with a dramatic difference in result) there is between a focus on ME being a good wife or on MY HUSBAND and the needs that he has. Focusing on HIS NEEDS completely takes my focus off MYSELF!
We know that in this life, we are called to deny our self and follow Christ. We also know that when we walk in the truth of loving one another, it is a sacrificial love, doing what is truly good for the other, no matter the cost, expecting nothing in return.
Now, let’s take this truth into the marriage. Let us not keep our focus on what kind of wives WE ARE. We may end up downcast and discouraged, or worse, we may end up in pride, thinking we are a much better spouse than others, even better than our husbands are to us!
Rather, may we look first to the Lord and His perfect word and way. And then focus on the man that we call husband … and his needs, rather than our own!
Lord, You said,
It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a help meet for him.
So … Lord, please … help me focus on truth … on “for him” … on his needs … not on his faults …and not on my self!
To God be the glory!