God’s plans for husbands and wives are perfect and the Bible should be the ultimate guideline for a great marriage.
Below are some tips we’ve had to learn and our stories….
1) Your relationship with Jesus Christ is first priority. This includes your understanding the Message of the Cross.
· If Jesus is truly Lord of your life, as He desires to be, He will never lead you to do anything hurtful or harmful to your spouse or relationship with your spouse. Unfortunately, some people have been known to be “busy serving God” while their marriages fell apart. However, they were not being led by God into letting their homes fall because God would not create such a situation. Or perhaps the spouse was not allowing God to lead him/her into also serving God.
· An understanding of the Message of the Cross is crucial to a marriage (and every other aspect of a Christian life). When Jesus died on the cross, He died so that a person can not only be saved but so he/she can also have daily victory and deliverance. When trusting Jesus totally, a person can have victory over that short temper or that sharp tongue or that negligent attitude or whatever else is causing problems in the home.
Personal Experience: Scott and Nikkie were both already saved and filled with the Holy Spirit prior to even meeting each other. In fact, both were also very involved in ministry prior to meeting each other.
As a dating couple, they enjoyed serving God together. They loved reading the Bible together, praying together, and participating in ministries together. This aspect of their relationship continues to be a vital part of their marriage.
However, Nikkie did not understand the Message of the Cross prior to marriage and both are still growing in this truth. Their first year of marriage was quite a battle at times. Nikkie was pregnant much of this year and with all the emotional ups and downs that she had, so did their marriage. But then, Nikkie learned the Message of the Cross. In learning this, she learned that when Jesus died on the cross, He paid for every thing that she needed victory over, including being an emotional basket-case. And she could not use hormones as an excuse. She was responsible for placing her faith in Jesus to have victory over these hormones.
And as Scott and Nikkie have both learned to trust Jesus daily and lean exclusively on Him and what He accomplished, their marriage has strengthened and has included a lot less arguments. This is not to say that they don’t ever have moments where they get in the flesh, but when they do place their faith in Jesus, potential arguments become very simple and easy to solve matters. 2) The Bible clearly shows us that the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and that the wife is to be submissive to her husband.
· If the husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church, he would give his life for her. He is not a bullying, overbearing man but someone who leads the home, protects the home, and desires to bring pleasure to the home. Often, he may even make sacrifices for those in his home.
· If the husband is being led by God, being a submissive wife should not be difficult. It the lady does have problems with wanting to be in charge, she should pray for victory over this as it is not a Godly attitude. The wife will still have an opinion and a Godly husband will take that into account. But she has to trust her husband to make the final decisions and to lead.
Personal Experience: Growing up in a feminist age and with two older (and sometimes bossy) big brothers, Nikkie did not understand or want to be submissive. Thankfully, God dealt with her heart on this prior to marriage. Scott respects and takes into account Nikkie’s opinions, but he makes the final decisions. Nikkie never makes any commitments without first discussing them with him and trusts him with doing what’s best for their home and family.
As a sacrificing husband, Scott is never bossy and always hates when he has to tell Nikkie “no” to something. This rarely happens but it has. Sometimes Nikkie wants to take on more projects than she can really handle and, knowing this, Scott has to point this out and advise her otherwise.
Often, Scott gives up for the happiness of the whole family whether it’s a small sacrifice like going to the restaurant of someone else’s choice or something bigger like taking time off from work to help with the children when Nikkie is sick. 3) The Bible also shows us that a wife is to be her husband’s helpmate. They are a team. They are one flesh.
· No human relationship should be closer than that of husband and wife. And no other relationship whether with parents, siblings, children, or friends, should ever come between the husband and wife.
· As one flesh, a husband and wife should never keep secrets from each other or do anything to cause hurt to the other. Personal Experience:
Scott and Nikkie, involved in ministry, have occasionally run into people who do not seem to understand that they are a team. Scott and Nikkie have felt led in various ministry outreaches together and have always worked on these outreaches together. Once in a while, some have come along who would pair up with Scott, suggesting things that they do together, leaving Nikkie in the background. At times like that, Scott would try nicely to remind them that their support was appreciated (and desired) but that Nikkie would not take a backseat to them. After all, she is the helpmate that God sent.
Likewise, Nikkie always protects her time with her husband. Being home during the day, she takes care of her phone calls, visits, and such as much as possible while her husband is at work. When he is available, her desire is to be there for him. The first thing she asks him each evening at supper are his plans for the evening. She then builds her plans for the evening based on what he needs to do.