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Ephesians 5 Man

IMG_3790From the time we were little girls, most of us have dreamt of our wedding day. It all starts when we play with our Barbie and Ken dolls and continues on when we have our first crush. In a world where romance and weddings are amplified by Pinterest dream wedding boards and fairytale romance shows like The Bachelorette where men fight for a woman’s heart and woo her with extravagant vacations, gifts, and in the end a huge engagement ring. {Provided for free by a jeweler in exchange for some national advertising,} We girls sort of have a ‘fill-in-the-groom’ mentality of our wedding day. We think about how we will do our hair and what type of dress we will wear, we wonder what colors will be the ‘wedding colors’ and almost every detail in between. Ask most girls what they want in a husband and they will say “Tall, dark and handsome” or maybe “Blonde hair, blue eyes and washboard abs.” My question to you is how often when you ask a woman what she wants in a man does she start with aspects that are not purely physical?

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Accountability Partners for Life

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

In several places scripture talks about how human beings are called to keep each other sharp, ready, on their toes and at their best. So how do we continuously sharpen each other? I wondered this for a long time until it recently hit me, to keep each other ‘sharp’ is to keep each other accountable. Accountability is when someone holds you responsible for the words you speak and the actions you perform, and accountability is a huge part of fellowship with each other and of our walk with God. I always say I want to be more Christ-like every day, and I want to live a life that defines being Christ-like. This type of life (to me) represents a sum of moments all throughout my life where I made the conscious decision to humble myself, be kind, gentle, and most of all loving to other people, no matter how they acted. Because I am a fallible human, I will stumble occasionally with my words and actions but the more I grow in Christ, the less frequent these slip ups will occur. In my walk with God, accountability is key. Read more…

Being a Godly Wife: it starts with you

Marriage the God Way;
heaven on earth

Proverbs 31:10-11 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her;

I often dream about the day that I will be married and be wife to the most wonderful man in my world. I sometimes wonder why the divorce rate in America is so high. I think that largely, this is due to us forgetting that God gave us marriage as a gift, not to bring us misery. We have gotten so off track on what marriage is supposed to be versus what it is. I started to contemplate what my own marriage would be like when it hit me: God is constantly reminding me that it all starts with me. When someone is trying to steal my joy (knowingly or not) it is my choice to let them or not let them. When I am having a rough day it is my choice to choose to be stuck in it or focus on what my worth is to God and let Him turn that day around. In marriage, it will be my choice to be the kind of Godly-wife that God has created me to be. It will be my choice to be a virtuous woman who makes my husband happy to come home from work and sad to leave. Yes, he will also have decisions to make about how to go about being a Godly-husband, but I need to take accountability for myself. In my life and in my marriage, it all starts with me.

How can we be Godly wives?

Genesis 2:21-24 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said,“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’  for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. NIV

marriage

Understand what marriage really means to God and what it is supposed to mean to US
In Genesis we have already looked at why Eve was created (to be Adam’s help-mate) but one thing that I think is often overlooked is the process that led to the creation of woman.

Genesis 2:19-21 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature,that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals But for Adam no suitable helper was found. NIV

Think about this process, God creates an animal and takes it to Adam, Adam names it but it still is not suitable to be his helper. Now, think about every kind of animal and all the variations of each type of animal (bird; dove, cardinal, mockingbird, hummingbird, etc.,). God made those thousands and thousands of different types of animals; big, small, fat, skinny, cute, ugly, scary, furry, scale-y, herbivore, carnivore, stinging, cuddly. He made all and took them to Adam and Adam was satisfied with none of them. None of those were good enough to stand side-by-side with Adam and be a comparable mate and helper. None of them until God made woman. Marriage is the covenant which God created that transforms two separate people, two separate beings, two separate lives, into one. (Gen 2:24). When two people marry and literally become one, they are not supposed to be easily separated. In fact they are not supposed to be separated at all. Marriage is a covenant between you, your significant other, and God. Marriage is becoming one half of a whole in God’s eyes. Marriage is rejoicing with God and your husband in the happy times and choosing to stick with God’s word and your husband in the not-so-happy times. Marriage is a covenant (commitment) not a “just for now” situation.

Matthew 19:4-6 He answered, “Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.” The Message

Keep God first in your heart and keep your husband second. (And your children third)
When you keep God first in your heart is when you life starts to absolutely explode and exponentially increase. No matter who you date or marry, virtuous womanGod calls us to keep Him first.

Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.

Even in a marriage, God has to be number one and nothing should be held as high as Him because He is greater than anything. Your life is meant to work with God in first place above all other things and people, nothing is and should ever be held as high as God. Your marriage is a gift given to you from God and by God. Don’t forget to treat your husband like the special gift that he is in your life. This gets tricky when you have children because you love them so incredibly much, but marriages start to fail when a wife places her children before her husband in her own heart. Men need attention and affection even though they may not often show it, and placing him last in your heart is detrimental to you children. Your marriage is where your kids learn what a marriage is supposed to be like. Your marriage is where your daughters learn how to love their husbands and where your sons learn how to love their wives. Children thrive in homes where there is harmony between their parents and where the husband is placed last, there rarely is a harmonious home. It truly does your children a favor when you remember that God should be always in first place in your heart and your husband should always and forever be in second.

It’s not about you.
Being unselfish is a key part of making marriages work for the long haul like they were intended. As soon as you decide to marry someone, you have to check yourself and your ego at the door. Marrying someone means putting their wants and needs above your own, and when both partners do this, everyone gets their needs abundantly met. It’s not always all about you, and that can be a tough pill to swallow; but it is the truth.

Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. NKJV
A Christ-like marriage does not ask “What’s in it for me?” but rather “What can I give?” Loving selflessly means constantly pouring our your love to your husband, even when your flesh doesn’t feel like he deserves it. Usually when your husband acts out the most is when he needs love the most. It’s not about you, love him through it.
gracious and godly womanProverbs 19:14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent (acting with or showing care and thought for the future.) wife is from the LORD. NKJV

Hold him up in prayer as much as you hold yourself up.
It is easy to get up every morning and pray for yourself, your wants, needs and desires. I do this every morning without even thinking- it is habit. When you are married, together you both are only one person in God’s eyes. This means that you can pray for yourself until you’re blue in the face, you can declare and command and speak God’s word but if your partner is not being held up in prayer, even at your best you are only 50%. You see, when you are married you have the authority to pray on your spouses behalf since, you are one. It is imperative that in a marriage you hold up your husband in prayer just as much as you hold up yourself.
Picture it this way; A man and a woman each have a car before they get married. Once they are married, they trade in the two cars for one nicer car. This nicer car now has 2 wheels from her old car and 2 wheels from hiss old car. The husband spends 10 minutes each day airing up his 2 tires, but he lets his wife tend to her own. Eventually, his wife’s tires will go flat because she never knew to air them up and her husband didn’t remind her or hold her accountable. Every time they try to drive anywhere, they will spin your wheels and go nowhere.
This is how it is in a marriage when you don’t hold your husband up in prayer, you quite possibly can end up just spinning your wheels and not understanding why you’re going nowhere. In a marriage, alone you are only 50% of a whole.

Forgive, forgive, then forgive again.
Love him like Jesus does. As much as we strive to be Christ-like, we will all have moments where we might be the exact opposite. Sometimes we allow strife or bitterness to enter our marriage but this is something that needs to be tended to quickly before it just continues to build a wall between you and your husband. We are called to forgive, forgive, then forgive again.
Matthew 18:21-22 
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
This scripture does not literally mean you can only forgive someone 490 times, this means to continually forgive others because God is continually looking past our sins. This will be the same with you and your husband. I know there are times when things just happen and anger starts to creep in, but when it does just give it to God. God is our justice and it is only our job to love one another. If your husband is wrong, let the Holy Spirit convict him.Marriage is not just a continual choice to love, but a continual choice to forgive because it’s not worth it to be angry.

Proverbs 21:9 
Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. NKJV

To love, honor, and cherish.
Honoring your husband is a huge deal. When God made man and woman, He did design us differently in some areas. Man crave respect (honor) and women crave affection. This is how it always is and how it always will be. When you marry the perfect person God has created for you to spend your life with, God will make sure that you both are taken care of. This being said, it is so important to respect your husband and his views and opinions. Although in our world this is not a popular way of thinking, I’m going to give you a little dose of the truth: Men are the head of households, the spiritual leaders of your family. Period.

Ephesians 5:22-24 
 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.  Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 

Though this seems like it just couldn’t be true, it is and there is no stutter or mistake in this being said. But with that being said, the truth is the more you love and honor your husband, the more he will make decisions with you on the forefront of his brain. When women are good to their husbands, and I mean truly good, with a pure heart and pure intentions, the husbands are good back to you.
Proverbs 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones NIV

Cherish him.likejesusdoes
In most wedding vows, there is a part where we agree to “love, honor and cherish” our husbands. To cherish is to protect and care for (someone) lovingly. Even though men typically do not act like they need affirmation and affection, they do. Men need to hear how much you love them and how thankful you feel to have them in your life. Don’t stop dating him and doing special things for him. We shouldn’t need holidays like Valentines Day to remind us how much we love our spouse, every day is a chance to celebrate and show your love for them. Protect your marriage and on bad days, remember what made you fall for your husband. What was so special about him that you couldn’t live without? It is easy, easy to focus on the negative but this is what tears marriages apart. Just as men are called to see us as ‘holy and blameless’, (Eph 5:25-28) we are called to do the same. Give him a hug, kiss him when he gets home from work, or maybe write him a little note just because. Men aren’t the only ones who forget to ‘date’ their wives after they say “I do.” Ignore his shortcomings and focus on his wonderful qualities. Remind him how important he is to you everyday and don’t stop dating him.

Song of Solomon 5:10-16  My dear lover glows with health—red-blooded, radiant! He’s one in a million. There’s no one quite like him! My golden one, pure and untarnished, with raven black curls tumbling across his shoulders His eyes are like doves, soft and bright,  but deep-set, brimming with meaning, like wells of water. His face is rugged, his beard smells like sage His voice, his words, warm and reassuring.Fine muscles ripple beneath his skin quiet and beautiful. His torso is the work of a sculptor,hard and smooth as ivory. He stands tall, like a cedar strong and deep-rooted, A rugged mountain of a man, aromatic with wood and stone. His words are kisses, his kisses words Everything about him delights me, thrills me through and through! That’s my lover, that’s my man, dear Jerusalem sisters. NKJV

Speak life into your marriage.
Your words have power (death in life in the power of your tongue) so be mindful of how you speak about your spouse. Don’t ever speak death into your marriage to your family or even your friends. Your marriage is a covenant and not every detail is meant to be discussed with someone other than your husband. In fact a lot of it shouldn’t be discussed with anyone but your husband. It is so easy to want to run to your girlfriends and family and just ‘vent’ but this can be detrimental to a relationship because those people don’t love your husband in the way that you do. When your husband wrongs you in some way, you are called to forgive him and this is easier because you marrage 2love him so deeply. When you continually tell your friends about the negative things he does, that is all they will start to see and that just causes tension in your own life. Speak those things that aren’t, as though they are. No matter what it may look like, it  is so important to speak life and love into your marriage. 

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. NKJV

No matter what place you’re in in your life; married, single, young, old, having the marriage God intended you to have starts with you. Take the lead in being the wife God created you to be and watch your husband transform into the husband that he was created to be.

Ephesians 5:25-28 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,  that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. NKJV

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