“Marriage God’s Way” was the title of our pastor’s message this past Sunday. He used four words as his talking points: Lordship, Loyalty, Leadership and Love.
The thing that stirred my heart was the loyalty part. He did mention adultery and actions akin to that which might be expected. But I was surprised he did not mention “trust.” Granted, loyalty implies trust, but often people won’t make that connection. Implicit trust is essential to a strong relationship – marriage or otherwise.
All in all, it was a challenging and inspiring message. Naturally, at the end, there was an invitation to come forward in a symbolic gesture of renewing the marriage relationship; starting a fresh in the area of making Christ Lord of the marriage or for men to commit to taking a leadership role in the home when it comes to spiritual matters. Since my wife was not with me, I chose to make a quick exit and beat the traffic out. First, I decided to make a “pit stop” and I was surprised how fast the men’s room filled up while I was in there. Perhaps, these men were in a similar situation as me, they were there without their wives OR – they were ducking the tug on the arm by their wife to make a renewed commitment to their marriage or a similar public stance. What kind of man would do that? 🙂
Since our anniversary was just a few days ago, in my heart and mind I ponder much of what the pastor was saying. Many of the attributes he elaborated on were issues that I had thought about a lot over the past few days:
- Lordship: I’m not certain God is the LORD of our home. I know we pray over our food and we both have regular devotionals, but I’m sure there’s more to it than that.
- Loyalty: This is more than simply faithfulness in action, it also involves the mind and that’s were I struggle, as do a good many men I expect. Nevertheless, it is in the mind where the seeds of unfaithfulness are sown. So I work on that daily.
- Leadership: I’m fairly certain I don’t take a leadership role in our home when it comes to spiritual matters. Quite frankly it boils down to an uncertain mindset or embarrassment. This is a point our pastor made. It’s not easy to take a leadership role if that’s not been the norm. It takes time and effort. It’s a challenge. Question is; am I up to the challenge?
- Love: This one is an easy one for me. I could not love my wife more. I could not be more thankful for her and the blessing she is in my life. I tell her daily and miss her deeply when she is away.
A good relationship and a strong marriage takes work. It’s not effortless. Finding balance between my wife and I has been something we’ve worked on a good deal. Making critical choices, our finances, our jobs, where we live, all are avenues we attempt to walk down together. We are not always in harmony, but our desire is to have one mind and heart when it comes to critical decisions in our relationship. Recognizing each others strengths and weaknesses helps us in many of these areas. I am not THE decision maker. I have a voice and my wife has a voice. We seek oneness. If that is not possible, then my role – as the spiritual leader – is too make the final decision. From what I gathered from our Pastor’s message on “Marriage God’s Way,” that’s pretty much how it should be – at least as a minimum.
We have had our moments. Times when I’ve been a real putz. Nevertheless, we’ve worked through those times. She has put up with a lot. In full confession, I’m not an easy guy to live with. That’s where the work comes in. A good marriage doesn’t just happen. It takes work – daily work – and if I’m proud about anything when it comes to our relationship it’s that we work on our relationship. We work on our marriage. We work to make it work. We work to make the other happy. We work to show respect and honor to one another. We work to build each other up not tear each other down. That kind of work will pay off and I believe we’ll achieve marriage God’s way.