If you feel convicted and unqualified because you don’t have a perfect marriage, relax. Don’t let the Instagram posts fool you. No one else does either.
Like Moses, the great evangelist and founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley, had significant marriage issues. He was an austere, disciplined, intellectual, spiritual giant, consumed with his work. But, his wife Mary grew to hate the silence and neglect. In time she became angry, jealous, and controlling. One Methodist preached named John Hampson, said he once entered a room and found Mary pulling John Wesley on the floor by his hair. In her hands were locks she had pulled up by the roots (Hattersley 202, 277).
The first big fight Wendy and I had was about who would sit at the head of the table. I was the man of God with a divinity degree from Regent University and wanted my plate in the prime spot. I quietly sulked when it didn’t happen. Finally, after about 5 days she asked what was my problem. I told her I wanted to sit at the head of the table. She said, “Honey, look at the table. It’s round.”
Let’s keep it real. As we go after Gods call, our bedrooms can become war rooms. While fighting devils outside, hell shows up in our homes. But it doesn’t have to be.
The key to breaking through this barrier is found in Ephesians 5:21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Instead of worrying about who’s submitting to who, be on the lookout for ways to serve and honor one another. Maybe your wife asks you to start taking off your shoes to keep the floors clean. Does that make you bristle? What if your husband asks for a different kind of coffee at the grocery store? Do you respond with sarcasm? Are you the one that always has to hold the remote at night?
Notice the letter in the middle of win, sin, and pride is I. If we always have to win we have a big sin problem called pride. Notice the motivation Paul gives in Ephesians 5:21, “…out of reverence for Christ.” Out of our awe and wonder because the Son of God loved served us on the cross, we humbly search for ways to serve and prefer one another.
Reflect on this question for a moment, “What is one thing I can do this week to show my spouse I love and care for them?” That might look like taking the time to listen with the hope of understanding their point of view. Maybe Zipporah didn’t want to win but just wanted Moses to understand. When someone understands it’s like sunlight and water on a tired flower.