A couple weeks ago I saw an article on the web about Giuliana Rancic. She made headlines for saying she puts her husband before her children. Why were people so fired up about this that it made the news?
Most marriages are failing these days. Why is it? I found out a couple in our neighborhood is divorcing after 20 years of marriage. 20 years! Is anyone else astonished by this? How does that happen? Granted, I don’t know what happened in that household. And, I know things aren’t always as they seem with people. But, there are a few things I’ve learned over the past year and a half that restored my marriage.
First of all, the one and only “person” that could have restored our marriage was God. He has become the center of our relationship. He is my top priority. He comes first, then my husband, then my children. This is a very new idea to a lot of us. I know it was to me. Marriage is hard. I wasn’t prepared for how hard it was going to be.
One of my biggest struggles was I wasn't seeking fulfillment from God. I was seeking it from my spouse. So, what does that mean exactly? Well, Craig is a wonderful husband and father. He’s very involved with the kids and loves me, a lot. He’s forgiving and reliable and I know my children have a great example of what a husband and father should be.
That being said, he’s still a man and I’m still a woman and that means we-are-different. So different in fact, that it seriously impacted our relationship. There’s no way he could understand everything I’m feeling. I’m an emotional person, as most women are. Most guys just don’t get that. We’re wired differently. I had to learn to take what Craig was capable of giving me, what needs he was capable of meeting for me and seeking everything else from God. Do you know how much easier this made our relationship? I had set Craig up for failure. I was expecting him to know everything I was feeling and make it all better...humanly impossible. God is the only One who can do all that.
Second, you can’t change your spouse. You know what I’m saying...the stuff that didn’t really bug you when you were dating or the things you thought for sure would go away that didn’t. So, you figure, ‘ok, I’ll fix you’. Guess what, you can’t. This is where prayer comes in as well as the humbling experience of realizing you need a bunch of changing, too. You see, when you change, your spouse will follow. Things around here had gotten rough for a while. I came to realize I had hardened my heart toward my husband. That’s a bad place to be. I was full of anger. He suffered, I suffered, our kids suffered. It was awful. I had to take ownership of what I was doing so I could change it but I couldn’t change without God’s help. I needed Him to show me the areas in my life that needed to change. Slowly, everything began to change. I began to see him differently, more lovingly, like I used to before things got so hard. I stopped snapping all the time. I stopped expecting things from him that he just couldn’t give me because he’s human. As my attitude and behavior improved, so did his. I also did something I never thought I was capable of doing. I started to submit. (Wow, did I really just say that and put it in writing?)
I always thought biblical submission was ridiculous. I’m a very, very strong-willed woman. The idea of submitting to anyone other than God was ridiculous. The fact is, Craig is a man. And, as a man, he is the head of our home. I manage the house, stuff like our family calendar, laundry, cooking, kids’ schedules but, Craig leads us. Being submissive to your husband doesn’t mean you become a doormat. It simply means you take a step back and let him take the lead. And, probably more than anything else, as a wife, you respect your husband. See, women need to feel loved and secure. Men need to be respected. Part of this respect comes from letting him lead you and your children, spiritually, financially, in every way.
You also both need to be willing to work hard to make the marriage work. In a world that celebrates all that’s immoral, hold on to your spouse, tightly. Thank God for them, pray for them and pray for yourself, too. Divorce, these days, comes way too easy for my taste buds. When shows like 'Mistresses' are premiering on TV this season, we need to focus on the sanctity of marriage and not celebrate the sins of our humanity.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.—Mark 10:7-9