“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”Proverbs 18:22
I was talking to a fellow believer the other night at Freedom That Lasts, and he told me he started to date a young lady. I was happy for him as this was one of his prayer requests, so I was glad to see God at work in his life. He also told me about a book he had read and another one he was reading. Both books deal with the home and marriage, and I recognized both of them as I have read one and am working my way through the other. I was turned on to one after going through a marriage class they offered at our church and realizing I needed to do some work in my marriage. I bought the book entitledThe Ministry of Marriage, and it really changed my life and my marriage and how I view all relationships.
Rebekah and I were blessed to recently celebrate another anniversary, and I was reminiscing to the day we stood at the altar and recited our vows. My mind was thinking of how much greater Rebekah would make my life, and how grand life would be from that moment on. I did not foresee how rough the first year of marriage would be, as we had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We both sought our own way, and we were both pretty headstrong, although I will say I was the cause of a lot of our fights. I sought my own way, and I expected a lot from Rebekah. I expected her to make my life better, and I did not think of my role in the whole thing. I was quite selfish in my thinking, and I learned a lot from the book years later, so much so that I wished I would have read it before we got married.
The book spoke of how marriage should not be how your spouse can make your life better, but how you can make their life better. I can promise you that this was not my thought when I got married. Rebekah was my dream girl, and I wanted to marry her since the eighth grade. I was selfish in my pursuit, and even though I did love her, I thought only of how great my life would be. I started to look at all my relationships, and I began to realize how selfish I had been in wanting what was best for me at the expense of others. I never thought of how I could be a blessing to them, and I never thought of how God could use me in their lives. I was convicted after reading this book, and I desire now to look at every relationship in an unselfish way, especially the relationship between my wife and I.
I was speaking to people from work and they asked me what I thought was the secret to a long lasting marriage, and I offered the advice in the Bible and offerings from this book. I advise we are to love our wife as we love ourselves, and I am to prefer my wife over my own self. I told them I started to realize that I was to serve her and not myself. I got some weird looks and some shocked ones as well. Marriage is a ministry and a wife is a gift from God. She is not a genie but God’s gift to me as a true help meet.
I was thrilled to hear that this young man had read this book in preparation for marriage someday if God so allows. I wish I had done the same and taken it to heart as it would have had significant impact on my life. I am grateful for my wife and how God has blessed us in our marriage. She has improved my life in a lot of ways, but that is no longer my focus. I desire to be a loving husband as God has commanded me to do, and I hope to make her life better as I follow God. I cannot be the husband I need to be if I am not following God, and I have to realize how big of a blessing she is to me and how God has favored me in giving me a wife. I know this world would be a different place if every man cherished his wife and saw her as favor from the Lord.
Do you see your wife as a pain in the neck or do you love and cherish her? Do you look at relationships in a selfish way, hoping that this person can fix your drywall or your car? Do you desire to be a blessing to others, or do you selfishly pursue how others can be a blessing to you? We have the perfect example in our Lord and Savior how we should be. He did not come to be served, but instead to serve others. May we desire to be the same in our daily encounters, and may we consider others above ourselves.