This past week Thistlebend began a new study called Falling In Love Again With Your Husband. To be totally honest with you, as much as I’m embarrassed to say it, I thought I was doing pretty well in this area. Both my husband and I love and seek after the Lord, and I truly love my husband and am thankful for him every day. So I was thinking to myself that I’m a pretty good wife. I don’t need anything “fixed,” because that’s just what my flesh desires—being fixed, perfect, complete on my own.
Painful to my flesh, but thankfully, the Lord quickly opened my eyes during Laurie’s lecture as she talked about how we cannot truly love our husbands until we first know the love of God and are able to believe in and live from this love that is being lavished on us. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). God must be at the center. She said that our call as a wife is to be Christ to our husband. This can still be true, even though it is the wife’s specific job to mirror the church and the husband’s specific job to mirror Christ in the marriage relationship (Eph. 5:22-33), because broadly speaking we are all called to “be Jesus” to those around us. For us wives, the person in closest proximity to us is our husband. To desire to be Christ to my husband, I would need first to believe and walk in the love that Christ has for me. Laurie also said that there is nothing other than self that keeps us from walking in and believing in God’s love.
I was quickly convicted as I listened to her talk. Yes, I would definitely say my desire for my marriage is to glorify God, but if I really think about my mindset in the day to day, that is not how I live or think about my marriage at all. Even deeper than that, I definitely do not live with the mindset of the call to be Christ to my husband.
I do, however, have the desire to be a “good” wife. I place “good” in quotations because as I really think about it, yet again, I am just trying to be “good” according to my own standards. So to sum up, my desire to be a “good” wife points to me—self. To me, being a good wife means having laundry done, cooking dinner, having my house clean, welcoming people into our home and being the perfect hostess, never running out of the things my husband loves, never yelling at him, always submitting to and trusting him to lead… I know all this sounds ridiculous. No wonder I am tempted to constantly feel condemnation, right? While some of these things are actually biblical, like submitting to my husband and trusting him to lead, and serving him is of course biblical as well, the motivation where it’s all coming from is not. These ideals I have in my head spring from my own way of thinking, not from a desire to be Christ to my husband.
As a wife, I am called to be my husband’s helper. What is better help to him than loving and serving him the way Jesus did and does? The Lord has allowed me to see that in my flesh I only serve and help him on my own terms. I do believe that my mind is organized in one big check list sometimes. I just love lists and agendas and can even plan things in my cute little planner to do for my husband that would be sweet to him, but if he asks me to do things outside of that plan, oh goodness, watch out, because I’m not going to be happy!
The morning of Bible study this past week, my husband came downstairs, and I was texting someone on my phone. He interrupted and asked me so sweetly to go out to his car and grab his gym bag for him and apologized right after asking me to do it. I have to admit, I was somewhat annoyed to have to go do that, but then he apologized again as I was walking out the door to go get his bag. I think he may have actually apologized three or four times. As I was walking to our driveway to get his bag, I was heartbroken. It was sweet of him to ask me in the way he did and to recognize that I was in the middle of something else when he asked me to do it. I couldn’t help but think, however, that he must have felt like he had to be that sweet because I get so frustrated and angry with him most times when he asks me to do something that is not already on my agenda. How messed up is that? Being angry at having to hold off on laundry to actually do something my husband asks of me is absolutely not being Christ to my husband. By my way of thinking, the laundry is so important that it comes first over my actual husband so often. That’s just one example. It really is heartbreaking to think through this on paper.
Can you relate at all? If so, there is good news for us! If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, Christ is in you, and He is in me! HE is my new identity, and I do have the power within me to put off my way of thinking and replace it with His way of thinking all by His grace! I’m so thankful to just be smacked in the face with the truth that I’m not a good wife like I think I am, but that that’s okay, because that’s the old me. Again, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). I can love and be a helper to my husband the way I am called to because the one who calls also enables.
Falling In Love Again With Your Husband is probably going to be a way more gut wrenching study than I thought, but oh how sweet it is to know that God is working for His glory and ultimately our family’s good as well through these lessons. If you are in Christ, this is true for you too!
Do you have lies you listen to about what it means to be a good wife? Would you be willing to share them in the comments? The more that we share, the more we will see that we are not alone.
O Lord, please give us the desire to be Christ to our husbands for your glory. Be the center, Lord!
Planted for His Glory