Marriage: More than Mundane
- Wednesday, September 08, 2010
When my husband and I got married, we had already spent considerable time serving the Lord side-by-side. I was well aware that our life together reflected God's work. But there was a whole lot more to our marriage testimony that I really hadn't anticipated.
Titus 2:3-5, gives us wives a clear description of how our marriage is an important part of our testimony-without-words to the world around us:
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. (NASU)
All this stuff we do boils down to ensuring that our lives don't dishonor God's Word and ultimately His name.
Affection Matters Some of us might be tempted to dismiss such notions as old-fashioned and not view the connection this lifestyle has to honoring God. As a minister's wife, one of the biggest trends I have seen within the church is the stumbling block we can all be to each other- especially parents to their children. We might joke about how Mom or Dad was yelling the very second before they opened their car door to greet someone in the church parking lot with a syrupy "good morning!" But the reality is those kind of interactions damage your witness to your family. Kids see through the incongruities of life and it turns them off to God.
The word in the Titus passage for "love" isn't the more common, self-sacrificing agape love used in the New Testament. It is the affectionate, sweet phileo love. So, are you visibly affectionate on a daily basis to your husband and children?
As gals, we understand sacrificial love. Any mom I know would run in front of a truck to protect her child without a second thought. But when the day has been long and we are tired, do we snap at our family members? When the hormones swing and life is busy-beyond-belief, do we express affectionate love to our family? I don't know about you, but for me, it is the affectionate love that more readily gets buried under all the sacrificial expressions of love. Yet our witness depends on the whole package!
Verbal Love Matters
For wives, how we love our family is an integral part of our unspoken testimony. But the Titus passage includes some other areas -- specifically what comes out of these mouths of ours! A godly woman is described as a woman who keeps her words in check. Just FYI, I'm definitely still working on this!
When we were newly married, I was reading one of those "good wife" books on the subject of submitting to your husband. I wanted to live and act in accordance with God's Word, but very quickly realized that I was in need of a practical model for this area of life. The author said that one way you can respect your husband is to avoid interrupting him.
I grew up in a house full of chattery girls -- interrupting was not an occasional occurrence but rather a part of regular discourse. When I asked Eric about it, my hubby said he knew I interrupted only out of my excitement about the topic but that he really wished I wouldn't do it in public. Since then I have worked on honoring my husband in this small thing.
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