By Carlos Santiago
As I stood to leave the table, the guys I had been playing cards with let out a collective sigh. They wanted me to stay, but my wife wanted me home. Their shaking heads confirmed the general sentiment about my choice to cut the night short even before one of them sneezed out, “Whipped!”
Part of me wanted to stay. But there was something more important at stake than their approval.
Long before that game night had ever been planned, I promised God that I would forsake all others and be faithful only to my wife—and not just by rebuffing others’ sexual advances. I’d say no to others, so I could say yes to my wife.
As verbal pressure mounted for me to stay in the game, I needed to ask myself: Who would I be more willing to disappoint—my friends, or my wife? But more importantly, would I be breaking a promise I made to God?
God takes vows seriously. Deuteronomy 23:23 warns, “You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.”
Out of reverence for Christ and the promise that I made Him, in this circumstance, I needed to submit to my wife’s wishes. I thought of her exhaustion in watching the kids.
“Submitting to each other” in marriage doesn’t mean that we simply give in to whatever our spouse wants! But it does require us to learn how to place the needs of our spouse ahead of our own.
When I walked through the door, my wife’s eyes beamed. “You’re home early,” she said.
“Of course. I told you I would. Besides. Where else would I rather be?”
The good stuff: … submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)
Action points: In a conflict of interests, ask yourself questions like these:
- Will getting my way help my spouse or hurt my spouse?
- Will my actions help my spouse get closer to God or farther away from Him?
- Am I demonstrating it’s okay not to keep my word?
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