My sweet husband is "guest posting" today! Really loved what he had to say about this topic and wanted to share it with my readers. Fortunately, my husband "practices what he preaches" and does such a good job at loving me as Christ does. As you'll read, it wasn't always this way in our marriage, but the Lord has done great things in both of us & we love to share about it.
over the Internet, especially throughout the Facebook world, you can find great
articles on marriage. A popular one right now is this post titled “10 Marriage
Tips Every WIFE Needs to Hear.” The article was inspired by a man named Gerald
Rogers who recently wrote an article called “20 Marriage Tips Everyone Needs
to Know.” Which again was a great article with very simple tips that could help
out other guys as they take on married life.
These articles are widely popular over the internet because it seems that
marriage is harder than the majority of people expect it to be and we are all
looking for tips on how to bring back that spark, that passion, that love; and
although those articles are great and extremely helpful, I feel that they are
only putting an adult sized Band-Aid on our issues within marriage when really
we need a surgeon. These tips seek to bring about lasting change but the truth
is that there is something larger, down deep, going on.
What really is the issue?
Although I’d love to write my thoughts concerning both sides of marriage, I’m
really only interested in speaking to my fellow men out there as I believe we
have a special role to play with making sure our marriage reaches its fullest
The issue I see within us men,
when it comes to our marriages, is this thing called pride.
Pride is tricky in the sense that it gives us men a false sense of
entitlement. I don’t care who you are, or what you believe, if you call
yourself a man then in some way you deal with pride. Think about the issues
that we argue about: money, family, sex, etc. We want things to be a certain
way and when it doesn’t play out in the way we imagined it would, our pride takes
a punch right to the gut!
Pride leaves us thinking to our selves “If THEY only cleaned more, cooked
more, had sex more often, didn’t nag at me for buying a flippin’ t-shirt, and
for the love, gave me a break from their family… then our marriage would
be better.” Let’s be honest. Those things can be legitimate issues and concerns.
Those things may bring happiness back into certain aspects of our marriage but
as I said earlier, to fix those things only puts a Band-Aid on a heart attack.
There is something deeper going on.
Society has taught us that we need to focus on finding “Mrs. Right”? Like
there is a perfect woman that would cook, clean and be that animal in the
bedroom for each of us… But guys, I feel that we put so much effort before we
were married into finding that “perfect” person for us that we lost sight of
something extremely important.
Being that perfect person our selves.
In speaking with couples concerning their issues, although there are
issues on both sides in every couple, I see that we men have failed to continue
working on being “Mr. Right” for our wives. Blinded by pride and convincing
ourselves that we are owed and entitled to certain things the moment those
magical words “I do” escaped from our lips.
We are men that have convinced ourselves that we would definitely be the
remaining survivors in a zombie apocalyptic world but when it comes to working
on our selves and becoming better men for our wives, that task seems less
important. We allow pride to turn our eyes from what we can do to be better men
and look to how we can make our wives better women.
Pride. It has messed us up.
How often do you see her family in comparison to yours? Way too many!
How often do you pick up her dogs “mess” because she thinks its gross?
Or money. How often do they just “have to have” that shirt or sweater or
headband? When we are still wearing clothes from high school and the moment we
need a new shirt we hear “we don’t have the money for that.”
Heck, some of you dudes are reading this and are hearing pride’s voice as
you think “I wouldn’t put up with that! Not in my house!” Pride…
Again, if you haven’t picked up the point yet, pride is where a lot of
our issues in marriage come from. When we become too prideful to do even the
simplest of tasks because we are ‘above that’ we are entitled to more. If we
were to be honest, the issues most of us have are really not that big of a
Pride jacks us up! It sets myself far above my wife in terms of
relationship. Pride lifts us up as being rulers, instead of husbands.
It’s pride that has tangled itself within marriages unfortunately and I am
convinced, that it is our responsibility as men to deal with it as leaders of
I am not speaking to those posers who say with empty words that they want
their marriages to last but aren’t willing to do the work to make it happen. I
am not speaking to those people. I am speaking to those men who legitimately
want to be real men and are willing to roll up their sleeves and do what it
takes to be a great husband to their wives! Not a ruler, a husband.
The question is: Men are we truly being the best husbands to our wives?
I actually believe the Bible offers great practical advice to how we as
men can fix our frustrating marriages. For those who are familiar with the
Bible you have probably heard the verse that says, “wives submit to your husbands”? But too often we as men allow
pride to shield us from acknowledging the next part of this verse that says, “Husbands, love your wives,
just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
that second part in guy language. To love your wife you must GIVE-UP-YOUR-LIFE
Paul made one mistake when writing this verse. HE
WAS TO ELOQUENT OF A SPEAKER! It sounds beautiful and loving when we read it
today. We have to be reminded that Christ suffered the most brutal death one
could ever imagine through torture, humiliation and ultimately hanging on a
cross; FOR HIS BRIDE! He gave it all.
Not only was his death extreme enough for us to
begin grasping this concept, but the verse seems to leave us all in ignorance of
the fact that Jesus first gave Himself for His bride as
He humbled himself and became a man! Stepping down from His thrown in heaven to
be made as one who is less than God!
Talk about a punch in the pride!
This is a good reminder for myself when I think I
want to rule over my wife, to have it my way, to throw my temper-MAN-trums
because of the things that I’m needing to do that are “beneath” me. Jesus set
the ultimate example for every husband and “gave
himself up for her.”
Guys, are we being the best husbands we can be? Are
we laying down our lives, giving up everything for them to the point of death? A
death not only physically, but also a death to our pride; a death to our
entitlement of what we think we are owed in our marriages.
I speak to you from experience. My wife and I in our
first and second year of marriage had issues where we would fight about two big
things all the time; spending too much time with her family, and how we were to
spend our money. It was ALL-THE-TIME, relentless and frustrating each and
everyday. Through frustration and wanting more from our marriage I remember
coming back to this verse and meditating over it asking myself what it would
look like for a man to truly “give
himself up for her.”
So I began to deny those things I thought I wanted,
and I began serving my wife. Laying down my pride in an extreme way. I cooked
and cleaned everyday. I tried to plan times where we could go see her family
and when we were with them I didn’t complain (that was the hard part).
Ultimately I led my wife through the example that Jesus set for us I gave
myself up for her and continued to be a man through example and not through
force or yelling.
An amazing thing started happening. I began to see a
change in my wife. Don’t get me wrong it took a couple years, it wasn’t
immediate. But I began to see my wife and I argue about different things. We
fought about who would cook dinner in a good way. She wanted to cook for me and
I wanted to cook for her. The funny thing is I hardly cook dinner anymore;
although I try.
We argued about who would vacuum the house. As I was
vacuuming she would try to take it from me because she said she wanted to clean
for me. We still argue about that today. It’s a competition of who can clean
more than the other.
The family issues changed, the finance issued change
and millions of other little things changed the moment I decided to man up, and
“give (myself) up for her.”
You know what the most amazing thing about giving up
my pride and learning what it really meant to give myself up for her? I
discovered that marriage has more to offer than I thought it did. The moment I
gave up my life and my pride to show her how much I love her, marriage took on
a whole new light. I began to get more from marriage than a clean house and a
less annoying family-in-law (still working on that one). I gained a companion
that I actually enjoyed hanging out with each day. We have more fun together
today, than we ever have before!
Remember, pride makes us think that we need to stand
our ground, yell louder, voice our opinion, guilt our wives into doing the
things that we want them to do…like our way is better (sarcasm). It turns our
eyes from what we can do to be better husbands and focuses on why they are not
I am able to say to you as a man who has been there;
there is something powerful in this concept of serving your wife. It truly
brings change to a frustrating and disappointing marriage. A change that only
comes when we change ourselves. The dangerous part is to allow pride to
continue. To allow it to cause us to miss out on what marriage truly has to
offer us men, when we are so focused on bringing ourselves happiness instead of
rolling up our sleeves as REAL men and doing marriage the way it was intended
to be done. By putting to death our pride in order to gain so much more.