Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How To Be a Better Wife

One of my deepest fears is that my husband or one of my boys will die. I doubt I'm alone in that. To love is to be vulnerable. And not just vulnerable to the loss of that person but also to their actions. You cannot experience the benefits of love without the vulnerability that it demands. 

Marriage is a deep commitment. It's a bond that strengthens and develops (at least with two people who are seeking to serve Jesus) over time. My husband is my best friend. He is my favorite person and I love to have him around. But we're not just husband and wife. First we are Christians and knowing that changes my marriage. 

Marriage isn't eternal even though it's supposed to be to the death. (Matthew 22:30) My husband could die. (Perish the thought as he was in the air when I wrote this.) My husband could walk away from Jesus and our family. I can't imagine the totally separate and terrible pain of those but it wouldn't be the end.

Being a wife is a role that God has given me; it's designed into this life that I live now. But it's not who I am. I am a daughter of God.

This husband is not just mine. He belongs to God first and I am here to help him. I am here to cheer him on and I have to release him to do his work. Sometimes it means he's not home as much as I would like. My attitude makes a big difference with his traveling and his work and his work at church. I can make him miserable or I can send him on to do God's work for him regardless of the cost to me. (My husband prioritizes our family well but this is still a fact of life.) 

I do not expect my husband to make me happy. That is not his job. He is as incapable of making me happy as I am incapable of making him happy. That is between my heart and God. I must go to God for many things that it would easier to expect of my husband. Easier for me to expect but impossible for him to perform. 

I don't get my worth from my husband. My husband thinks well of me; he believes in my talents and abilities. But if he were to walk away from our marriage and tell me that I was worthless and ugly and useless it wouldn't make those things true. Nothing would have changed. Yes, those words would hurt my heart but they would not be true. My worth comes from what God says about me and He says that Jesus went to the cross for me. That's all I need to know. 

That means I can free my husband from the responsibility of making me feel valuable or important. He doesn't have to make me happy. I can get all of that from God and be free to give myself to him and this marriage and our family.

Because he's not just mine and I'm not just a wife. There is a fine line between prioritizing my husband as my most important person and expecting him to be my everything. Knowing that makes me a better wife. 

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