By Ruth L. Snyder
My Grandpa used to say:
“If you marry the right person, there’s nothing like it; and if you marry the wrong person . . . there’s nothing like it.”
It’s easy to take our spouse for granted. Or am I the only one who has that problem?
- Works hard,
- Pays the bills,
- Eats anything I choose to cook or bake,
- And even sings in the choir I direct.
I appreciate my husband. But . . . there’s a problem: I have a snake in my garden that causes a lot of trouble some days.
A.W. Tozer describes it this way:
“There is a serpent in the garden. It is the serpent of self. It twines itself about the most beautiful trees, and it is there to poison your prayers and destroy your prayers. James 4:3 says: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.’”
Are marriages supposed to be trouble free? Not at all. When two sinful human beings live together so closely, there’s bound to be some friction. Usually we have rough edges that need to be filed off so that God’s glory can shine out through our lives.
If we’re not careful, it’s easy to take each other for granted. The common courtesies we extend to other people often get dropped at home. All the Scriptural admonitions about godly living apply to our spouses as well. Ephesians has many instructions:
- Put away your former way of life (4:20)
- Have a new attitude (4:23)
- Be righteous and holy (4:24)
- Speak truthfully (4:25)
- Be angry, but don’t sin (4:26)
- Don’t give the devil a foothold (4:27)
- Instead of stealing, work so that you can share with others (4:28)
- Only say things that are helpful and build others up (4:29)
- Get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice (4:31)
- Be kind and compassionate; forgive as God forgave you (4:32)
- Don’t participate in any impurity related to sexual immorality (5:3)
- Stay away from obscenity, foolish talking, and coarse joking (5:4)
- Expose the deeds of darkness (5:5)
- Use your time wisely (5:16)
- Understand what God’s will is (5:17)
- Be controlled by the Holy Spirit (5:18)
- Give thanks for everything (5:20)
- “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (5:21)
- Wives need to submit to their own husbands (5:22-24)
- Husbands need to love their wives unselfishly (5:25-33)
- Wives need to respect their husbands (5:33)
I don’t know about you, but I have a long way to go in being the kind of wife God expects me to be. It’s oh so easy to see the faults in my husband and to try to change him. This only results in more frustration and friction. Instead, I need to allow God, the master diamond shaper, to change me. I need to seek God with all my heart, soul, and mind and focus on Him.
Root out the selfishness in my heart and replace it with your love – a love that is so selfless it’s willing to die for the other person. Amen
Ruth L. Snyder has been married to Kendall for 22 years. They are trusting God for wisdom in raising five children ages 6-17. Ruth shares lessons she learns from the adventures of life at http://ruthlsnyder.com