I start teaching my “Leadership Class” this weekend. I teach classes for men and for woman. In the classes I do some teaching on how to have a perfect marriage. The blogs for the next several days will be part of some lessons I will teach, some old and some new in the class. I wrote yesterday that I was going to continue with “dating in marriage”, but I decided to do that tomorrow. I am going to alternate between husbands and wives responsibilities, weaknesses, problems, and solutions, so as not to give the impression that it is all about the guy.
One of the movies that was popular with our family when it first came out was “Princes Bride”. There were dozens of quotes that got repeated continually “ad nausea”. One of them was;
Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder today. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam … And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva
There are a few perfect marriages, but most have problems. Over the years as a pastor I have done hundreds of hours of marriage counseling, and have found that the problems are few, and repeated in most marriages. Yesterday’s blog was primarily about the problem of little to no communication or poor to bad communication that plagues many marriages which is primarily the husbands problem, and I suggested that dating was a great solution.
Today, I am going to write about the biggest problem that most wives have in marriages.
Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house,
but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
How does a wife destroy her own marriage? by failing to forgive her husband of his sins, mess ups, thoughtlessness, poor choices, selfishness, and character flaws, and forgiving him quickly. Instead she keeps them in her memory bank and every time he repeats the sin, it gets bigger, it builds up, to the point that it destroys the marriage.
A husband and wife have great power to change each other to be more like Christ, but the way that it happens is different, and neither follows human logic.
Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house,but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
Many wives don’t forgive, but remain bitter about an offense committed by her husband, and every time the offense is re-committed the bitterness grows. One of the reasons is that our human way of thinking assumes that if you forgive quickly he will be more apt to repeat it, but if you send a message to him that you were hurt by what he did by getting angry, or irritated, or remaining bitter that he will stop. Doesn’t work, never has, never will.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man/woman, but its end is the way of death.
The key principle for a wife to remember is that God needs to be the one who changes her husband, not her. He does that in response to the wife’s behavior, automatic, every time, it is how He works. If you attempt to be the direct change agent in the life of your husband by nagging, anger, bitterness, or retaliation, God will step out of the picture and let you try. If you forgive quickly, not because he deserves it, but because Jesus has forgiven you of everything you have ever done, God will work in your husbands heart, bring conviction into his conscience, prompt him to change, prompt him to ask you how he can improve and listen, possibly bring other men into his life to coach and teach him, and give him the power to change.
This principle works, God honors and works when we choose to forgive.
P.S. I am referring in this blog to the “common” kinds of mistakes and sins that husbands make, not the big ones of physical abuse or others that have a different solution.