Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Husband's Struggle

A husband struggles?

In my journey to become a better man and greater husband, there are still struggles along the way. I have to say though; I would rather slightly struggle in my walk with God, than struggle in life without him. Before I asked God to truly be in my life and in my marriage, life was hard. It was confusing, challenging and a constant battle. Not to say that life is easy now, but at least I know I have a Savior that has my back.

One of the main issues, as always, is the enemy. His mischievous ways are always at work in our hearts, our lives and, of course, our marriages. He knows that as men, we are the Spiritual Leader and he wants nothing more that to cut us off at our ankles. Before I knew Christ personally, the enemy had his way with me. He could pretty much convince me of anything. I thought I had a good handle on life and common sense. I didn't think doing certain things was affecting me or my marriage, but I was so wrong. I was once told that the enemy knows me so well because he knows my father, he knows my Grandfather and so on. He has had centuries to study my geneology, the men who have come before me and either won or lost the battle against him. This idea was revolutionary to me. It changed the way I thought about the enemy and what he was actually capable of in my life. Accepting Christ was my armor. It was my way of suiting up and preparing for full battle. My eyes were opened and I could see the destruction he was causing in my heart, life and marriage. Instead of getting angry at my wife for things, I began to get angry with him. I would imagine myself in a situation like the movie Gladiator. It would be him and me, face to face, man to man. I could make the decision to give in and let him win again, or I could take a stand against him and fight for the truth. For the most part, the truth was always there if I fought back.

As I said, the struggles as a husband are still there, daily. But I wage war on the enemy and his evil schemes. Here are some of my battle tactics that I use against him....

Christ is always there for us. Prayer doesn't have to be anything fancy, it has to be trust. Trust that Christ will bring you out of the situation and give you clarity to see the truth behind the situation. He never will give us more than we can handle. So just pray and pray some more.
 Be Aware
Understanding the forces against your marriage can help you in your battle, but you have to stay aware. When my wife and I have a disagreement, it is not the time to give up and run away. It's when you suit up and begin the war against the real enemy here. Stop. Re-focus. Pray. And resolve the situation with your wife. It usually isn't over something big anyway, he just makes it seem that way.
This is a great topic to share and discuss with your wife, men. Let her know the types of struggles and battles you face on a daily basis. It will help her better understand your heart and make want to help you in the fight. Have her join in with you in prayer. Remind her about the battle when disagreements arise. This is what the leader does and continues to do. There is no stopping point in this process.

 "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:31-32

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Husband's Responsibility

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
-I Corinthians 13:11

I do not have any children of my own yet, but I do get to watch them once and awhile and, of course, I use to be one myself. A child really has no responsibility but to grow and learn. These are things that come to a child through teaching. Where does the teaching come from? Well, I am glad you asked. 
In my opinion, Paul nails this verse right on everyone’s forehead, including ours today. When I was a child, it was all about me and what I wanted; if I did not get what I wanted, I threw a fit; much like most children still do. There is nothing really wrong with this, especially since we know that this is going to happen. But what happens when you start to grow up and life begins to get more interesting? You start to see the fruit or poison of your own decisions. You start to become a man. You start to learn how to accept responsibility! I understood the idea of responsibility pretty well in my late teens, but really only had a slight clue. I asked a beautiful woman to marry me in my early twenties and the true tests began. After being married for a couple years and quite frankly struggling, I had to ask a pivotal question. What is a husband’s responsibility?

My wife and I had been dating for over 5 years before we said ‘I do’. We thought things would be smooth and easy. I’ve always considered myself to be a quick learner and thought the marriage process would go smooth. I had always felt a need to protect my wife, but not with a very strong desire. If she was bothering me or if we had a fight, that level of emotional protection would fall off the cliff quick. It was as though I held protection in my hands, but I was capable of dropping it or storing it away for awhile until we made up or I “liked” her again. But with the power of Christ behind me for over a year now, I can honestly say that my level of physical and emotional protection has gone beyond my imagination. The Lord will show you YOUR desires if you allow him to and as a husband He has shown me that my Desire to protect my wife should be always switched on. I can’t store it away when things go bad, I can’t use it against her. As the husband, it is my responsibility to protect her, no matter what.

The verse stated above again comes to mind with this subject. A child does not serve, they are served. It is our responsibility to serve our children by raising them in a Godly way. When I married my wife, I had no idea what ‘serve’ truly met. Serving each other in marriage is not about keeping score or a competition. It’s about doing what is right and good. It is about being a true man and stepping up to the position God has put you into as the Spiritual Leader. My first few years as a husband were more about me, thus I only did what I needed to match her. This only causes non-sense fights and bitter roots to start to form. God fathered me and revealed to me what it really means to serve. It means unwavering, it holds no score, it has no end, it has no relation to what she has or hasn’t done and it is the way Christ lived. Be a man who serves your wife and she will be more willing to respect you.

Have you found this to be true in your own marriage?

Our God is a God of process.
Be a Man of Responsibility!