This is the first of a three part series on marriage. We’ll look at the balance that Christ offers to us as husbands. But in order to do that, we must look at the two common extremes that our flesh tempts us to be.
Many husbands are marked by passivity, laziness, and fear. These aren’t judgments, but rather symptoms of a spiritual issue that needs to be corrected for a balanced marriage.
This symptom was born in the Garden when God made opportunity for the man to step up, stop the enemy, and defend his bride—and he didn’t. We all suffer from this tendency on some level, whether it’s 90% or 10%.
Being intentional about marriage becomes a daily focus for the man of God who loves his wife. What are the tools for intentionality? Planning, accountability, and submission to God. Is that an easy transition? No! It’s work, but one worthy of the effort.
Laziness is the fruit of the passive man. The only cure is repentance. Here’s the great news, though—God will forgive and begin to lead any man out of this pit. He wants marriage to be all He designed it to be and only He knows exactly what that looks like for any of us. This doesn’t guarantee marital bliss, but it does mean being on the right track as a godly man and husband.
Now here’s the really tough part—asking for our wives’ forgiveness for laziness and passivity. Communicating to her that we desire to change and lead. In 95% of the situations where this happens, the wife responds with total love and support.
Our marriages are designed to have a healthy mutual respect, but fear dominates far too many marriages for men. In short, being afraid of a wife’s actions, words, and responses. “We need to talk” makes the hair stand up on the back of the neck.
What causes a 250 pound guy to be afraid of a 120 pound blonde? It’s simple: Fear of failure. The one person he doesn’t want to disappoint is the one he constantly disappoints. And for guys, this is one of the toughest things for us to admit.
The Bible tells us that, “perfect love casts out fear.” The only replacement for fear in marriage is love, coupled with respect and honor. Again, the best solution for this dilemma is communication—with God and the wife. Talking to a band of brothers is a great thing too.
To wrap up, the enemy and accuser of our souls doesn’t want any of us to realize we’re passive, lazy, or fearful inside our marriages. He wants us to just stay isolated in that miserable rut and teach it to our children. But God desires to bring healing and health to us, our wives, and children, now and for future generations.
In Part 2 we’ll look at the other side of this coin, but if this is your issue – in your marriage, be encouraged that God has answers ready for you and change is right around the corner, if you’ll be honest with yourself, Him, and your wife.
Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground. Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. —1 Peter 3:7-8 MSG