This is the first feature Guest Post written by a female. A big Thank You to my wife Chelsea! If you are interested in writing a guest post for Manturity, please review the guest post tab and contact us.
It has been my experience that Satan will do anything he can do to destroy the sanctity of marriage, which was created by God. Satan is there to seek and destroy what is meant to be beautiful. (1 Peter 5:8, John 10:10) Marriage can feel like an inescapable trap for some… that is where I was about 4 years into my marriage… hopeless, helpless and miserable. I didn’t see any way out. I began to contemplate the ‘D’ word. It was at that time that I began to realize that marriage was not meat to be this way. Marriage, according to God, is meant to be a wonderful, comforting, loving thing. For those who have discovered the secret it is just that. Right now you are probably wondering what this big secret is. I’ll tell you, I promise… But you must promise to listen very carefully.
It is altogether simple and devastatingly difficult… Here it is: you must learn how to, and put into practice, placing your spouse in the spot of first importance. In other words you must put them FIRST – as in, before yourself. You must learn to be unselfish… and I’m not talking about the “unselfish” person you think you are being now. I’m talking about the self-sacrificing person God is calling you to be. You must truly and whole-heartedly step out of tough situations and see things from your spouse’s point of view in order to truly understand where they are coming from.
When I see couples in turmoil it hurts me to the core of my inner being. I have been there; I know what it feels like to have a dagger constantly twisting in my heart. I want to reach out with every ounce of my fiber to council, help, love, understand and teach them what I have learned from trusting in God’s faithfulness. (Proverbs 3:5-6) But all too often I’m met with blank stares or stone façades. These are people who either cannot grasp what I am trying to say, or worse, have given up and have hardened their heart toward their spouse. I hear things like, “Why should I do this if they don’t.” This is the selfish way of looking at situations, but it is typically the first response that comes from our selfish human nature. We want to protect ourselves, not put ourselves out there for potential rejection or failure. We are called to love and respect our spouse, as we love ourselves… (Ephesians 5:33) Not just when it is convenient for us, but in every situation.
Maybe you’re thinking that you’ve tried to put your spouse first before, and it just went sour or your spouse took advantage of your generosity and began to expect it without giving anything back in return. Here is the tough part… our spouse’s response to our kindness is irrelevant. We are not kind to our spouse to get something from them in return; we are kind to our spouses, because this is what we are called to do by God. We are making a sacrifice to Him by loving our spouse unconditionally. Sometimes it is easy, but sometimes it is going to be very difficult. It is a mistake to think that you must feel love to give it. When you persevere your reward lies in God. (Hebrews 10:35-36)
So now that you know the secret what are you going to do about it?