SERVE EACH OTHER IN MARRIAGE A husband and wife who walk in love, unity and mutual respect for each other is God’s intentional design for marriage.
Ephesians 5:22 NIV
When I think of submission to my husband, I view it as a journey of joy and privilege. I choose every day to walk beside him and support his many endeavors. This walk with my husband has been filled with wonderful adventures but also challenges. With each challenge we continue to face head on together. I am mindful with every step that we are ‘One’ and thankful for the man I chose 40 years ago to walk beside. Submitting is truly bending down to raise up with the utmost respect .
1 Corinthians 13 The Way of Love The Message
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8 (MSG)
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READ Ephesians 5: 18-21.
To serve each other in marriage is a foreign word in today’s world. But lets consider what is means to submit. The wonderful truth to submission is found in vs. 21 “submitting to one another“. This means it is both ways. The husband and wife lovingly desires to serve, to lift up, and to fulfill each others’ longings. They are willing to set aside their immediate needs, preferences and comforts in humble sacrifice for each other. A mark of a marriage that’s filled with the Spirit there is mutual submission. The key to the act of submitting is stated in vs. 18 “be filled with Spirit“. When you are filled with His Spirit you are changed and you give from the heart.
Incorporate the following 8 disciplines of love in your marriage relationship
1.Respect your husband. A man’s greatest need in this world is to be respected, and the person he desires that respect from the most is his wife. The trap that we’ve all been ensnared by is that they only deserve our respect when they earn it. Yes, we want our husbands to make decisions that will ultimately garner our respect, but the truth is that your husband is a human being. A human being who makes mistakes. This is the man that YOU have chosen to walk alongside you for the rest of your life, and to lead your family and he needs to be respected for that quality alone.
2.Guard your heart. The grass is not greener on the other side. Guard your heart from things and people that will try to convince you that your life or your husband is not good enough. There will always be bigger, faster, stronger, or shinier – but you’ll never be satisfied with more until you’re fulfilled with what you have now. Live the life you have been blessed with and be thankful.
3.God, husband, children…in that order. My faith is of utmost importance, so God comes first in my life no matter what. Because of your faith foundation, your husband should come before your children. You cannot effectively parent your children if your marriage is falling apart. There will also come a time when your children leave the house to pursue their dreams as adults. If you have not cultivated a lasting relationship with your spouse, you will have both empty nests and empty hearts.
4.Forgive. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Forgiveness a decision you make daily for everything from major mistakes to little annoyances.
5.Communicate. Talk to him about everything. He is your best friend and always speak highly of him.
6.Schedule a regular date night. Be lovers.
7.Never say the “D Word”. Plain and simple, threatening divorce is not fighting fair.
8. Choose to love. Marriage is a commitment. In sickness and health, in good times and in bad. Those vows are sacred. “In good times and in bad”, implying that there will be bad times. It’s inevitable. So choose to love anyway. Your husband is worth it.
A close friend, a single woman, said to me not long ago, “if it were not for you and your husband, I would not believe that a faithful loving marriage was possible.” My friend’s words spoke loudly to me. IT IS TRUE your relationship with your spouse is a testimony to others of the goodness of God and His faithfulness.
A faithful loving marriage is possible for you, but obedience to Proverbs 3:6 is key, “In everything you do put God first…”
The heart of submission is filled with love and respect that only God can provide. It is the power of the Holy Spirit within you that gives strength and courage to persevere through challenging chaotic moments in a marriage. Ephesians 5:21 says “Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.” And as this lesson’s memory verse says, we submit to our husbands as to the LORD. After 40 years of married life, I can attest that it is a workout! Marriage isn’t easy, but NEVER GIVE UP! It is never too late to develop these attributes in your marriage. Stay the course of excellence in your marriage relationship. Be faithful, be loving, be respectful, be humble and most of all be committed. And your reward will be God’s richest blessings on your marriage.
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”