Is your marriage a delight to you’or is your career or your hobby what really charges your engines? Do you exist in marriage for your wife, or does she exist to serve and further your interests and desires? Where do your greatest passions lie?
Guys, these are important questions you must ask yourself from time to time. But truth be told, you’re not always as skilled as you could be about examining your life. Furthermore, you’re not always as honest as you should be about the difference between what you formally profess to be true and the values you affirm by our day-to-day decisions and actions.
Therefore, I want to pose several questions for you to ponder over the next several days to help you discern the health of your marriage. My hope is that they’ll help you identify any areas and issues that need your attention.
- Does your wife’s face brighten when you enter the room? Does she rise to kiss you?
- Does your wife long for your embrace? Does she love to chat with you, even about the so-called little things of life?
- When her feelings have been hurt, or her dreams have been shattered, is it you that she seeks or does she turn elsewhere?
- Do you guard her honor and preserve the integrity of your marriage, even when she’s out of sight?
Men, your wife’s a gift from God’a true treasure. Love and honor her accordingly!
If you’re to use your time wisely, you must be considerate of your wife. Not in the sense that she has the final say, but rather, in the sense that you as a husband lead by serving. Return her love, and express yours, by surrendering personal autonomy for marital oneness. That’s your first commitment in marriage. As the old saying goes, wives spell love T-I-M-E.
As husbands, we usually don’t spell love this way, so impasses will likely occur. They can be overcome, but as a husband, you can’t make unilateral decisions regarding your time, or you’ll pay a dear price. And although men don’t naturally spell love T-I-M-E, you need to learn to do so if you expect to love your wife and kids properly. It requires a servant’s heart because it requires sacrifice.
My friend Fred is a morning person, so by 10:00 p.m. he’s practically ready for life support. Yet with four kids, this is precisely the time he and his wife Brenda are finally alone to talk. Fred knows that Brenda draws interpersonal intimacy from sharing conversation, so he’s made a rule that when he goes into the bedroom at night, he sits in a chair rather than lying on the bed. That way, he can stay awake and talk with Brenda if that’s what she desires.
In this small but important way, Fred’s learned to spell love T-I-M-E. It’s an act that honors Brenda’s vital need with the same care as he’d honor his own.
It begins the minute we’re born, well before we’re aware of it. ‘Little boys are made of snips and snails and puppy-dog tails.’ As young boys, we love guns, tanks, racecars, and airplanes. And by the time we reach adulthood we’re thoroughly indoctrinated and well practiced in our culture’s expectations of what a man’s supposed to be’achievement oriented, assertive, autonomous, dominant, confident, practical, unemotional, and strong.
But here’s the problem, this is a lose-lose situation. If we fall short of the ideal, we’re wimps and failures; if we attain the ideal we’ve become a so-called ‘man’ at the expense of being a human being. Dr. Frank Pittman says this:
‘As a guy develops and practices his masculinity, he is accompanied and critiqued by an invisible male chorus of all the other guys who hiss or cheer as he attempts to approximate the masculine ideal, who push him to sacrifice more and more of his humanity for the sake of his masculinity, and who ridicule him when he holds back. The chorus is made up of all the guy’s comrades and rivals, all his buddies and bosses, his male ancestors and his male cultural heroes, his models of masculinity’and above all, his father, who may have been a real person in the boy’s life, or may have existed for him only as the myth of the man who got away.’
Guys, perhaps its time we rethink what it means to truly be a man!