Wayne and I have been married 35 years this year. Crazy how fast it has gone!! But I am sad to admit to you that it took me 31 years to realize how much I love him and what a blessing he is to me. It wasn’t until we both stopped and started looking at marriage through the eyes of the each other that I saw who Wayne was trying to be for me. I had been SO focused on what I wanted him to be or what I expected him to be that I had never stepped back and asked him how he saw his role. I had been so focused on “being fulfilled” by marriage that I didn’t even know how he saw the role God had called him to be as a husband.
So Wayne and I shared how we saw our role, as described by God, in our marriage. It was very eye opening for me! And also very humbling! I realized that I was SO caught up in “self” that I had never stopped to even see how I could encourage him as the husband. I know, bad Tami! But I really never realized how self-focused I was being. I thought I was just trying to be pleasing to God in my role when actually I had been making my marriage all about me.
When I stop and look at Ephesians 5 and I see how our God sees marriage, I see a beautiful picture! He compares the relationship between Christ and the church to the relationship between a husband and wife. (Ephesians 5:32) The world has taken the beauty out of marriage and we, as the church, must WORK to show them how God truly designed marriage to be. Let’s focus for a few minutes on the role of the husband.
We see in Ephesians 5:23 that he is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
When I read that verse and think of Jesus my heart skips a beat. My Jesus is my Savior and that means EVERYTHING to me! But did I ever realize that God has put that much importance on Wayne’s role in our marriage? That’s a HUGE role that Wayne took on when he said “I do”!
Then we see in Ephesians 5:25 where the husbands are called to love their wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.
Jesus laid his life down for us and our husbands have been called to do the same thing. When Wayne and I were dating he had this car that was his baby. He washed that car once a week and I’m not sure the younger women will understand this but he would wax it so he could see his reflection in it. He would buy all the latest toys for that car. We rarely got to eat in it, but if we did I had to make sure that I didn’t drop any food. We even had to tow that car to Colorado after we got married because he didn’t want to put the miles on the car. I can look back now and think about that car AFTER we got married. Wayne didn’t have the time to wash and wax that car every week. He didn’t have the money to spend on his “baby” anymore. We had babies from day 1 and all of you with children understand when I say, you will give them anything to keep them quiet in the car, even a bottle of ketchup. I look back and realize the different ways that Wayne “laid his life down” for me. He couldn’t just focus on himself anymore. Now, I realize our life changes too, with “I do” but I want us to focus on walking in our husband’s shoes.
We go on in Ephesians 5:26-27 where He talks about how Jesus will sanctify the church, having washed her by the washing of water with the word that He can present the church without spot or wrinkle, that she should be holy and blameless.
I think of my poor godly husband looking at me, his rebellious, stubborn, bull-headed wife and thinking “How can I keep her holy and blameless?” “How can I keep her without spot or wrinkle?” Especially when I think I’m “Super Spiritual Woman” all on my own. I had to stop and ask myself, “Why do I CONTINUALLY make that difficult for him?” That’s SO much responsibility he has been called to fulfill!
I LOVE Ephesians 5:28-29 where He says that a husband will love his wife and nourish and cherish her!
I can look back and remember as a young wife seeing that scripture and thinking how romantic that sounds. It just sounds so wonderful, to be nourished and cherished out of love! But I also remember times when I would be hurt by this verse because I would wonder why Wayne wasn’t doing that for me. I actually cried about it! Then I stopped and looked at Ephesians 5:28, where it says, “husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies”. Well, I don’t know about you, but my body speaks to me. My body lets me know when I’m tired. (Then I, in turn, let everyone else know I’m tired by my grumpy behavior.) My body tells me when I’m hungry! I have a stomach that can growl louder than most lions, especially right after the Lord’s supper. My body speaks to me! But I look at Wayne and have the VERY female thinking of, “If he truly loves me he would know what my needs are.” That is SOOO unfair! We must remember that they are male. They are different from us. They have the world telling them what meets our needs and that won’t be the same needs for a Christian. They have to hear from us. We need to be sharing what makes us feel nourished and cherished, and not in demanding ways, but in ways that help them as they try to fulfill their role. This isn’t just for newlyweds either. As I get older those needs are changing and I have to share with Wayne all over again. Poor thing!
This is just the tip of the role God has called our husbands to fulfill. We must be patient with them. We must realize that they all come from different backgrounds with different patterns put into place. Even if they were raised by godly parents, they won’t turn out “just like their Dad”. He is not his Dad, and he’s not married to his Mom.
I know that in my marriage I have spent so much wasted time trying to walk in Wayne’s shoes for him. Or even worse, constantly kicking gravel in his shoes and asking him to walk without faltering. Once I realized that I need to step back and work to be that “gel insert” in his shoes, he better embraced his role. I went back to looking at “Tami’s shoes” and how to polish them so that they were pleasing to God and let my husband walk in his own shoes.
Let me encourage you to lift your husband up! Be patient with him! Pray for him! Pray for yourself to be an encourager for your husband! Try to walk in his shoes for a day. Try to be a comfy insert for him as he strives to be who God has called him to be. Even if he doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus, be patient. Pray! God will work in his life through you! (1 Peter 3:1-2)