Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Your Spouse Counts on You

Proverbs 31:23
"Her husband is respected at the city gates, where he takes his seat among the Elders of the Land"

How your spouse acts is your fault.  Now don't get me wrong, I am not blaming you for certain behaviors and significant problems.  But, in general, the ways in which we influence the behavior of our spouse are beyond measure.

There has been plenty written about being a "Proverbs 31" woman.  So, I won't bore you with more of the same.  Something odd stands out in the passage though.  All of the descriptions of a "Wife of Noble" character list things that the wife does.  And then, right in the middle, there is this random blurb that seemingly has nothing to do with her. 

A straight reading would indicate that only those women with respectable husbands can become wives of noble character.  So, if your husband is a bum, guess what?  You're out of luck.

That is bogus though.  What I believe King Lemuel is teaching us in that statement is something that crosses gender lines and is a transferable concept for wives AND husbands.

Why is this husband a person of honor and leadership?  Because his wife helped equip him to be so.  As this woman lives her life honorably and as a blessing to her husband and her family, he in turn achieves greater things.  If his wife was the opposite of what is described here, how successful would he be outside of the home? 

And here is the truth.  This cuts both ways.  The way we live will have a profound influence on the behavior and success of our spouse.  God designed marriage to be a partnership that pushes each individual to become more than what they were alone. 

If I am belligerent and hurtful towards my wife, I shouldn't be surprised if her work and life suffer.  Instead of being the person who builds her up and gives her a sense of safety and freedom to be better than she was before, I can hamstring her with unkind words and irresponsible behavior. 

The power we have to influence and encourage our spouses is a profound and humbling responsibility. 

You are not your own.  You do not have a separate existence that allows you to do whatever you want and not accept the responsibility for your actions power to hurt or harm your spouse. 

Do you want a better spouse?  Be a better you. 

Let me leave you with this;  Do not do this alone.  Because you can't.  The cross calls us to lay down our strength and rest in His.  Start off each day coming before God and following after Him.  Don't actually focus on doing "things" to be better.  Focus on Him, and He will change you for the better.

And finally, love your spouse well everyday.

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