“But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” (Matthew 19:30).
“The greatest among you will be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).
“Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it” (Luke 17:33).
Now let’s import His perfectly wise ways to the more personal sphere of marriage and relationships. We see again that God’s wisdom goes straight up against our natural inclinations:
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out” (Proverbs 17:14).
“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue” (Proverbs 17:28).
One thing that has changed greatly over the course of Mrs. Happy’s marriage is that she holds her tongue far more often these days. She cringes, in fact, to consider the destructive ways she used words in the early days. She undoubtedly hindered her husband.
Many of us godly wives somehow acquired the belief that it is our job to correct and instruct our husbands. There is nothing in the Word of God that backs this up, and in case you haven’t noticed, our husbands don’t appreciate when we do this and tend to dig their heels in deeper the harder we push.
The Scriptures make plain why they don’t take well to our efforts to control them. The answer is contained in Genesis 1:26-27, when God declares that man (meaning “mankind” in this instance) has been made in His image and given dominion over all the earth and its creatures. God, in fact, delineates the various types of creatures—fish, birds, etc.—and something is conspicuously missing.
Did you figure it out? What’s missing is people. God didn’t intend for people to exercise dominion over one another. We are made in His image, and since He is spirit, not flesh, we bear His image in some other way than how we look physically. One of the ways we resemble God—a way in which His divine nature is imprinted in our being—is that we were created to have dominion.
A consequence of this to which any man or woman can attest is that we hate it when someone tries to control us. Our very insides bristle and chafe and churn. We were never meant to be controlled or dominated by another human being, and the extent to which this kind of control exists in the world is because of sin.
Interestingly, it is only as a result of the curse (Genesis 3:16) that many husbands rule over their wives. A curse, by the way, is a curse. It is not a good thing.
Praise God for the One who took the curse upon Himself, Jesus Christ, and freed us from the dominion of sin and death! May we enjoy His goodness forever.
All right. Mrs. Happy is finished with her brief foray into theology, and now we can turn our attention to more intimate matters. Because he is made in the image of God, your husband reacts strongly against any attempt by you, his wife, to control him through criticism and correction. Does that mean you are never to point out when he is in error, or when he has acted unwisely, or when he is on a path that leads to danger? Not at all. But we godly wives must carefully weigh our words and the manner and the timing in which they are spoken.
When it comes to words of potential criticism concerning our husbands, Mrs. Happy has adopted a simple rule that helps keep her on the straight path: Pray more than you speak.
If you think you should discuss a sensitive matter with your husband that could be received as criticism or reproof, spend more time praying about it than you do talking. When you commit the matter to prayer before opening your mouth, you place it in God’s hands. You are now in position to get a supernatural result.
At the same time, God will begin to work patience and gentleness in you. You will experience peace. Remember that God is doing a work in your husband’s heart, and He is much better at it than you are. While you might end up speaking to your husband after all, the patience you develop will allow you to operate in God’s timing and in accordance with His heart for your husband.
Mrs. Happy has been married to one man for a long time. She loves to read your comments online at www.mannaexpressonline.com; just keep it holy, ya’ll.