The title of this book caught my eye as I perused Amazon. I can’t even remember what I was looking for…but it wasn’t a book on marriage. But that title…it was a sermon in and of itself. And I found myself really contemplating it. What is it truly like for my husband to be married to me? I have spent so many thoughts on what it is like to be married to him that I forgot the other side of the equation.
As I read Colossians 3 this morning, and then the similar passage in Ephesians 5, I realized something. Oh, it was not a new thought to me, but God brought it to my attention this morning once again. You want to hear my big insight? Here it is: I can only control me. I can only control my actions, my thoughts, my words, my reactions, my heart, my mind, my body. I am the only one who can control me and I am incapable of controlling anyone else. This especially hits home in a marriage.
Whether my husband treats me wonderfully or badly…I still have a responsibility to respond in a way that pleases the Lord. Whether my husband gets me roses or a vacuum for Valentine’s Day….I still have a responsibility to respond in a way that pleases the Lord. Whether my husband gives me a back rub or a bag of laundry…I still have a responsibility to respond in a way that pleases the Lord. You get the idea.
What is it like to be married to me? I am not sure it is all that it should be. In fact, I am sure it could be a much better experience for my dear husband. May I continue to ask that question throughout the rest of my marriage. It is my hope to be a blessing to my husband. Sometimes we get so caught up in the busyness of life we forget to love and respect our husbands the way God instructs us in His Word.
And we could actually take a similar question and apply it to almost any of our relationships:
What’s it like to be my child?
What is it like to work with me at the office?
What is it like to be my parent? my sibling? my friend?
What is it like to go to church with me?
What if I was my neighbor?
What if I was on a committee with me?
If we find ourselves in a difficult relationship that is full of hurt and anger or just a stilted, uncomfortable relationship, perhaps this is a good place to start. Let’s “put the shoe on the other foot”. Let’s think about how we present ourselves–what kind of tone we use, our body language, our facial expressions. Let’s think for a moment what we may have said, how we may have acted or reacted, the expression or lack of expression that may have been hurtful or unkind.
I think, so often–at least in my life–I spend most of my time thinking about how the other person did something, said something, hurt me, etc. instead of the reverse question. Because, after all, it is much easier to think about the faults of others than my own faults.
And so, God continues to use His Word to teach me. And sometimes He uses wise authors who, even by the title of their book, can speak to me. I haven’t read the book yet (see link below) but I did buy it. Because you are never too old to work on your marriage!