Are you cherishing your wife as the woman God created her to be?
A couple of years ago, Leigh Ann brought an idea to me. It was the idea of doing family devotions together in the mornings.
She had read the book Together: Growing Appetites for God by Carrie Ward and had come across a video that made her realize this was a missing element for our family. I even vividly remember when she brought this video to me, and we watched it together and I thought, “Man, that is so simple but so profound.”
My spirit was moved by what I had watched, but my laziness and twisted priorities would quickly get in the way. I immediately (mere seconds after my heart hungered for that type of devotion as a family) started to think of all the reasons why it was unrealistic for us:
- My hectic work schedule
- The difficulty of holding my son’s attention (two years old at the time)
- And so on and so forth …
As I continued to sow to the flesh, I got defensive, and without even realizing it, I rejected the idea because I felt that her suggestion was an attack on my failure to lead our family spiritually.
This was a turning point for me in my marriage. By God’s grace, I learned through this experience that my wife is a gift. She is gifted by God to serve our family and to be a helper, friend, and spiritual encourager for me.
Maybe you’re having a hard time seeing your wife (and all her “suggestions”) as a gift like I did.
Here are 6 Ways You Can Start Cherishing Your Wife as a Gift:
1. Be Humble
Know your weaknesses, and do not be deceived by your own strengths and skills. Wherever you stand on the humble scale now, I promise, you can improve.
It’s kind of like golf. No matter how good you get, there is always plenty of room for improvement, and there are good rounds (days) and bad rounds (days). No one ever performs their best all the time.
Philippians 2:1-8 is the standard of humility we are to strive for:
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (ESV)
2. Know Yourself
In addition to adjusting your heart to a posture of humility, you should take the time to understand yourself.
Reading the results of these tools helped me to filter out a lot of my misguided self perceptions, and my new knowledge of self has allowed me to see a much more objectively in my relationships with others, particularly in relationship to my wife.
3. Know Your Wife
Ask your wife to take these tests as well and take time to understand the way she thinks and operates also.
Don’t do it with the motivation of gathering ammunition and reasoning for why she is so difficult sometimes, but look at this information through the lens of “God made her this way for a reason, and He joined us together for a reason. How can we operate together to adapt and redeem this creation that God has joined together?”
Be resourceful by identifying where she is strong and how she can help your family grow spiritually and in life. Don’t miss out on the gifts God has given your wife, but cultivate them for the Kingdom of God.
Note: We do want to say that the results of these tests can change as your life changes and as you grow and change as people. So, please do not hang your hat on the results of these “tests” or allow them to define you. Use them as tools for growing in self awareness so you can be a blessing to one another.
4. Share What’s On Your Mind
Don’t get lost dreaming, thinking, or planning in your own mind (aka, worrying!).
Things that consume our mind, and lead to worry are most often things we are not meant to carry alone. We must lay our burdens at the foot of the cross, and allow God to care for us through our wives.
When we break away from these burdens we are free to think more clearly. When we look at our life with the power of the Holy Spirit at hand, and we lean into our spouse to tackle it together, we can accomplish so much more than we can alone.
Don’t strive to make your marriage function with the most comfort and least conflict possible, but strive to make it have the greatest Kingdom impact possible.
5. Ask For Input
One of the single most impactful things we can do as spiritual leaders is to be approachable and teachable. There is, or should be, no one in our lives, better positioned to give us accurate input and lift the scales from our eyes than our wives.
“Every person still living with sin inside is a very skilled self-swindler.” – (Paul Tripp, Dangerous Calling, 71)
Whenever you are wrestling with a decision, or are looking to make a significant change, ask for input. Men, we can’t rely solely on ourselves. Pray for wisdom and humbly approach your wife for help.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times Leigh Ann has said something that has cleaned my ears out, so to speak, and allowed me to hear the Spirit more clearly. She helps me get out of my own head.
6. Lay Down Your Life
Entitlement has become an epidemic in our society. As husbands we are not immune.
- How often do you tell yourself that you deserve better or more than you get from your wife or your family?
- How often do you forget that you actually deserve punishment from a holy God, apart from the blood of Christ?
For me, way too often. This kingdom of self focus is what keeps me from living out God’s will for my life and from humbly laying down my life for my family.
This reminds me of Jesus’ words in Luke 9:23:
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (ESV)
If we live out our understanding of this passage, the principle will also apply to the wife and children God has given us. Lay down your life for your wife and family, and you will learn what a gift they are.
Jesus also gave us a great example and lesson as he washed the disciples feet:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:16-17, ESV).
While an attack on my spiritual leadership was not Leigh Ann’s intent when she brought me the idea of family devotions, the humbling reality was that I am weak at times and distracted by seemingly more important things. I often overlook very important aspects of leading our family in spiritual matters and discipline.
Through her gentle and humble request to try family devotions in the morning, Leigh Ann opened my eyes to some incredibly important facets of our family’s life that I was blind to. As I look back, I could not imagine where we would be without this one simple request.
God designed husbands and wives to work together in marriage to glorify Him more as one, than if we were two separate parts. Becoming more than either of us ever could alone.
Husbands, we need the help of our wives, and they are a gift! Don’t take your wife for granted! Embrace the gifts God has given you and use them all for His glory!