I confess that I have been neglectful of my husband, Luke. It’s not something that happened overnight, but crept up ever so slowly. You see, I truly enjoy writing. It has been an outlet for me to be able to serve God by reaching out to others, grow in my faith, and deal with so many thoughts and emotions within me. On the other hand, I can get so consumed with this effort that my thoughts and actions are only on writing thus producing a disconnect between Luke and myself.
It’s not the writing itself that is the problem. It’s when this task becomes a priority over my husband. I could justify myself by saying I’m doing all this for God and it is helping others. Would anyone really rebuke me for devoting my time to spreading God’s word? What happens, though, if this endeavor sacrifices my relationship with Luke? Then I would have to step back and ask, “Have I really been doing the Father’s will? Have I sincerely been living what I have preached to other women? Am I just one big hypocrite?”
I want to do the Father’s will, sincerely live by His standards as a wife, and not be the hypocrite. To do this I know I will have to put my relationship with Luke above any other human relationships or personal ambitions and fulfill my God-given role by loving him in the way that God has designed. This is what I chose when I devoted my life to Christ and committed to God’s covenant of marriage. To help me put things in the right perspective, I reflect upon these words:
“that they admonish the young women to love their husbands ….” Titus 2:4
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-24
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh…… let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:31, 33
“Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.” I Corinthians 7:3
Whatever is hindering me from fulfilling these standards, I must be willing to reduce or remove them to the best of my ability. I understand that there are necessities that can make these standards challenging, but it is of no excuse to participate in things that are not of necessity that take away from my responsibility as a wife. I need to evaluate whether saying yes to one thing is saying no to my husband. In this case, my saying yes to spending more time writing was saying no to loving Luke by not being in tune with his need to have his wife’s undivided attention and affection.
I am so grateful to have a husband who desires my attention, wants my affection, and supports me in my writing. At this time, I will continue to write because I know I can do it and still be loving, submissive, respectful, and affectionate to Luke, but I am going to have to adhere to boundaries and do some things differently. How will I do this? I will approach each day in prayer reflecting upon what is most important according to God’s will for that day. I will regularly communicate with Luke to make sure that what I am doing is not adversely affecting our relationship. I will set specific times aside to write that is not in conflict with my other responsibilities and not go beyond that by putting things off till later when that time is up. I will be willing to give up writing if ever I think that it is posing a threat to my marriage.
My fellow wives, let us not be deceived in thinking that we can continually neglect our husbands and be pleasing to God. If there are things in your life that are causing you to neglect this relationship, it’s time to reevaluate your priorities and start saying yes to your husband and no to the nonessentials. Every marriage relationship comes with its own set of challenges, but God’s standards for each relationship does not change. May we do our part as wives to be sure that we love our husbands as God instructs whether we feel they deserve it or not. In this way, God will be honored and you will have great influence not only in your marriage, but for the kingdom of God.
Forgive me, Lord, when I have not upheld Your standards and have not been the wife that my husband needs. I prayerfully commit myself to Your will by loving my husband in the way that You have designed. I will honor You by respecting him as the head of our home and by doing everything within my ability to be sure that I am attentive to his needs, sacrificing myself for the sake of our marriage and to be fully pleasing to You. I trust Your guidance in all of this knowing that following Your ways will not only benefit me, but my husband, my children, and others. Thank You for Your covenant of marriage as revealed in Your word by the Holy Spirit whereby this union helps me grow in understanding of what love truly is. Thank You for Your example of love through Christ. In Him, Amen.
Truth in love,