>Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:18-19

No marriage is easy. In fact, I don’t even think you can choose between easy and difficult. It’s all levels of difficulty. Like a ski resort, the difficulty ranges from the bunny slope (the honeymoon) to double diamond (contains cliffs, 50 degree or greater slopes, rocks and other hazards or in other words, marriage after the honeymoon). It’s not impossible. It’s just difficult. But remember, the more difficult the slope, the more exhilarating the experience.

The difficulty in marriage began with the curse after the Fall. “Then he said to the woman, ‘I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you’” (Genesis 3:16, NLT). The implication is that before the Fall, Eve did not desire to control Adam, but from that point on, she would. (This translation differs from other translations, but appears to more accurately capture the original intent. For more: Click here.

Now, what this verse doesn’t say is: “Husbands, do whatever you want and wives put up with it.” Paul charges husbands with loving their lives. To the Ephesians, he ups the ante by adding “as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Loving your wife is not like loving yourself. Loving your wife is an adventure. It’s a mystery. Sometimes it keeps you guessing. What gets in the way is a man’s desire to accomplish loving his wife. It can’t just be checked off of the list.

Wives, your husband needs respect, not because he deserves it, but because he needs it. Men really don’t want to have anything to do with people who disrespect them. Disrespect from his wife puts a man in a real dilemma.

Many husbands have said, “I would love my wife more if she would respect me.” Many wives have said, “I would respect my husband, if he would truly love me.” Many children have said, “If I can’t have what I want, then I won’t give you what you want.” It’s time to put away childish things.

Many people with far more wisdom and success have written many things about marriage. The bottom line is this: how does your relationship with your husband or wife measure up to this verse? Wives, how well are you submitting to your husband and following his lead? Husbands, how well are you loving your wife and not treating her harshly? The test: ask your spouse how you’re doing. The solution: pray and ask God to help you love your spouse the way he or she needs to be loved.

LEARN TO STUDY THE BIBLE with Allen White this Fall at BrookwoodU. For more information: http://brookwoodchurch.org/brookwooduclasses

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