I am not sure if I have made this really important point clear enough:
The path on this journey with your relationship with God to become a godly woman and wife will be basically the same whether your husband loves you or whether he doesn’t at the moment.
Let’s just stop to look at our purpose here:
The entire point of this journey is for you to draw close to Jesus, to love God, to know God, and to be right with God. The purpose is for you to be filled with His Spirit and to abide in Him and to experience His spiritual riches in your every day life and for you to be obedient to Him, increasing in holiness, and pleasing to Him. The purpose is to bring glory to God.
Like David Platt says, “We don’t come to Jesus to get stuff (from God), we come to Jesus to get God.”
The main goal on this journey is not to fix our marriages, to feel more loved by our husbands, to change our husbands, or to be happy. Ironically, though, if we make those things our most important goals – we will never have what we desire. God may heal our marriage along the way but the goal in following Christ is for us to have God and to be transformed by Him ourselves. We trust Him with the results in our circumstances, whatever they may be. As we yield our desires and dreams to God – He will change our desires to match His desire – and then He will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).
What your husband does is primarily between himself and God. You can trust God to deal with him if he doesn’t love you. (Yes, if there is major unrepentant sin in your husband’s life, you may need to respectfully confront him – you may even need to separate from him as you continue to pray fervently for his repentance and for healing for the marriage.)
GOD IS SOVEREIGN:
Here is the awesome thing about having a sovereign God –
God can change your husband’s heart, He can change your heart, and He can change your circumstances. No big deal.
God can change any of these things according to His purposes, His will, and His timing. We have freewill as people – and at the very same time, God is sovereign. I know it is tempting to get really caught up in your husband’s lack of response, seeming indifference, unloving behavior, or his lack of willingness to spend time with you. It is easy to look at this one snapshot in time and think that this is our destiny rather than looking ahead with eyes of faith to what God desires to do and being content in Christ whatever our current circumstances may be – resting peacefully in God’s sovereignty.
If you are getting stuck on this journey – and caught up in all the things your husband is not doing for you and how disappointed you feel – let’s forget about your husband for a bit. (Unless you are not safe or have really serious issues and need to get out and get somewhere safe.) Let’s forget about whether he loves you or not. Let’s forget about his apparent motives. Let’s forget about what you can get from your husband and marriage and what he should do for you. Keep your eyes on Jesus, my dear sister! Listen to Him, follow Him, and obey Him!
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4
Other people’s feelings and motives are not that important on this journey. They are changeable and they are not the source of absolute truth. God is the source of absolute truth and His is ultimately in control. He can even use the evil intentions of others to accomplish His good purposes in our lives (see the story of Joseph beginning in Genesis 37). Thankfully, you are not dependent on your husband’s thoughts, words, or actions for you to become a godly wife. Your husband may be the source of some tests of your character. But he cannot keep you from becoming a godly woman or withhold God’s purposes from your life. He can’t stop God’s good plans for you or thwart God’s sovereignty in your life. Your husband is not sovereign. Feelings are not sovereign. Circumstances are not sovereign. God is sovereign! No one can take you out of God’s loving hands or separate you from His love for you!
This journey you are on is not really about your husband at all. Yes, he may be a beneficiary as God heals you. And yes, part of your obeying God will be to bless him – but this is all about your relationship with God and whether your sinful nature is in control or the Holy Spirit is in control of your life.
Your husband has his own journey to make. He will be accountable for every motive, every careless word, every thought, every deed. He will be accountable for his obedience to God’s Word for him as a man and as a husband. And we will be accountable for all of these things to God, as women and wives. (** See the bottom of the post for more about this.)
It is not wrong for a wife to desire for her husband to truly love her. It is not wrong for a husband to long for his wife to truly respect him. There is an expectation for reciprocity in the marriage covenant. Marriage should be a mutual effort and a beautiful interchange between two people who love and respect one another.
I don’t intend to say that wives should not want their husbands to love them. We should want this! Mutuality is a good thing.
My concern is that – it is easy for us to desire our husband’s love so much that we can desire it more than we desire Christ or we can desire it to the point that we are willing to sin to try to get what we want from our husbands. That is where I want us to be very cautious. It’s not that we don’t or shouldn’t want our husband’s love, but that we need to be careful where this desire is in our priorities. I hope that makes sense.
God wants you to have a strong marriage – He loves marriage!! But hear this closely:
Much more than you having a strong marriage, God wants you to desire Him, to know Him, and to look to Him alone to meet your needs. He wants your life to glorify Him.
God is never going to allow us to put our marriages, our husbands, our feelings, or anything or anyone else above Himself in our hearts. That is idolatry. If His having you go through a painful trial results in you growing in your faith and you making Him THE priority in your life and putting everything else WAY below Him – then this trial was worth it in God’s eyes. One day, it will be worth it in your eyes, too, my dear sister! You know the pain you have when your husband doesn’t want to spend time with you? That is a similar pain that God experiences when you brush Him off and don’t want to spend time with Him – except that His pain is much deeper.
If you are content in Christ – you are blessed and you get to have His overflowing peace and joy no matter what your husband does. He can give you the power and wisdom to be the woman and wife He wants you to be in every circumstance for His glory. Jesus truly is MORE than enough and more than sufficient for each of us. He will bring each of us through various trials where we get to learn this first hand.
Interestingly, when a wife is filled up with Christ and walking in obedience to God, God often uses this to draw her husband closer to Christ. This often eventually leads to healing for the marriage. BUT – even if it doesn’t, it is still more than worth it for each of us to be right with God.
I INVITE YOU TO PRAY WITH ME:
Open our eyes to the greatest purposes You have for our existence – to love You with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and to love others with Your love. Help us remember that following Christ is about taking up our cross, dying to our will and our wants, and living for Your will and Your glory. Help us focus on becoming the women You call us to be rather than what we can get out of our marriages. Draw us to Yourself. Greatly increase our faith. Make us women of fervent prayer! Fill us with Your Spirit. Cleanse us from all sin. Let us abide in You and be overflowing with Your Spirit. Regenerate our hearts. Renew our minds with Your Word. Cause us to rise to become a holy generation of women who are the salt and light of this world for Your glory! Use us mightily in Your kingdom, Father!
In the Name and power of Christ Jesus,
WE WILL STAND ACCOUNTABLE BEFORE GOD FOR OUR OWN LIVES:
When you stand before God and He judges the work you have done for His kingdom – you will stand there alone. Your husband won’t be there beside you.
This is not a group grade. We will have no excuses – we will be accountable to Him for our walk and our character. For believers, our work will be tested by fire. We will not go to hell for our sins, because Jesus died to pay for our sin and we received that gift, making Him Lord of our lives. When God looks at our “bank account” instead of the billions of sin dollars of debt we used to have, now we have Jesus’ perfectly holy and righteous account. But God will burn our works, the things we did for Him and how we lived – and if we built wisely, we will be rewarded for whatever survives the fire. If we did not build wisely, what we did will be burned up and we won’t have any rewards – we will narrowly escape with our lives (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
The point of all that I write about on this blog is to focus on your own journey, your spiritual growth, and your relationship with Christ. My goal is for Him to say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” to you when you stand before Him when this short life is over. This is all about you and God.