3 Secrets to Building Real-Life Romance in Your Marriage

man holding a bouquet of flowers

Real romance is all about selflessness, thoughtfulness, kindness, and generosity.

Sadly, we sometimes miss out on appreciating things that actually could be extremely romantic, if only we decided to look at them that way.

We are conditioned by our culture (and advertisers) to recognize certain specific things as romantic:

  • Flowers
  • Dinner out at a fancy restaurant
  • Pricey cards
  • A trip out of town
  • Diamonds
  • Jewelry

These things definitely can be romantic and very special treats that we can enjoy from our husbands, at times.

But the truth is, anything your husband does for you to benefit you, or your children, is a gift. And anything he does out of love, thoughtfulness, and consideration for you is special. Even if it is free.

If it costs him time, effort, energy, and/or money, he is generously extending love to you.

Don’t let his love go unnoticed, my dear sister!

SECRET #1 – APPRECIATION

Here’s a secret to experiencing greater romantic connection in your marriage:

Anytime your husband does something sweet for you—big or small— decide to receive his loving act toward you as something very romantic.

Because it is!

So if he does something loving like he:

  • Gives you a compliment.
  • Tries to cheer you up.
  • Brings in an income to help provide for your needs.
  • Fixes your car.
  • Runs to the store to get tissues and medicine when you are sick.
  • Stays home with the kids so you can do something to recharge.
  • Helps you with a chore.
  • Tries to protect you from harm in some way spiritually, financially, emotionally, or physically.
  • Invites you to go for a walk, or is willing to go for a walk with you when you ask him to.
  • Comes home to spend the evening with you instead of hanging out with friends or working late.
  • Chooses a movie he knows you’ll like or avoids one he knows you’ll hate.
  • Makes a sacrifice so you can have or do something important to you.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Smile! Let your face light up with delight.
  • Use a friendly tone of voice as much as possible.
  • Thank him with words and maybe a hug or kiss.
  • Appreciate his loving gesture and cherish it in your heart and mind.
  • Maybe even think about ways you could do something special for him that he would appreciate, too.

There is something extremely lovely and feminine about a wife graciously and joyfully receiving a gift her husband gives her. Your delight over what he did for you is a precious gift to him!

Romance in real life is found in appreciating the little things.

For they have refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.

1 Cor. 16:18

SECRET #2 – GRATITUDE

Attraction and real life romance need nurturing. They are much like a garden. You have to pull the weeds, water, provide sunlight, monitor the temperature, and fertilize at the right times.

If you focus on the good and on being thankful for the good things you notice in your husband, romance will naturally begin to grow.

Some proven ways to nurture real-life romance and attraction:

  • Focus on the things you respect and admire about your husband.
  • Keep an ongoing list of things for which you are grateful about your husband and about things he has done for you.
  • Speak positively about him to yourself, to others, and to him.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thess. 5:18

(There are times we need to address sin. But, in general, if there is not major unrepentant sin going on, we want to focus on the good things.)

SECRET #3 – SOFTNESS

One of the most attractive things about women, to our men, is our softness. Yes, we have soft, lovely curves, generally. But more than that, when we respond and act with feminine gentleness, softness, and openness, that is beautiful and magnetic to our men, too.

Another way to be soft is to be responsive. Be responsive and open to his words, his loving acts, his gifts, and even to his touch. Melt into him when he touches you.

We want to avoid a few things that kill our softness:

And we want to invite God to help us be empowered by the Spirit (Gal. 2:22-23) to be:

  • Peaceful.
  • Patient.
  • Joyful.
  • Kind.
  • Gentle.
  • Self-controlled.

These godly responses draw our men to us, make them feel more masculine and protective of us, and tend to increase the attraction and romance in our marriage over time.

When we seek romance and our own feelings first, we end up sabotaging real-life romance. But when we seek Christ first and seek to honor Him as we relate to our men, romance generally results as fruit from being properly cultivated.

But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet (or peaceful) spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

1 Pet. 3:4

When you are spiritually healthy, then you are able to provide the most conducive atmosphere for your marriage to thrive.

There are more secrets to building real-life romance and attraction in marriage, but let’s start with these. Then we can build from there.

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What (rated G) secrets have you learned about how to increase romance and attraction in a real life marriage? We’d love to hear your insights.

(Note, if you are on the home page, you may need to click on the title of the post to go to the individual post’s page. Then you can scroll down to the comment box and search bar.)

Much love! <3

RESOURCES

NOTE – If you are facing severe issues in your marriage like uncontrolled mental health issues, abuse, violence, major addictions, etc… please seek experienced, trustworthy, godly help from a counselor, the police, a doctor, or whoever is appropriate. My posts are not written specifically for wives in extreme situations like this.

Does God Really Have One Specific “Soul Mate” for You?

bride and groom holding hands

You know how the movies and books go, they often describe how a man and woman magically find each other out of all of the billions of people in the world, and they instantly know that they were destined for each other.

Sparks fly. Fireworks erupt. The world stands still.

They know that they are meant to be soul mates, and that they will complete each other and fulfill each other like no one else ever could. They just know they will be completely perfect for each other. Together, they will have unending bliss in this lifetime. They will feel totally in love every moment of every day. Infatuation will never end for them.

They won’t even have to work at nurturing the romance. It just magically happens without effort or problems.

A lot of us believe this idea.

But is this worldly idea of one perfect soulmate in all the world for each of us biblical?

There are four areas I want to address with this issue:

  1. Is there actually a person who can completely fulfill us, never disappoint us, give us total security, peace, joy, eternal happiness, and perfection?
  2. What kinds of fruit does the soul mate idea bear?
  3. What does the Bible say?
  4. What does the Bible not say?

The truth is, there is no perfect human

There is no completely flawless human soul mate who will never hurt us, always completely understand us like Hollywood portrays, and who can meet our deepest spiritual and emotional needs every second of every day forever.

  • For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23

If we try to put a man on the throne of our hearts like this, we are making him into an idol. The problem with idolatry is, it always destroys us and it always destroys the relationship we have with the person we idolize. (Another way of describing this kind of relationship would be “codependent.”)

  • It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. Ps. 118:8
  • Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord… Jer. 17:5-6

Once we marry a man, that person is to be our spouse for life. We are to work on that relationship and nurture it out of love and honor for God and for the marriage covenant and our husband.

Marriage is a good gift. It is a blessing. God intends for each marriage to portray a living picture of the gospel (Eph. 5:22-33).

But marriage is also hard. There are difficulties. This doesn’t mean we abandon our marriage covenant. Check out what the Bible says about divorce.

But there is a perfect God who can fulfill us

What we really need is Jesus. We need the perfect Creator of the universe, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of lords, the Great Physician, the Good Shepherd, the Heavenly Bride Groom. He is the only one who can meet our deepest spiritual needs all the time. He is the only one who will never fail us, disappoint us, or leave us.

If we have Him, we have the Greatest Treasure in all the universe!

  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5-6
  • Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jer. 17:7-8
  • For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jer. 2:13
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matt. 22:36-40

In Him, we truly can have absolute security, peace, joy, contentment, fulfillment, purpose, and our identity.

The problem with the world’s soul mate idea

When we have a mindset that a person can take the place of all that only Jesus can do for us, when we depend on a human man to be our soul mate, this is what happens:

  • We marry a man we idolize, with all these unrealistic expectations and then realize that he is not perfect. Even if he is a strong Christian, he sins and stumbles at times. And we are shocked and appalled. We begin to resent him and disrespect him.
  • We assume that we married the wrong person and we need to divorce this guy and find our real soul mate so we can be happy. We are angry at God for allowing us to marry a man who is not the soul mate we wanted more than anything.
  • With the soul mate mindset, our primary hope is in a flawed human being, not in Christ.
  • Our goal is our own momentary happiness (which is one of the greatest idols in our culture) rather than holiness or exalting Jesus above all and seeking His glory above everything else.
  • The marriage covenant and God’s commands for us as believers and as spouses become secondary to our feelings and desire for Hollywood style romance.

I believe this kind of soul mate concept is very dangerous to our marriages.

In reality, any Christian man we marry is not going to be perfect. And any Christian woman a man marries is flawed, as well. That includes us! We will have plenty of opportunities to give and receive grace, forgiveness, mercy, and unconditional love and respect. We all have a steep learning curve in marriage. And we all need the power and wisdom of God’s Spirit to build a strong, godly marriage.

What should happen when we realize our spouse is not perfect, is—it should remind us that only Jesus can truly meet our every spiritual need. And it should remind us of our own sin and how much we are completely dependent on Christ because on our own, none of us have any good in us. And it should also make us remember that the only one we can completely trust to be faithful all the time is Jesus.

What does the Bible say?

Is there only one man for you out there? One specific man that you have to find among the billions of others?

  • Well, for Adam and Eve, there was definitely only one potential spouse for them. It was pretty obvious who God’s will was for them to marry!
  • And for Eleazer, who was looking for a wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac, he did pray for God to show him the wife He wanted for Isaac and God answered his prayer. (Although, Rebecca was certainly not perfect.) We can certainly pray for God to lead us to a godly spouse.

But for us as followers of Christ, what are the qualifications we need to have for choosing a spouse?

  • A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 1 Cor. 7:39
  • Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? I Cor. 6:14

So really, the main thing is, we are to choose someone who is committed to living for Jesus. The rest is pretty much up to us.

In biblical times, most marriages were arranged. Sometimes the spouses didn’t even meet before the wedding. Or they were betrothed from infancy. There was no dating like we know in our culture.

Of course, for those who are already married to an unbeliever, God’s will is for them to stay with that spouse if possible and seek to influence the other one for Christ.

What does the Bible not say?

There are no verses that say things like:

  • Seek the one true love that God has for you among all of the other people in the world. Don’t marry anyone but him. If you marry some other Christian man, you are doomed to misery forever.
  • There is only one man for you that is perfect for you. Pray for God to help you find him. If you can’t find him, God can’t do anything of value with your life.
  • If you realize you married someone who is not perfect for you, divorce him and search the world for your real God-given soul mate so that you can be happy.

God’s will is for us, as Christian women, is for us to remain single and completely devoted to Christ or for us to marry a believing husband and remain completely devoted to Christ and faithful to our marriage covenant.

Did you know that we will not be married to our human husbands in heaven? Marriage is temporary for this lifetime. In heaven, all of the members of the Body of Christ make up the Bride of Christ and Jesus is the Bride Groom. We will celebrate the marriage supper of the Lamb together and be one in Spirit eternally together with Jesus. Earthly marriage is just a temporary picture that foreshadows heaven.

Again, only Jesus can promise happily ever after in heaven. There is no 100% happily ever after on earth. In fact, Scripture promises that on earth, and in earthly marriage, there will be trials.

  • those who marry will face many troubles in this life, 1 Cor. 6:28

But here is our hope in Jesus:

  • I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

FOR A HEALTHIER WAY TO VIEW THE CONCEPT OF SOUL MATES, please check out this post by www.gotquestions.org.

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How has the soul mate concept impacted you? Has it been helpful or hurtful? What scriptural support do you find for your beliefs on this issue?

(If you can’t see the comment space below, click on the title at the top of the post and then scroll down to the bottom of the post.)

Much love! <3

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Oneness in Marriage (overcoming codependency)

Closeness in Marriage Is Not What I Expected – by A Fellow Wife (also about overcoming codependency)

Do You Want to be the Greatest in God’s Eyes?

Very dirty feet

Greatness in Jesus’ economy is totally the opposite of everything worldly wisdom holds dear.

The Secret to Greatness

Jesus had two disciples, brothers, who wanted to be the greatest in Jesus’ kingdom. They wanted the right to get to sit at His right (the position of greatest honor) and His left (the second greatest position of honor).

Jesus shared this shocking news with them:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matt. 20:25-28

The greatest in His kingdom is humble, not proud.

Pride says things like:

  • I know better than God or anyone.
  • My wisdom is unparalleled.
  • I am equal to or greater than God.
  • I am so important.
  • I deserve the best.
  • I deserve to be greatly exalted and praised.
  • People and God should do my will.

Humility says things like:

  • God knows better than I do. His wisdom is much higher than mine.
  • God alone is sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent, completely holy, perfect, good, loving, just, kind, and righteous. He alone is worthy of worship. I am not.
  • God, His will, His kingdom, and His glory are the most important things.
  • I don’t deserve good things because I don’t have any merit on my own, but I am so grateful for all of the good blessings I have in Jesus.
  • Treating others well is more important than me getting my way.
  • I yield my will to God’s will.
  • I choose to honor, praise, and exalt God, not myself.
  • I am God’s servant, ready to do anything He asks of me.
  • I am willing to serve others the way Jesus came to serve me.

THE FOOT-WASHING WAY

Jesus, who is God in the flesh, the Creator of the universe, humbled Himself and washed His disciples dirty, smelly, extremely dusty feet. He took on the job of the lowest slave to set an example of the kind of leadership and greatness He desires in His kingdom (John 13:3-17).

The one who is the greatest in Jesus’ eyes is the most servant-hearted. God exalts those who do not exalt themselves and do not seek honor, power, and glory for themselves.

“Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.” 

― Andrew Murray, Humility

God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.

James 4:6

This is true in ministry, it is true in business, it is true in church. And it is true in Christian marriage. For both husbands and wives.

Sometimes, women don’t like the role God assigns to wives in marriage. Some would have us believe that “women are slighted in God’s plan” because they believe leaders are “more important” and they want to be the most important.

However, if we truly understood the accountability, sacrifice, cost, and expectations God has for leaders, we may not be so quick to demand that position for ourselves. Especially if we understood all the ways in which all people are equally loved and valued by God and that value has nothing to do with position or authority levels in His kingdom.

If any of us (male or female) wants to have “the most power” in our human relationships for our own selfish purposes, we have missed the entire point of the example of Jesus.

To live the Christian life (for a man or woman) is to die to our sinful nature and self, it is to forsake our pride, and it is to yield humbly and absolutely to the Lordship of Jesus.

Living for Jesus is a clear call to joyful servanthood

The Gospel

As a sinner— if we want to talk about what I really deserve, it is hell. But Jesus had great mercy on me. He came to save me from hell and from my sin. He took away the condemnation I earned and deserved, if I have trusted Jesus as my Savior and Lord (please read here for how you can have a saving relationship with Jesus). And He has given me every spiritual treasure He possesses. It’s crazy!

  • He takes on my astronomical sin debt and pays it all in full.
  • Then He gives me total access to His overflowing spiritual bank account.

He has graciously given me all of His righteousness, goodness, and right standing with God. He has provided for my every spiritual need and for my every need now and in eternity. He gives me a new Spirit and nature. A new identity in Him. Greater love than I have ever known. He has already seated me in heavenly places with Him and even given me some of His authority to participate in the honor of bringing His will into reality on earth.

If only we could grasp even a fraction of these incredible truths!

Knowing Jesus Brings Contentment to My Heart

If I understand who I really am and who Jesus is and what He has done for me, I can be more than content serving any role He has for me in this world, as long as I get to be close to Him. I want to serve Him! Out of overflowing gratitude and love, not out of duty or drudgery.

What does it matter to me if I live in obscurity or in a position of worldly influence and power as long as I have Him?

All of my life is for His glory and His purposes now, not for myself!

If Jesus is my Lord, I will be willing and eager to serve in any capacity He has prepared for me. Whatever that may be. My only goal is to use the gifts and opportunities He has given me to exalt Him and bless and love others. I want to let Him bear much fruit in and through me. I long for His will, not mine.

If I am fully yielded to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, no one can steal the blessings and spiritual treasures and miracles God has for me. If I choose to live by faith in Jesus, no weapon formed against me shall prosper and God will open the floodgates of heaven to accomplish all he wants to do in and through me.

The Lord Calls All Christians to Servanthood, Dying to Self, and Sacrifice

Ultimately, in marriage and in the Body of Christ, we are all called to humbly serve and love God and others. Leaders are simply called to go an “extra mile,” sacrificing themselves all the more and using their strength, position, and power for the good of those in their care.

That is why we are to respect them and cooperate with them, (but never follow anyone into sin), to make their job to honor the Lord easier, not harder. And that is why we are to use our influence authority for good, not to try to lead them astray or trip them up.

Honestly, all of us are called to be leaders of some type, as believers in God’s kingdom. Maybe we are moms, mentors, leaders at work, or maybe we have ministries for the Lord. All of us have positions of influence or authority somewhere, although the exact positions may be different. All of us have spiritual gifts to bless the Body of Christ.

Equal Value but Different Roles and Gifts

We don’t all have access to every possible leadership position or spiritual gift. But we all have total access to every good gift God has provided for us specifically and for believers in general.

Each of us is valued and loved equally. But we have different roles and gifts!

We cannot all be the eye. We are not all the foot. We are not all the right hand. God gives each of us certain gifts, according to His wisdom, for us to use to bless everyone else (1 Corinthians 12). He arranges all the parts as He desires them to be. We all need each other! And each of us have important roles to fulfill that will bring glory to Jesus and the kingdom, not to ourselves.

Greatness Is Available to Each of Us!

Servanthood doesn’t mean we become people pleasers, it means we become God pleasers.

All of us have the ability to seek greatness in Christ as we humble ourselves and empty ourselves of self, allowing God to fill us up to overflowing with Himself. There is no limit to what God is willing to do through a completely yielded vessel who is willing to take on a Spirit of servanthood just like Jesus did in Philippians 2:1-11!

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Does this concept surprise you? If so, how?

What has God shown you about the blessing and honor of servanthood and humility?

How has it impacted your marriage or other relationships for good?

NOTE – if you can’t access the comment box, please click on the blog title at the top of the post and you should be able to see the comment box at the bottom of the post, and the search bar, too.

RELATED

Bible verses about servanthood

What Was the Significance of Jesus Washing the Disciples’ Feet? by www.gotquestions.org

What Is the Biblical Pattern of Church Leadership? by www.gotquestions.org

What Are the Qualifications of Elders and Deacons? by www.gotquestions.org

The Danvers Statement

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem

Want to Grow Real Romance and Attraction in Your Marriage?

Silloette of man kissing a woman's hand

We all want strong marriages. We all want husbands who treat us like queens. We want to know we are loved and cherished deeply by our men.

Our men want strong marriages, as well. They want to feel like our heroes and know that we admire, love, and desire them. Deep down, most men are romantics, too. Even if it may not be exactly the way that Hollywood portrays.

What choices do we have to try to help boost the romance and attraction in our marriages if things have gotten off track? And even more importantly, what actually works?

OUR CULTURE’S DESIGN

The world sends us so many messages about how to have the romance we long for. We hear messages like:

  • If you are beautiful, thin, and sexy enough
  • If he is rich, smart, and handsome enough
  • If you are in the right circumstances and environment
  • If he does everything you want
  • If you get to go to fancy and expensive restaurants, hotels, and trips
  • If you happened to get lucky enough to be with your one true “soul mate

THEN…

Romance and attraction magically happen. You have no control or influence over it. You just passively enjoy the ride and it should last forever.

You really don’t have to invest anything into it or work on things on your end to nurture the relationship. Your personal feeling of happiness, feeling loved, and feeling romance from your husband are the most important things in the marriage.

It is your husband’s job to make sure you are happy. If you are not happy, it is his fault and he is the only one who needs to change anything to fix it. Some would even say that your personal happiness, at any given moment, is the most important thing in life.

If the feelings dry up, it means you just didn’t find the “perfect person” who could most fulfill you and you need to try to find that person.

GOD’S DESIGN

**News flash** There is no perfect man on earth! And there is no perfect woman, either. Jesus, alone, is perfect. He alone can meet the deepest needs of our souls. No human spouse can do what He can do for us.

However, God knows the ingredients necessary for attraction and romance in marriage. He designed the whole thing! Interestingly, the commands and roles He gives us as husbands and wives also tend to bless us in the area or attraction and romance, over time.

I am my beloved’s,
    and his desire is for me.

Song of Solomon 7:10

We are not talking about infatuation that fades away over time. This is about genuine love, respect, honor, unity, and lasting romantic attraction in a lifelong faithful marriage covenant.

Interestingly, most of us intuitively follow God’s design when we are dating or courting and our romance seemed to just grow and grow effortlessly.

But then, as we are married for awhile, we tend to begin to slip and let things go that we used to do to bless our spouse. Pressures and everyday stresses creep in. And things change.

Thankfully, if a wife courageously begins to honor God’s path and prescription for her end of the marriage, romance and attraction tend to begin to blossom again and deepen over time. Sometimes dramatically.

I’ve seen it happen many times. It has happened in my own marriage, as well.

When God gives us instructions, it is out of His love for us and His desire for our long-term wellbeing individually and in the marriage.

The way we treat each other in marriage is always either moving toward greater oneness and unity or toward greater division and disunity. Our attitudes, thoughts, motives, words, and actions either speak life to the relationship or they speak death to it.

This really isn’t magical or mysterious.

Cultivating romance and attraction in a godly marriage is much like cultivating a garden. We must chase away “the little foxes,” tear out the nasty weeds, apply fertilizer, water well, and give the plants plenty of sunshine and nourishment.

Catch the foxes for us,
    the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
    for our vineyards are in blossom.

Song of Solomon 2:15

Briefly, here is how it works:

FOR MEN (who are remotely emotionally/spiritually healthy)

When husbands:

  • Embrace godly masculinity
  • Feel manly and feel their wives are feminine
  • Feel genuinely respected and admired by their wives
  • Know their wives genuinely trust them to lead, protective, and provide for them and their families
  • Think positive things about their wives and cultivate gratitude about them
  • Feel safe with their wives in every way
  • Are generous, chivalrous, loving, and selfless with their wives
  • Put Christ first in their hearts and don’t idolize themselves or their wives

FOR WOMEN (who are remotely emotionally/spiritually healthy)

When Wives:

  • Embrace godly femininity
  • Feel feminine and feel their husbands are masculine
  • Nurture real respect for their husbands and try to avoid disrespect
  • Feel protected, loved, and cherished by their husbands
  • Think positive things about their husbands and cultivate gratitude
  • Feel safe and secure with their husbands in every way
  • Are open to receiving graciously from their husbands in many ways
  • Put Christ first in their hearts and don’t idolize themselves or their husbands

>>>THEN: ROMANCE AND ATTRACTION SLOWLY BEGIN TO GROW AND THRIVE.

This works best when both spouses are helping to purposely tend the relationship, but even if only one spouse is working on the marriage, he/she may be able to begin to turn things around with God’s power and wisdom.

Boosting Attraction:

There are a few other things we could add that can help boost attraction:

  • Good hygiene is super helpful in increasing attractiveness.
  • Being good stewards of our bodies, nutrition, and exercise shows our spouse we care about them by taking good care of ourselves in a responsible way.
  • Considering our spouse’s preferences in our hair and clothing styles (if he is not asking us to clearly sin).
  • Smiling and being friendly and pleasant do wonders.
  • Be polite, use good manners.
  • Treat each other with honor, respect, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 kind of love.
  • Be quick to apologize for any wrongs you commit.
  • Be humble and quick to listen and to try to understand the other person.
  • Develop a constructive, healthy sense of humor.
  • Enjoy each other. Take time to laugh and have fun.

ROMANCE AND ATTRACTION ARE FRUIT IN THE GARDEN

Here’s an important secret:

Romance and attraction don’t come first.

First comes all of the cultivating, weeding, and tending to the garden well. Romance and attraction are the fruit that comes later.

Ultimately, we tend the garden well out of love and honor for Christ as our primary goal. If we try to make romance and attraction the main thing, we end up idolizing it. And whenever we idolize something, (meaning we desire it much more than we desire Christ), we destroy it. Or it destroys us.

It is the same with contentment, peace, and joy. Or lasting happiness. You don’t find these things by seeking them above all else. You find them by seeking Jesus above all else.

DESTROYING ROMANCE AND ATTRACTION

This is very simple. All we have to do is the opposite of the things God commands us to do to make our marriages strong to destroy romance and attraction over time.

  • Hold onto bitterness, grudges, sinful anger, and resentment.
  • Think terrible things about each other.
  • Look for security, identity, and purpose from someone or something other than Christ.
  • Assume the absolute worst.
  • Freak out often.
  • Have a negative attitude about your spouse.
  • Reverse the roles God assigned to each of you or make up your own roles.
  • Boss your husband around or go totally passive and give up your personhood.
  • Be unkind, unloving, mean, and hateful.
  • Argue and fight.
  • Let little issues become more important than how you treat each other or your marriage covenant.
  • Stop respecting each other.
  • Don’t forgive each other.
  • Ignore each other.
  • Begin to nurture emotional intimacy with someone outside of the marriage.
  • Indulge in fantasies about other people, even rated G ones that are just about emotional connection.
  • Be obsessed with and idolize each other.
  • Disrespect yourself.
  • Expect your spouse to be responsible for your happiness.

GREAT NEWS

Believers in Christ can and should have the strongest romance and most amazing attraction of any marriages in the world because we have God’s design at our fingertips and we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us live it out in real life. Yes, even when things are difficult.

The attraction and romance in marriage are a living picture of the way Christ relates to the church.

  • He is so strong and powerful, yet gentle with her.
  • She is much weaker and more delicate.
  • He leads her selflessly, sacrificially, lovingly, always looking out for her best interests.
  • She follows him with adoration, devotion, faith, and respect.
  • He generously and graciously protects and provides for her.
  • She openly receives with gratitude and joy.
  • They enjoy being with each other and delight in each other’s presence.

God even designed the physical one-flesh relationship of marriage to be a picture of the spiritual one Spirit relationship between Jesus and the church.

For more, check out “The Purpose of Marriage.”

WARNING: THIS IS DANGEROUS INFORMATION I AM SHARING, LADIES!

When God provided us with instructions for marriage, He gave us extremely insightful information about how to create and sustain romance and attraction between men and women.

It is critical that we commit to only apply these powerful insights in our marriages and in legitimate ways.

The truth is: a woman’s genuine respect and admiration do work on other men, too. Especially in our culture where there is quite a famine of respect for men.

So it is critical that we consciously avoid misusing our feminine powers. I’m trusting you, sweet sisters! Use these God-given super powers only in the proper parameters.

Vow to keep your “respect knob” and admiration turned down a lot with other guys. But keep it turned way up with your husband!

NOTE ABOUT SEVERE ISSUES— If you are facing really extreme difficulties in your marriage, infidelity, abuse, uncontrolled mental illness, major addictions, etc… you may not be dealing with a spouse who is emotionally/spiritually healthy. Please seek trusted counseling from someone who is spiritually mature in Christ and who can wisely help you navigate the serious issues in your marriage and in your life. Also, if you need help from a doctor, the police, or other professionals, please reach out for the help you need.

SHARE

What kinds of things of general things (G-rated, please) have you seen that help to build up romance and attraction in marriage?

Have you tried God’s way in your own marriage? We’d love to hear about it!

NOTE – if you can’t see the comment bar or search bar, please click on the title of this post and you should be able to access it there. Thanks!

RESOURCES

What’s the Meaning of the Foxes in Song of Solomon 2:15 by www.gotquestions.org

What Does It Mean to Be One Flesh in a Marriage? by www.gotquestions.org

A Metaphor of Christ and the Church – by www.desiringgod.org

Oneness in Marriage—Not Too Close and Not Too Far Away

Let’s Talk about Sex!

What If My Husband Is Not Physically Attracted to Me? Guest Post

Is It Possible to Marry the Wrong Person? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about the Role of a Husband?

happy husband looking at bride

Ladies,

I laid the groundwork for this entire discussion in the posts, “Are Men and Women Equal?” and “What Does the Bible Say about the Role of a Wife?

As I mentioned in those previous posts, there are many ways in which women and men are equal in the kingdom of God. God equally loves all of His precious children—sons and daughters.

We have:

  • Equal access to salvation.
  • Equal adoption into the family of God through Jesus and His work on the cross and our faith in His gift.
  • Equal access to God and prayer through Jesus.
  • Equal access to the promises, power, and Word of God through Jesus.
  • Equal status as joint-heirs in Christ through His finished work on our behalf.

But men and women are not the same. We are not identical or interchangeable.

We have different roles, functions, and types of authority in the church and family. This is a good thing.

God’s purpose for our differences is that is a man and woman might display a living picture of the gospel in the way they relate to each other in marriage. (Eph. 5:22-33)

  • The husband is to represent the strong, selfless, humble, loving leadership and sacrifice of Christ Jesus for His bride, the church.
  • The wife is to represent the respect, honor, faith, love, and cooperative spirit that the church has for Christ.

Today, let’s take a look at the role of a husband in Scripture. Again, we must be willing to look at this subject in the context of the bigger picture of:

All believers are called to holiness and to God’s high standard to:

  • Love God far above anyone or anything else, the Greatest Commandment—Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matt. 22:37)
  • Be Spirit-filled in all of our interactions with others—the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Gal. 5:22-23
  • Refuse to harm othersLove does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Rom. 10:13)
  • Love all people, the second greatest commandment—Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:39)
  • Love with God’s supernatural loveLove is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  (1 Cor. 13:4-7)
  • Treat all people with honor and godly respectHonor one another above yourselves. (Rom. 12:10)

The Role of a Husband in Scripture

I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:17-18  🕊

I am sharing this information for the sake of balance and the big picture. But the only One who can really always be all the perfect Husband to us is Jesus. Our husbands may fail us, and we may fail them, at times, too. But Jesus will never fail us.

CAUTION – For some wives, it can be upsetting to read about what a husband’s ideal roles are supposed to look like. If you know the basic role a husband is supposed to perform, and you know that it will upset you to read it, it is okay to skip the rest of this post.

I know for me, especially in the early years of my journey to become a more peaceful, godly wife, it was better for me to focus completely on what God called me to do. If I read about what husbands should do, I always wanted to try to focus on making my husband fulfill all of his roles, but that is not my job.

My job is to allow the Lord to transform me and to empower me to be the woman He calls me to be.

I want to simply present what Scripture says about a godly husband’s general role to get a broad overview of this topic directly from the Bible.

  1. A husband leaves his parents and clings to his wife and they are no longer two but one flesh, joined together by God. Nothing but death is supposed to separate them. They are united in a holy covenant. (Gen. 2:23-24, Mark 10:6-9)
  2. He has loving God-given authority (leadership) to humbly lead his wife according to God’s will. He never uses his strength to harm his wife. He uses his strength for her benefit: to provide for his wife, protect her, nourish her, and care for her— financially, spiritually, physically, etc… He does what is best for her (and their family) in God’s eyes, even if it is costly to him. (Gen. 2:23, Gen. 2:16-17, Eph.5:22-33, 1 Tim. 5:8)
  3. Godly leadership, in any arena in life (family, church, government, or community), is about servanthood, Christlikeness, dying to self, and seeking God’s will and His glory above all else. (Luke 22:25-27, Luke 22:42)
  4. He blesses and praises the good in his wife. (Prov. 31:28-31)
  5. He loves his wife in the power of God’s Spirit (with God’s agape love – 1 Cor. 13:4-8) and is not harsh with her. (Col. 3:19)
  6. He loves his wife with the same self-sacrificing love that Jesus has for His church in the way He gave Himself up for her. He loves his wife and cares for her as he does his own body. (Eph. 5:25, 28)
  7. A husband enjoys life with his wife even when life in this world is tough. (Eccl. 9:9)
  8. He humbly yields himself fully to the Lordship of Jesus and honors God’s spiritual chain of command in the family: God>Christ>husband>wife>underage children. He values his wife and family the way God does and wants to take the best care of them, knowing he answers to God for what he thinks, says, and does. He knows that only someone who is committed to absolute submission to the loving authority of Christ is truly equipped to lead well. He knows that that godly leadership is never about selfishness, abuse, or trying to control others. He seeks to love, lead by example, and point his wife and family to God’s way of Life and His wisdom. (1 Cor. 11:3Eph. 6:1)
  9. A husband is faithful to his wife and their marriage covenant, not cheating on her, not divorcing her, and not abandoning her. He does this out of reverence for the Lord and a commitment to his marriage covenant so that God will listen to his prayers and his children can be godly. His greatest loyalty is to God first. (Mal. 2:14-16)
  10. He does not look at another woman lustfully in his heart. (Matt. 5:28,)
  11. He honors the marriage bed and keeps it undefiled. (Heb. 13:4)
  12. He does not divorce his wife, except possibly if she breaks the marriage covenant in some way. (Matt. 5:32, 1 Cor. 7:10-11)
  13. He selflessly and generously gives his wife her conjugal rights (if his wife is not breaking their marriage covenant), meaning, he seeks to be available to her sexually whenever he possibly can. (1 Cor. 7:3)
  14. He lives with his wife in an understanding way, treating her with honor so that his prayers may not be hindered. (1 Pet. 3:7)
  15. He stays with and loves his wife, even if she is an unbeliever if she is willing to stay and is not breaking the marriage covenant. He prays that he might lead her to Christ with his love and godly example. (1 Cor. 7:12-16)
  16. A husband rejoices in his own wife, in his own marriage, in his wife’s body, and in their sexual intimacy alone. (Prov. 5:15-19)

Just a note—all of us, men and women, need the Holy Spirit’s power to help us be the people, spouses, parents, and everything that God calls us to be. None of us can meet these holy, perfect standards in our own strength. In our own power, we all fall short.

It all comes down to a willingness to yield ourselves completely to the Lordship of Christ.

We all need Jesus and His power to do anything He calls us to do!

God can use His glorious design for marriage to help us see how far we fall from His holy standard and how much we are dependent on Him. He can even use our spouse’s sins and annoying habits to help conform us to the image of Christ, which is His ultimate goal for His children.

Thankfully, whether a spouse is seeking to honor Christ or not, no one can stop us from deciding we are going to follow Christ and we are going to let Him transform and empower us to obey Him.

I’m so thankful that God uses ALL THINGS for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). His good purpose for us is to make us more and more like Jesus, that we might bring great glory to Him and bring many into the kingdom (Rom. 8:29).

For more resources about a husband’s biblical role, please check out the list below. Please—always “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1) of any author’s teaching, including mine, against the sound doctrine of the Bible.

NOTE— Ladies, if your husband doesn’t look exactly like Jesus right now, don’t be discouraged! None of us will look exactly like Jesus until we reach heaven.

Invite God to transform you into the woman and wife He calls you to be, that you might be a godly influence on your husband. Humble yourself and ask God to help you understand and do things His way.

Invite God to transform and empower your husband to become the man God desires him to be. Yield fully to God’s design and His calling for your life, no matter what your husband may choose to do, and you will be amazed at the power and love of God to do miracles in your life.

How to Influence an Unbelieving Husband for Christ

Much love in Christ!

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If you have read both the husband and wife’s role, what do you think? Who has the toughest shoes to fill? Or is it a tie?

What is easier to get excited about, what God calls your husband to do or what He calls you to do?

How does God’s design picture portray the gospel in tangible ways?

How does the picture of their parents’ godly marriage help children come to trust Jesus as Savior and Lord?

RESOURCES

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

What Does It Mean to Be a Godly Husband? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about Being a Christian Husband? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about Husbands? by www.openbible.info (list of verses)

What Are the Roles for Husband and Wife in a Family? by www.gotquestions.org

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem

Is Christian Submission Only for Wives? by Peaceful Wife

Articles on Husbands by www.desiringgod.org

The Secret to Greatness in God’s Kingdom

The Qualities of a Godly Mate by www.bible.org (scroll way down to find husband at the bottom)

God Empowers a Husband to Face a Fierce Storm

Are Men and Women Equal in God’s Eyes? by www.gotquestions.org

**1050 New Testament Commands for believers in Christ (I am endorsing this particular list because it was the most comprehensive one I could find, however I have not had time to research the rest of the site.) by CAI.

ABUSE IS ALWAYS SIN and NEVER GOD’S DESIGN

What Does the Bible Say about Verbal Abuse? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about Emotional Abuse? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about Abuse? by www.gotquestions.org

What Is a Biblical Perspective on Domestic Violence? by www.gotquestions.org

Desiringgod.org posts on Abuse

What Does the Bible Say about the Role of a Wife?

bride and groom under her wedding veil

We humans have a tendency to err toward the extremes, veering to the left or to the right.

1. We want to be licentious and ignore what God’s Word says and just do whatever we want to do whenever we feel like it or pick and choose what we want to obey. That is dangerous.
2. We want to be legalistic and add tons of manmade rules and our own personal convictions and try to make everyone follow our checklists. That is oppressive.

Both of those extremes are hurtful to men, women, marriage, children, family, the church, and society.

When we exalt our wisdom and ourselves as greater than God and His wisdom, we get ourselves into trouble very quickly.

Let’s abandon our pride and humble ourselves, seeking to understand God’s loving heart for us all.

We Are Equally Loved and Valued

People (men, women, and children) have value because God created us in His image (Gen. 1:27) and because He loves us all (John 3:16). He loves us because He IS love (1 John 4:8).

We all have value because Jesus died for us to make a way for us to be right with God and to have eternal life.

To read about the many ways men and women have spiritual equality in Christ as fellow believers and joint-heirs, please check out this post.

We Are Not the Same

We have equal worth and value as people. We are equally loved, but…

Husbands and wives are not identical. Masculinity and femininity are not interchangeable in God’s good design.

We have different roles, responsibilities, and types of authority.

But we have the same purpose!

Our differences and different roles allow us to display a living parable of the gospel! (Eph. 5:22-33)

  • The husband is to represent a picture of the selfless, humble, sacrificial love of Christ for His beloved Church.
  • The wife is to represent a picture of the love, respect, adoration, faith, and trust of the Church for her beloved Christ.

God gives us some parameters for our benefit and protection. He also invites each of us to participate in accomplishing the purposes and mission of His Kingdom—to help bring many to Christ. But there is also space in which we can breathe and have plenty of room to uniquely live, love, and enjoy fellowship with Him and with others.

God’s commands are not burdensome. They are life-giving and fulfilling!

We will focus on the wife’s role today and the husband’s role in a future post. Thanks for understanding.

The Role of the Wife in Scripture

God’s design for wives, husbands, marriage, and family transcends culture, place, and time.

I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:17-18  🕊

Perhaps we can seek to leave our preconceived notions at the door and simply look at what the Bible has to say about the role of a wife without adding to it or subtracting from it. Let’s invite God to help us build our lives and basic understanding of these important concepts on His Word alone.

As we think about the role of a wife or husband, it is always important to keep our understanding of marriage roles grounded in the much wider context of:

If we take one or two verses and focus only on those and ignore the rest of scripture, we will invariably be in error. We want to prayerfully consider all that Scripture has to say about this—and every— topic.

Also if we choose to reject certain verses, deciding we know better than God, or that we can ignore things we don’t like or agree with, we will end up veering into dangerous territory.

Let’s try to take the whole of Scripture on this topic.

What Does the Bible Say about Wives?

I am attempting to include just about every relevant verse about a godly wife’s general role. I want to get a broad overview of this topic from all of Scripture to give us the wide-angle view.

  1. A wife is a helpmeet to her husband. This means she is a companion, a compliment, and a blessing to him. She lives in harmony together with him. (Gen. 2:18)
  2. A wise wife builds her home and marriage and doesn’t tear it down with her words, attitudes, and actions. (Prov. 14:1)
  3. She is not quarrelsome or fretful. (Prov. 21:19)
  4. She does her husband good and not evil all the days of her lives. (Prov. 31:12)
  5. An excellent wife is very rare and extremely precious. Her husband can trust her. (Prov. 31:10-11)
  6. She is industrious at home and savvy and profitable in her business dealings. She is not lazy. She provides for many of the physical needs of her household. (Prov. 31:13-19)
  7. She cares for the poor. (Prov. 31:20)
  8. She is a woman of strength and dignity. She is not afraid or worried about the future because she has planned ahead and provided for many of her family’s current and future needs. (Prov. 31:25)
  9. She fears the Lord. (Prov. 31:30)
  10. She speaks and teaches with kindness and wisdom and provides for the spiritual instruction of her children. (Prov. 31:26)
  11. A wise, understanding and sensible wife is a gift from the Lord to her husband. (Prov. 19:14)
  12. A wife honors her husband’s God-given leadership out of reverence for and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. (There are limits to a husband’s leadership just like there are limits to any human authority in our lives. He may not lead her into sin and he may not seek to harm or abuse her.) (Eph. 5:22-33)
  13. A wife respects her husband as a man and as the God-given leader in her marriage covenant. (Eph. 5:33) She can’t respect sin; in fact, she may need to confront sin appropriately and stand against mistreatment or abuse of herself or her children. But she is to approach her husband with genuine respect for the good in him and for the responsibility he carries to lead the family before God. She does this because Christ deserves her reverence and obedience and to avoid maligning the gospel. (Titus 2:3-5)
  14. A wife understands her power of influence and uses her incredible power for good and for promoting God’s will in the marriage. (Think of the bad examples of Eve and Jezebel and the good examples of Esther and Mary, etc…)
  15. It is her conduct, attitude, and godliness, not so much her words, which can most powerfully win over a husband who is far from Christ. (I Peter. 3:1)
  16. A wife is willing to selflessly give of herself sexually to her husband if she is able, unless he is breaking the marriage covenant in some way, they are apart, or she is sick or in pain. (Yes, the reverse is true, as well. Both spouses are to be selfless and generous with the other. We’ll get to husbands in the next post, don’t worry!) (I Cor. 7:1-5)
  17. She honors the spiritual chain of command in marriage by God’s design that everyone is to honor out of reverence for the Lord: God>Christ>husband>wife>underage children. (1 Cor. 11:3, Eph. 6:1)
  18. A wife loves her husband and children, honors her husband’s leadership, and seeks to be “self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind.” (Titus 2:5)
  19. She focuses on her own home and God-given responsibilities, taking care of her family and household rather than going about from house to house as an idle gossip or busybody. (I Tim. 5:11-16)
  20. A wife seeks to do what is right and not give way to hysterical fear. She is to have a gentle, peaceful, and tranquil Spirit from God that is very precious in His sight. (1 Pet. 3:1-6)
  21. She honors the marriage bed and keeps it undefiled. (Heb. 13:4)
  22. She stays with an unbelieving husband if he is willing to stay (if he is not breaking the marriage covenant in some way) so that she may influence him and their children for Christ. (1 Cor. 7:12-14)
  23. A wife does not separate from her husband except when he is committing serious unrepentant sin against her like violating the marriage covenant or there are other extreme circumstances. (1 Cor. 7:10-11)
  24. She does not divorce her husband, with possible exceptions for abandonment, adultery, or some other extreme circumstances. (Matt. 5:32, 1 Cor. 7:10-11)

What the Bible Says about the Role of a Husband

Power and Freedom

The good news is, even though it is quite impossible for us to fulfill these roles and commands in our own power, we don’t have to try to do this on our own. God, Himself, can give us the power we need to be the wives He calls us to be as we trust Him and allow His Spirit to fill us.

It all comes down, ultimately, to the Lordship of Christ in a woman’s life.

When we stumble, we repent to God and to our husbands and children and get back up, inviting God to help us learn and grow to be more like Jesus (1 John 1:9).

Notice that there aren’t specific lists of which chores husbands must always do and which chores wives must always do. This isn’t about culture. It isn’t about the way our parents did things. It’s not about going back to the 1950s, the 1800s, or the 100s.

God’s Word and design apply to every culture in every age.

There is a lot of room for each couple to hammer out their own beautiful way of relating and establishing their own unique marriage in the context of God’s grand and holy design.

Each of us will give an account to Jesus, one day, and no one else.

The purpose is to display the gospel but no two marriages will look exactly alike. We must all hold firmly to biblical principles. But where God’s Word gives freedom, we do not set restrictions on others or demand that everyone follows our own personal convictions.

Much love!

SHARE

What do you love about God’s design for wives and marriage?

Does anything seem confusing, upsetting, or strange?

Are there any passages you feel I missed that you want to share?

Additional resources for your prayerful consideration:

ABUSE IS ALWAYS SIN and NEVER GOD’S DESIGN

What Does the Bible Say about Verbal Abuse? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about Emotional Abuse? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about Abuse? by www.gotquestions.org

What Is a Biblical Perspective on Domestic Violence? by www.gotquestions.org

Desiringgod.org posts on Abuse

Note – There are numerous sites, teachers, and authors that claim to promote proper roles for Christian husbands and wives that veer from Scripture one way or the other. Please be sure to compare any message with the Bible. Test the spirits. Only receive what is biblical and in accordance with sound doctrine.

Are Men and Women Equal?

man twirling woman and dancing

People have a lot of different definitions of equality today.

This makes it really confusing. So many times, we are “comparing apples to oranges” because we use the same phrase but we don’t mean the same thing.

What does equal mean?

Examples of different popular current definitions of “equality”:

  • Men and women should have equal opportunities for education and careers.
    • Both should get paid the same for equal work.
    • Both should both be able to vote.
    • Both can be equally intelligent.
  • Men and women should mutually respect each other.
    • Both are equally valuable as human beings.
  • Men and women have to be the exact same to be truly equal.
    • Their roles must be interchangeable or identical.
    • Their bodies should be interchangeable.
    • Biology is not fact, whatever you feel at the moment is what you really are.
    • Gender should be fluid.
  • Women must be superior to men, that is the only way things can be equal.
    • Women are perfect goddesses who never do anything wrong.
    • All men are evil just for being men. Masculinity, in and of itself, is toxic.
    • Women should always be in charge at home and at work.
    • Men should have no voice, no personhood, and no power. They should even quit their jobs so women can take their place.

Obviously, this is a very wide spectrum of the definition of”equality” today. If you go back in history, or even go to other cultures today, there are plenty of examples where women were truly mistreated, abused, and denied basic human rights. There was not equal treatment for men and women in society or under the law.

This led to a huge push for change and for equality.

But we have to agree on what we mean by equality if we are going to discuss whether we are or are not equal.

This topic could be a series of books, there is so much to discuss.

What does the Bible say?

I believe the Bible sheds a lot of light on the topic. My greatest concern—in this post—is about where we stand with God spiritually as men and women as believers in Christ. Then we can have a starting place to know how to rightly relate to one another:

1. Women and men are equally created in the image of God.

  • Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over (the animals). Gen. 1:26

2. Women and men were both equally good and perfect when God created them.

  • God saw all that he had made (including man and woman on day 6), and it was very good. Gen. 1:31

3. After the Fall of Adam and Eve, apart from the salvation available to us through Jesus Christ, women and men are equally sinful.

  • For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23
  • All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isa. 53:6

4. Women and men have equal access to salvation through Jesus.

  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
  • God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom. 5:8

5. Women and men are equally loved by God and followers of Jesus are equally adopted as children of God.

  • So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16
  • See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.  1 John 3:1

6. Women and men are equally valuable in the Kingdom of God, as are all people.

  • There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:28

7. Women and men both have full access to right standing with God and holiness through Jesus.

  • There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  Rom. 8:1

8. Believing women and men have equal access to the holy God of the universe through prayer 24/7. We are all seated in the heavenly places in Christ.

  • But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Eph. 2:4-6
  • But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matt. 6:6

11. Men and women are equally joint heirs together in Christ.

  • Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Pet. 3:7
  • And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Rom. 8:17

There are more points I could cover, if I had time. We have equal access to God’s Word. We have equal access to the promises of God. We have equal access to most spiritual gifts. This was all revolutionary.

Women in the Old Testament, and even most men, did not have such free and direct access to God. They had to go through priests, especially the high priest. And even he only had direct access to the Holy of Holies one day per year. Jesus has opened the Holy of Holies up to us all! To all who love and trust Him.

In so many ways we are equal in Christ and have equal access to countless blessings as believers. And yet, in the church and in the family, men and women have different roles.

Some people get very upset about this, especially those who define equality as sameness. But God is not about sameness for men and women.

Does “equal” mean identical or interchangeable?

We are equal in value as people, but we are not the same. We shouldn’t want to be the same. It would ruin God’s beautiful design!

Women and men are not identical physically, mentally, or emotionally. We are not interchangeable.

We are all human. We have many similarities because we are the same species. We all have eternal souls. We all have similar bodies. But men and women have profound differences. Thank God for those differences! We should celebrate them!

God created men and women to be different and the differences are good!

The masculine and feminine roles in marriage are necessary to portray the gospel with the husband portraying the way Christ relates to His beloved church and the wife portraying the way the church relates to her precious Messiah (Eph. 5:22-33).

I’m going to let you check out this post because I don’t have room to describe the roles here. And I am hoping to do some more posts soon about roles specifically.

In God’s economy, the stronger protect the weaker— spiritually, financially, physically, etc… Those who have positions of God-given authority are to provide for, nurture, and humbly, selflessly shepherd those in their care. Those who lead are accountable to God, and other authorities on earth, for their stewardship.

This is not to punish women. Or men. And it is not to turn men into selfish, egotistical tyrants. It is not to make women into voiceless, purposeless, wimpy slaves or children. Our roles do not define our value. And, in Christ, our roles are not oppressive, in the least! They are freeing!

We have value because God loves us, because we are made in His image, and because Jesus died for us.

We have different roles to display the Gospel!

God gives us different roles to accomplish His divine purposes and His holy symbolism.

In marriage, we are to be a living parable where both spouses are needed to show the whole story accurately.

To say that one is more important than the other defeats the whole point.

If we both have the same roles in marriage, it would be like an Olympic figure skating couple (a man and woman) trying to both lift each other at the same time or both jump in the air and spin and expect the other to catch the other simultaneously. It would be a disaster!

One role is not “better than” the other. But when they work together in unity, it is beautiful. There is harmony. Both are elevated and honored. And more than that, Christ is honored!

Some people try to turn God’s design into a strict list of oppressive rules. That is not the point, either! There is a lot of room and freedom within the beautiful roles God has given us.

We can only experience real fulfillment when we receive God’s will for us and the roles He has for us as we live them out in the power of the Holy Spirit. That is the best place to be in the world!

We have moved far from Scripture and God’s design for masculinity, femininity, marriage, family, and the church in our culture, even in Christian circles today. No wonder we are in such a mess.

We are arguably one of the most confused and deceived generations in the history of the planet, in spite of our vast knowledge and technology.

How I pray for God to help us wake up and turn from our confusion, lies, and chaos to His beautiful life-giving truth and love!

Share

What definitions of equality do you see most often in our society?

Are those definitions helpful or harmful to men, women, children, marriage, and family?

What do you love about the differences between men and women and God’s beautiful design for marriage?

RESOURCES

What Does It Mean That Humanity Is Made in the Image of God? by www.gotquestions.org

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by Wayne Grudem and John Piper

The Essence of Femininity – Receiving

God’s Design Increases Attraction and Real Romance in Marriage

Resources for Wives with Angry Husbands

angry man yelling into a phone

Dear sisters,

For dealing with an angry husband, I have several resources I would like to share that I hope might be a blessing. Of course, each situation is a bit different.

It is tempting to respond to our husband’s anger with anger of our own. But it is much more productive and healthy for us to respond in the power of the Spirit. It can also help us if we remember that anger is often a secondary emotion that springs from hurt or pain of some type.

By far the most helpful thing is to have God’s wisdom and discernment about what is really going on and how the Lord is prompting us to respond in that situation.

Sometimes, a husband may be open to discussing the things I am about to ask. Other times, you’ll know the answer when you see the questions without having to ask him about it. If a husband is particularly angry, he may not want to have a big discussion about any of the things I am going to share.

Sometimes, it is important to try to talk through things. Other times, a man may need some healthy space to work through his own anger.

When he is super volatile and feeling out of control, he may need to walk away to calm down. He may not be able to have a deep discussion right then. Let him go get himself under control. Don’t follow him and demand that he speak if he feels like he is about to blow up. That will probably only make things worse.

These questions are really mostly for you to prayerfully consider:

Is he actually angry?

  1. Is he just from a family culture or a geographical culture where people tend to speak loudly and forcefully, but they aren’t actually angry? Sometimes people from the South, for example, think people from New York City are angry because they talk faster and more loudly, but the New Yorkers may be speaking normally, from their perspective.
  2. Are you especially sensitive/insecure and maybe looking for anger behind everything he does, even when maybe he is not angry at you? Do you struggle with people-pleasing or idolizing your husband? Do you feel nervous at the thought that there could be any tension or conflict ever?
  3. Is it possible you could be misunderstanding him/his personality and that he doesn’t intend to communicate anger? Maybe he is simply trying to communicate something he would like to be different, but maybe he is not angry about it?
  4. Could he be reacting defensively because he feels attacked?

If he really is angry, with what or with whom is he angry?

  1. With God?
  2. With circumstances?
  3. With you?
  4. With other family members?
  5. With coworkers/customers/neighbors/church members/others?
  6. With himself?

What kind of anger is it?

  1. Righteous anger/jealousy? – Is someone sinning against him, someone he loves, or his family?
  2. Unrighteous anger/jealousy? – Is he holding onto resentment, bitterness, impatience, hatred, or another sin? Is he in rebellion against God or living in unrepentant sin?

What is the pain behind his anger?

  1. Does he know Jesus as his Savior and Lord? If he doesn’t, this is his greatest need.
  2. Does he feel that he is trying to lead in godly ways, but those entrusted to his care won’t cooperate (even though he is not asking them to sin or abusing them)?
  3. Is he attempting to rightly address sin against him or someone he loves?
  4. Does he feel like a failure, or is he afraid of being a failure?
  5. Does he feel shame for sin in his life or does he feel shame just for being a man?
  6. Does he feel rejected by someone important to him?
  7. Does he have deep wounds from his childhood that are not healed?
  8. How did his dad express pain and deal with conflict? Is it possible that this approach feels “normal” to him?
  9. Does he feel really pressured by someone about something?
  10. Does he feel someone has let him down?
  11. Does he feel disrespected, humiliated, or mistreated by someone?
  12. Is he stuck in an addiction to drugs/porn/alcohol/gambling?
  13. Is there unrepentant sin in his life?
  14. Is anyone egging him on and baiting him, trying to get him to get angry and lash out?
  15. Could he be under spiritual attack of some kind?
  16. Is he spiritually, physically, or emotionally depleted?
  17. Is he upset about a real or perceived injustice against himself, a loved one, or someone else?
  18. Is he afraid to trust God or others because of past scars?
  19. Is he taking a medication that can cause irritability or does he suffer from a health issue that may contribute to this (low blood sugar, ADD, Asperger’s, autism, bi-polar, schizophrenia, PTSD, low thyroid, abnormal testosterone levels, an infection, poor nutrition, or something else)?
  20. Does he feel overwhelmed by all he has to do and he just can’t figure out how to handle everything on his plate?
  21. Does he feel like he can’t win? Like there is no way for him to be the hero in the situation?
  22. Is he worried about someone he loves or something that is important to him?
  23. Does he feel powerless to fix a problem or to help someone he wants to be able to help?
  24. Does he feel emasculated in some way as a man?
  25. Is he fearful of something bad happening?

Is the anger explosive, violent, or out of control? If so, please seek outside help!

Most of all, we need the Holy Spirit’s leading and wisdom. He can prompt us to speak up or not to speak and what to say, many times, if we are tuned in to His leading.

We may not know what exactly he is angry about, at the time, at least. He may not even be able to explain it, sometimes. But God knows and He can give us His wisdom to respond rightly and without sin on our end.

PRAY

Don’t forget to pray Scripture over your husband and to invite God’s healing, His Spirit, His comfort, and peace into your husband’s heart and your home. Don’t forget the power of approaching God with praises and thanksgiving. Remember, if you are in Christ, you are seated in the heavenlies with Jesus and you have His authority, Spirit, power, and love.

Strength and Dignity eCourse

I love Nina Roesner’s eCourse, “Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.” It helps women find their bearings spiritually and heal in Christ individually and then gives tools for how to respectfully address a husband’s anger, defensiveness, and other difficult issues. And once you finish the 11-week eCourse, you get access to a private email forum where other women share and you can support each other, led by trained moderators. 

Also, Nina has an article I like called, “Got an Angry Man?”

Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas is a book that may be a blessing for wives with angry, difficult husbands, as well.

FOR THOSE WITH SERIOUS ISSUES

If you have really serious issues going on in your marriage, please seek godly, wise, experienced counsel or go to appropriate medical, spiritual, or police authorities for help. Please try to keep yourself and your children safe. And if you are abusing your husband or children and they are not safe, please reach out for help for yourself ASAP!

COUNSELING RESOURCES

What Does Scripture Say?

  • For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:20
  • Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, Eph. 4:26
  • A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov. 15:1
  • Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; James 1:19
  • Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. Eccl. 7:9

SHARE

If you know of some helpful resources, preferably biblically based ones, we’d love for you to share them with us!

More Resources:

Righteous Anger VS Unrighteous Anger

To Speak or Not to Speak?

6 Reasons Not to Criticize Your In-Laws

Do I Have a Spirit of Offense?

If I Insult Others, I Need a Spiritual Check-Up ASAP!

My Response to Insults Says a Lot about My Character

Is Avoiding Arguing Really Possible?

Some Conflict Is Inevitable

My posts on conflict

How Does One Handle Conflict in a Marriage? by www.gotquestions.org

A Godly Wife Confronts Her Angry Husband Respectfully

When a Husband Is Negative, Critical, or Hurtful

What Is Respect in Marriage?

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

What Speaks Disrespect to Husbands?

Some Things God Has Shown Me about Conflict with My Headstrong Husband – a guest post

To Trust or Not to Trust? – VIDEO

Should a Christian Wife Consider Separation?

When Would I NOT Submit to My Husband?

Prayer to Change in the Spiritual Atmosphere in Our Homes – by Radiant

Prayer for Us to Stand in the Authority of Christ – by Radiant

Where Do Hatred, Rage, and Violence Fit in Our Lives as Christians?

Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?

Handling an Unwanted Divorce with Christlikeness

4 Approaches When You Think Your Husband Doesn’t Care

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

A Critical Spirit VS a Godly Rebuke

What Is Gaslighting? by www.gotquestions.org Gaslighting has three main components: 1) Convincing the victim that the abuse she suffers is her fault, 2) Convincing the victim that she did not experience what she thinks she did, and 3) Separating the victim from people who support her. 

How to Encourage Your Husband to Value Your Influence

man standing on beach

Men, in general, don’t allow people to influence them who they feel disrespect them.

They also tend not to allow people they don’t trust or respect to influence them. Honestly, there is a lot of wisdom in this approach. We may benefit from prayerfully considering this idea, ourselves.

Women have a POWERFUL ability to influence our men for good or for bad. How will we use our gift?

Men don’t tend to respect the influence of those:

  • Who give unsolicited advice.
  • Whose words and actions don’t match.
  • Who seem to have selfish motives.
  • Who appear to be trying to manipulate or control them.
  • Who have a critical, condemning spirit against them.
  • Who don’t treat themselves or others with respect.
  • Who act like doormats or give up their personhood in passivity.
  • Who idolize them and want their approval more than God’s.
  • Who lack self-control.
  • Who freak out a lot or are very negative.

For your words to be meaningful and valuable to your husband,

a few things generally have to happen over a significant period of time:

Over time, when your husband sees you respect yourself properly, you treat him with honor, and you are a person he can respect, then he knows he can value your influence.

He knows he can feel safe with you. As he sees that your actions and words match up over the long haul, he may begin to soften to your influence and welcome you to speak into his life as a trusted advisor.

I can’t guarantee that he will change if you change. But if you desire to use your influence in his life to honor Christ, this is the path to take.

Becoming a godly woman and wife can never be about manipulating our husbands. It must always be simply about honoring, loving, and obeying Christ—and blessing our men.

First things first

We all have sin issues in our own lives. It’s critical that I deal with my sin before I attempt to deal with issues in my husband’s life. This is the only way I can see clearly enough to truly see what is going on with him and be able to handle his issues rightly.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Matt. 7:3-5

This means, if I am flirting with other men or I am allowing people to take priority over my husband, he may not take my words very seriously if I warn him not to do the same thing. And why should he? I am being a hypocrite.

This also means, if I am acting in a lot of hurtful, condescending ways, and my husband doesn’t feel safe with me emotionally or spiritually, my sin is a stumbling block to my ability to influence my husband in godly ways.

It’s hard to respect the spiritual advice of someone whose life is a mess or who is hurting you with their own sin. 

Common sins that are super destructive to a marriage, intimacy, and trust:

If I invite God to show me any sin in my life, He will! And He will help me and heal me. He can transform my life and make me more like Jesus by the power of His Word, prayer, and the power of His Spirit.

As I allow Christ to change me, my husband will definitely notice, even if he is cold or skeptical toward me, at first.

My goal can’t be to change my husband. My goal must be to become the woman Jesus calls me to be, whatever the cost. 

A side effect of this is that I will be a greater blessing to my husband. When I am right with God and His Spirit is working in and through me, it is really only then that I can properly relate to others with God’s love.

I will make myself open to be an available instrument in God’s hand to reach my husband. Then I will stop being a stumbling block to him and make it easier for him to hear God’s voice.

I can’t change my husband or fix him. I can’t open his eyes. Only the Spirit can do that. But I can let God change me! That is the most powerful, wonderful place to start.

SHARE

Has God shown you some truths about this topic that you would like to share? Or are you struggling and you need some encouragement and more resources?

Much love!

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