One of the qualities on my list of things I want to be as a wife and mother is Nurturing. To nurture means to nourish, to bring up, to feed and protect. I don’t just want to be a mom and a wife that avoids negative habits and works to eliminate problem areas, but I also want to be a wife and mom who actively pours into the relationships in my family, feeds them and grows them.
It’s a lot easier for me to think of ways that I can nurture the relationships with my children. It’s not hard, but it’s a little more difficult when I think of my husband. I don’t want to come across as mothering, or nagging or any number of other things. I don’t want to do or say something that’s going to be counter-productive and accomplish the opposite of nurturing. How can I effectively nurture my relationship with my husband?
It’s no secret that spending time together is a big factor in building strong relationships. I do know people who have successful marriages even though work takes the husband to a different city, county or even state for long periods of time. I’m sure they would also say that it’s not without its challenges and that spending quality time together as often as possible is important. So time is important. Interests and personality will affect the way that you want to spend your time together, every marriage is different. Investing in my spouse’s interests and needs is one way I can nurture and grow our relationship together.
Another way that I can nurture our relationship is by being obedient – yes, to my husband, but also to God. If I am obedient to God in my marriage, I will be loving, forgiving, giving, respectful, honoring, encouraging, patient — in short I will love my husband as myself and do unto my husband as I want him to do unto me. That’s the nutshell. If I am obedient to God then even though I will not be able to achieve perfection, I will be pouring my best into my marriage while also giving my marriage to God. That’s the best thing I can do for my marriage! I have SEEN the amazing ways that God can work in my life, my relationship and my marriage when I am obedient to HIM!
I know that being obedient to your husband often comes with bad connotations these days. Many people don’t like to discuss the word “submission” at all. I have two things to say about that: 1.) There is a difference between “submission” and “subservience”; and 2.) There is no benefit to either one of us if I go against my husband’s wishes on an issue and start a fight– barring a few circumstances, most of the time our marriage relationship is more important that whatever it is we’re discussing, If my husband wanted me to stop being a Christian, do something illegal or otherwise go against my moral conscience — I would not, could not do that. But if my husband puts us on spending lock-down, asks me to change laundry soaps, or says we can’t get a dog.. there is no good reason not to respect his wishes. I save rocking the boat battles for the really important things!
Actually, I have one more thing to say about this. If I want my husband to be a leader, then I have to let him LEAD, you know? I can’t be arguing and knocking him down at every turn.
Over the past 14 years I’ve seen God do some pretty amazing things. I have seen the way God blesses our acts of obedience. I have seen God take a husband who wasn’t attending church with us to a husband who has led us to a home church and is leading us to connect and grow with our new church family. There were times I didn’t think we’d ever be here, that I’d ever be able to say that. But even in those times I could see God’s presence and how it was better to love my husband as God wanted me to as best as I could than it was to choose any other option. Other options usually carry extra sin baggage, baggage that Satan can use to drive a wedge between my husband and me. I didn’t want it then; I don’t want it now. Speaking of, we need to pray for our marriages. Satan doesn’t like strong Christian marriages.
I could keep writing and writing, but I will close now and open up the floor. How can we intentionally pour into our marriages and make them stronger? What things can we do to build a better relationship with our spouse? It’s your turn to share what God has placed on your heart.
If you would like to join in, the rules are simple. Link up an encouraging post about marriage with the direct url to the post. Next week’s word is “Passionate.” Join us then for more Marriage Monday!