Are you struggling with that hard-headed husband who seems to never grow up? Does your wife sometimes make you wish you weren’t married? Does he constantly make promises and then not keep his word? Has she been going on spending binges, when you have bills that have not been paid? Are you unhappy with the way some things are in your marriage? Today you will get answers that CAN force change in your married life, if you’re brave enough to use them.
IT TAKES TWO TO MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK, AND IT TAKES TWO TO DESTROY IT.
While it is true that one person can do something that is obvious to hurt their marriage, it is also true that the other person does NOT do something that they could have to keep the bad behavior from continuing.
DOING SOMETHING does NOT mean: crying, nagging, screaming, cussing, locking yourself in your room, praying and praying, wishing things were different, complaining to friends and relatives, lying about what happened, making excuses for him, hoping things will get better,
Those things may be expressions of your feelings, but they are NOT ACTIONS.
When a wrong is committed, ACTION means you allow the violator to suffer a consequence; see the second principle for more explanation.
|THE WRONGDOING OF ONE SPOUSE||THE LACK OF ACTION BY THE OTHER|
|If there has been violence in the marriage for some time||That means that the one being violated has NOT called the police, separated and possibly considered divorce|
|Most of the time when she does call the police||She will also be the one who bails him out of jail the next day, and then won’t press charges|
|If one commits adultery||The other will tend to forgive without the violator suffering any real consequence|
|If one deceives the other (lying, keeping harmful secrets from, doing something that can harm without telling, etc.)||The other usually gets mad for a little while and then acts as though nothing happened.|
|When other people find out that one spouse has been abusive||The other will defend the violator, lie to the people, and hide the truth of the abuse.|
|One of the spouses does not do their part in the care of the home and marriage||The other tends to just get angry and nag.|
WHERE THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES, THERE IS PERMISSION
Every time that your spouse does something that is not acceptable, they must suffer a consequence. This will teach them not to repeat the unacceptable behavior.
|What is NOT a consequence?||What IS a consequence?|
|Nagging is NOT a consequence.||The possibility of really losing something they do not want to lose.|
|Telling them off is NOT a consequence.||If you stop doing something they want you to do (i.e. sex, massaging, paying attention to them).|
|Crying is NOT a consequence.||If you make them do for themselves things you have been doing for them.|
|Complaining is NOT a consequence.||If you separate for a day or two.|
|Showing them the error of their ways is NOT a consequence.||If you separate for a long period of time.|
|Reminding them is NOT a consequence.||A consequence is when someone is about to lose something they do not want to lose if they keep up their unacceptable behavior.|
|Pouting is NOT a consequence.|
|Screaming is NOT a consequence.||A real consequence has REAL results.|
|Yelling at them is NOT a consequence.||IN OTHER WORDS, A CONSEQUENCE HURTS.|
|Threatening is NOT a consequence.|
PERSONAL BOUNDARIES IN YOUR LIFE WILL PROTECT YOU, AND HELP YOU HAVE HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS.
A personal boundary is like a rule you give yourself that you will follow if a particular thing happens. Below are examples of personal boundaries:
|Personal Boundary||The Action I Will Take|
|If someone cusses in my presence||I will leave the area or end the conversation|
|If my spouse commits adultery||I will separate from them until they get counseling and make character changes in themselves|
|If my spouse physically assaults me (hits)||I will call the police and press charges, and will separate from my spouse until they get counseling and make character changes in themselves|
|If my spouse make fun of my food||I will stop cooking until they promise not to do that again|
|If my spouse promises something and does not keep his or her word||I will choose not to trust them again until they prove they will stop lying, and I will stop being intimate with them until then|
|If someone take advantage of me||I will cut off the relationship until they prove (not just say) that they will not repeat their actions|
|If someone lies to me||I will not believe anything that say again, until I see a change in them|
|If my spouse repeatedly (more than once) hurts my feelings on purpose||I may choose to leave home for a day or two, or until he or she apologizes and promises not to do it again.|
|If I find that my spouse has a friend of the opposite sex that I am not aware of||I will consider it the same as adultery and follow the same steps|
|If I learn that my spouse has committed crimes||I will separate from them until they resolve the legal matters.|
|If my spouse does not want to go to church||I will go without them, in obedience to my Lord|
|IF THIS HAPPENS …||I WILL DO THIS …|
BOUNDARIES THAT HAVE NO CONSEQUENCES ARE JUST A LOT OF HOT AIR.
WHERE THERE IS NO VISION (rules, laws etc.), THE PEOPLE ARE UNRESTRAINED
Have clear and written rules for your marriage, home, and children.
Proverbs 29:18 (NASB) “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.”
Everyone and everything that wants to succeed has rules they live by.
|WHO ARE THEY?||RULES THEY LIVE BY?|
|Businesses||Policies and procedures; employee handbooks; job descriptions|
|United States of America||Constitution of the United States, and Articles of Independence|
|Society||State laws; county regulations; city ordinances|
|Gangs||Gang rules that members have to follow|
|God||His Word; the Bible|
|Married couples||Little to none|
|Homes rules||Little to none|
- Most of society’s problems come from persons who were brought up in homes without clear and fair rules.
- Most marriages in the United States end up in divorce within two years, due to the lack of clear and understood goals and objectives. Example: If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know how to get there.
- True Marriage and Home rules are written down on paper.
Only a fool argues that you don’t have to write down rules.
- Businesses do, The USA does, Society does, many gangs do, and especially God did.
- Everyone and everything that wants to succeed writes down their rules and follows them.
FOR THE HUSBANDS:
SUBMISSION WORKS BOTH WAYS, BUT THE HUSBAND IS THE EXAMPLE
Ephesians 5:21 (NASB) “and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Your wife has the RIGHT to do Anything You Do.
- If you check out other women, they should be able to check out other men.
- If you daydream about other women, they should be able to daydream about other men.
- If you flirt with other women, they should be able to flirt with other men.
- And so on. Right?
Ephesians 5:23 (NASB) “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.”
Ephesians 5:25-28 (NASB) “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.”
What does it mean to be the Head of the wife?
- You are to serve as her example in everything; 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NASB) “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”
You should be able to say to your wife:
“You have the right to behave like I do, mess up like I do, lie to me if I lie to you, don’t do things for me if I won’t do things for you, don’t give me attention if I don’t give you attention, and don’t show me love if I don’t show you love. Imitate me in the same way that I imitate Christ. If I am just fooling like I’m imitating Christ, then you also have the right to fool me.”
The way in which a husband is subject to his wife is that he makes himself accountable to her to judge his actions, and then for her to make decisions based on those actions.
FOR THE WIVES
TRUE SUBMISSION IS A SPIRITUAL PROTECTION FROM GOD TO YOU
What is submission?
- Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that a wife is supposed to obey her husband.
- True submission is when a person already knows what is expected of him or her and goes about doing it without having to be instructed to do so.
- Waiting until someone tells you to do something is called obedience.
- While submission is part of obedience, obedience is not part of submission.
Submission is always done to an authority.
- Submit to your pastor
- Submit to your leaders.
- Submit to the elected officials and laws of the United States.
- Submit to Christ.
If the person violates his authority, he has no authority to which to submit.
- If a police officer commits a crime, he or she loses their authority as a Peace Officer. We do not have to submit to them.
- If the husband is fulfilling his authority in Christ by living according to His word, then the wife must submit to her own husband in obedience to God.
- If the husband violates his authority, then the wife is to obey God and wait until her husband starts to fulfill his authority again.
The mistreatment of the wife.
Malachi 2:13-16 (NASB) “This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the LORD of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”
God hates the mistreatment of the wife.
A woman is never expected to submit to a man who is violating and mistreating her. But she is instructed to submit (willingly follow and support) her husband who is loving her and caring for her (Ephesians 5:25-28 [NASB]).
CHANGE IS NOT CHANGE UNTIL THERE HAS BEEN CHANGE
Women say and men do.
Women tend to express their feelings by verbalizing their emotions concerning things that bother them.
Men tend to express the feelings by acting out and behaving in one manner or another.
- If a woman tells you that she will change and that she will behave differently, she most likely means it, but she will convince herself that just saying it is the same as doing it.
- If a man tells you that he will change and that he will behave differently, he most likely knows it is not really the truth, but he wants you to believe it is just because he said so.
The truth is that WORDS CAN BE LIES, BUT THE ACTIONS ARE ALWAYS THE TRUTH.
The truth is in the actions
- Stop listening to what they say, or what they tell you is true.
- Pay attention to what they do, and the results of their actions.
- If your spouse does something new just one time, or a few times, there has still been no change.
- If your spouse has been doing the new thing for 3 to 6 months consistently, MAYBE then it might mean he or she really is changing. Notice I said changing, not changed.
WORDS CAN BE LIES, BUT THEIR ACTIONS ARE ALWAYS TRUE.
Actually, it is the result of their actions that are true.
- If they promise something and don’t keep their word, they are lying.
- They say they believe something, but they do the opposite, they are lying.
- If they say they’ll TRY to keep their word, they are lying.
- If they actually keep their word, they’re telling the truth.
- If they actually do what they say they were going to do, they are telling the truth.
- If they say they believe something and actually live according to that, they are telling the truth.
Don’t get distracted by your spouse’s sincerity. Don’t listen to their words. Watch their actions, that’s where the truth will be found and obvious.