A HUSBAND AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART
12 Things That Really Matter in Your Marriage
Jim George has served in pastoral ministry and on the faculty of Mater’s Seminary. He is the author of A Man After God’s Own Heart and God’s Man of Influence.
Husbands can profit from these practical suggestions. The book would have been enriched by greater emphasis on the core factor present in every Godly marriage: a radical selflessness that consistently puts God and the partner first. For the husband this is embodied in Ephesians 5:25, “Husband, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her….” (see pp. 66 & 69 for references to this topic).
As I consider a number of couples I know, it seems they are powerless to consistently follow these principles because of their inherent selfishness, their deeply ingrained habits, and their natural tendency to over rate themselves and under rate their spouses. Only by submitting to the power of Christ in their lives to make them selfless are they likely to make much progress in strengthening their marriage.
Following is some helpful advice that I can practice.
“…the day you accelerate your growth in the Lord is the day your marriage is positively impacted, improved, and strengthened!” “Spiritual growth is the key to all that’s important in your life.” (10-11)
“Is God the owner of your marriage?” (32) ‘The Bible is God’s rule book for life and for your marriage.” (33)
“An inability to listen is a rampant problem in marriages.” Rekindle your listening skills. Be careful what you say and how you say it. Speak softly. Be honest. (44-47)
Set aside time to be alone with your wife so that together (and alone!) you can talk about life, the future, your mutual dreams and your goals as a couple.” (54)
“Choose to listen. Listening is an act of love.” (57)
Continue building a best-friendship with your wife. (64)
“Every good marriage must be a friendship between two people who are willing to sacrifice for the other person.” (66) [But beyond being willing, they must sacrifice frequently, willingly and even eagerly, not keeping score or expecting a return! This is possible only by God’s grace but I know it is possible because I have been on the receiving end of it for many years. dlm]
“True biblical love is a selfless commitment of one’s body, soul, and spirit to the betterment of the other person. It is a life with actions, not just words.” (69)
“Your body is not yours. It’s the property of your wife! Therefore you are to be a good steward of your wife’s real estate by keeping your body in good physical shape—not for your sake, but for hers.” (74)
“If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life.” (78, quoting Billy Graham) “…you can tell the spiritual maturity of a man by looking at his checkbook or his credit card statements.” (79)
“Be content with living within your means. Contentment is a key element in managing your money.” (80)
“Giving is a part of our worship to God, and giving sacrificially is an essential part of that worship.” (82) “When you trust in money rather than or more than you trust in God, you are committing idolatry.” (85)
Your home is a reflection of who you are as a person. (99) Get up off the couch and fix whatever needs to be fixed. (103)
“Teaching is an important obligation that you and I have as fathers.” (112) “Make it your chief aim in life to develop a living and growing love for God. Your children will notice and respond to what’s important to you.” (113)
The atmosphere in your home will create an impression on your young ones. (114)
“Christian dad, there is always time for what you think is important! Therefore, evaluate your time. What in the world is more important than your children?” (116)
“Until a boy is 15 he will do what his father says; after that he does what his father does.” (118) What are you modeling to your children? (119)
“Christian man, how are you doing at honoring your parents and your wife’s parents? (131) “Pray for your parents.” (139)
Be positive. (157) Be a lifelong learner. (158) Don’t bring your work home. (159)
“Christians, and specifically Christian couples, should have the most fun, laugh the loudest, be the most humorous, and enjoy life more than anybody else.” (162)
“Since man is in the image of God, his sense of humor is a gift of God and finds its counterpart in the divine nature. But it is a gift which is to be controlled as well as cultivated. Clean, wholesome humor will relax tension and relieve a difficult situation more than anything else. It can be of untold value in a leader, both for what it does for him and for the use it can be in his work.” (165, quoting J. Oswald Sanders)
“However, fun, joy, humor—whatever you want to call it—is a state of mind, an attitude.” (167)
Some ways to reach out to the world: (206-7)
· Give of your finances to support missions.
· Pray for the missionaries your church supports.
· Have missionaries in your home.
· Pick a country and pray for the salvation of its people.
· Go on a summer missions trip.
· Participate in your church’s outreach projects.
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