Titus 2:3-4 – In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. They are to teach what is good, so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, (HCSB)
As I was drinking my mid-morning cup of coffee (aka unfinished morning coffee reheated), I was reading someone’s social media comments about how to love your husband. Of course there is the physical love but also love in the day-to-day treatment of your husband. The comments made me think Titus 2: 3-4. Most articles I’ve read and speakers I’ve heard put the focus on verse 4, but I think verse 3 teaches verse 4. All wives have had times when our fabulous hints fell on deaf ears. We may even have had our very clear and precise words change completely between leaving our lips and arriving on our husbands’ ears. But, we ponder the mystery in private and not vent to the world. Being around a woman who is constantly criticizing her husband is embarrassing and uncomfortable but also a tutorial to young wives. Ephesians 5:33 says that women are to respect their husbands. This is the man that I vowed to love, honor, and cherish. How can I belittle a man that I cherish? How does that show honor? Proverbs 17:9 says “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” (NLT) If it separates close friends, how could it possibly strengthen a marriage? How can I be antagonistic with the man I cherish? How can I be negative, always talking about what’s wrong, with the man I love? Paul told Titus to encourage older women to teach younger women. How do you teach but by words and actions? Are my actions teaching younger wives to be encouraging or condemning? Supportive or critical? Fun or harsh? Proverbs 31:12 says that a wife should not bring harm to her husband. I read a poster that said “When my husband looks at me, let him see love, warmth, caring, commitment, support and desire.” I couldn’t find who actually said it, but I would add “and let others see those too.” I am thankful for my husband and want to live in such a way that he will be proud to call me his wife. Lord, help me to be quick to forgive and slow to criticize. May I be a living example to young wives of how to love a husband.
Matthew 19:6 – So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” (HCSB)
I was recently with a group of women of various wedding anniversaries. One just celebrated 15; I will soon celebrate 39. Over coffee and sodas, we started discussing our ages when we walked so boldly and confidently down the aisle. Our ages varied, but we all had one thing in common – each one was so naive while thinking she was so mature. Each bride and groom had looked at each other with starry eyes and said, “I do” without a single doubt of the bright and blissful future to come. Today we just laugh at those two foolish people! That man at whom we looked with such awe is not so awesome when we’re picking up his dirty socks. He sometimes says the wrong thing (or nothing at all). He sometimes misses our hints (even though our clues were so obvious). He sometimes has bad breath (and other body odors). There are times when that radiant bride of the wedding day isn’t such a ray of sunshine either! Ephesians 5:33 tells husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. When we get married we fully intend to unconditionally love, respect and admire each other.I know I had great intentions of being the perfect wife, offering nothing but kind and encouraging words, perfectly prepared dinners every night, and a life of candlelit romance. But, life sets in with all of its time devouring stresses. Sometimes my words are less than kind and not at all encouraging. There are times when my husband just needs to count his blessings that he got dinner at all, even if it is just leftovers! Often times the candlelight is just a sign that the electricity is out. Why do we put up with each other when the adventurous future becomes the routine present? The Bible is very clear that marriage is a divinely established covenant. When asked about marriage, You said “Haven’t you read the scriptures?” (Matthew 19:4) A covenant means that one person holds up their end of the promise even when the other person falls short. A marriage covenant is sealed with “as long as we both shall live”, not “as long as we like each other everyday.” A covenant tells us to walk away from the mix-up, not the marriage. The Bible teaches us that You, Lord, unite us together to become one flesh (Matthew 19:6). You came up with the idea of marriage (Genesis 2:18), and Proverbs 18:22 says that a man who finds a wife finds a good thing. Lord, help me to see my marriage as a gift from You. Help me to be a “good thing” for my husband. To paraphrase Song of Solomon 2:16, my husband is mine and I am his, dirty socks, leftovers, and all!