Marriage is work. If someone says it’s not, then they’ve probably never been married. Marriages don’t fall apart overnight. The slow fade begins when one or both sides make the decision to stop putting forth the work. Marriage is like a flower that has to be nurtured in order to grow.
Paul knew something about the intricacies of marriage. In his letter to the Ephesians, he taught mutual submission. “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:22) “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.” (Eph. 5:25)
When the husband and wife are both fulfilling their God-given roles, the marriage grows healthy. However, when one of these 4 people shows up, the marriage turns unhealthy.
1. The Aggressive Husband – The dominating, selfish, abusive, and controlling husband will wreak havoc on a marriage. That’s not the way Christ loved the church.
2. The Aggressive Wife – Like the aggressive husband, the aggressive wife can be just as harmful to a marriage. She usurps authority, and is verbally abusive all for selfish ambition.
3. The Passive Husband – The lazy husband is just as unhealthy as the overbearing husband. He is physically, spiritually, and/or emotionally absent from the marriage. He is by definition a wimp.
4. The Passive Wife – This is the wife who dangerously does whatever he says, without question. She contributes nothing to the decisions. Her voice is not heard, and she’s ok with that.
Sure, a marriage can limp along with one of these spouses. However, thriving marriages exist when both husband and wife know and understand their God-given roles in the relationship.
What are you doing to improve your relationship with your spouse? Remember it takes work! In your marriage, when you’re not actively growing, you’re naturally drifting. I’ll close with a few ideas to help get you rolling.
- Schedule a date night. No kids. No cell phones. Just you and him/her.
- Read a book. There are tons of great books on marriage. (Here are a few of my favorites!)
- Talk to other married people. Identify a marriage that inspires you. Take that couple out to dinner and get to know them.
- Go to counseling. Sadly, most people wait until their marriage is destroyed before taking this step. A good Christian counselor will have professional insight into your marriage.