Tuesday, January 14, 2014

You Want Me to SUBMIT?!

June 18, 1983..we were just kids!
People think my husband and I have a "not normal" relationship. They make fun and say things to and about us because we act silly together, we show affection toward each other, and we always support, defend, and stand by each other. And normally we do nearly everything together, but sometimes we do things apart. We have been married for over thirty years and been a couple longer than that. 

I say this because there are people today who sit and bash their spouses for one reason or another, run them in the ground, and complain because they don't get their way. I hate to see or hear this from either husband or wife...even in joking. It's not a joke. God created marriage between a man and a woman for a reason. Because it was good and so they could reproduce...and the big reason is so they could worship Him together

22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. ~Ephesians 5:22-24, NLT

Before you shut off or complain when you read, "wives submit to your husbands" LISTEN to what God is saying! He means that you are to RESPECT your husband...BUT...He also says that husbands are supposed to LOVE their wives as they do the LORD! In Ephesians 5:22-33 it explains it very, very clearly. 

I have taught women's Sunday school classes before and listened to the women run their husbands in the ground because their view of marriage was distorted. Do you want a good marriage? Then you have to WORK at it TOGETHER. But most importantly for a good, successful, loving marriage you MUST PUT GOD FIRST IN YOUR MARRIAGE AND YOUR LIVES! Everything else after that will fall into place and before long, you two will be acting silly together, having fun together, supporting each other, defending each other, and standing by each other. 

After 25 years...we're getting there

I'm not saying you won't have difficulties, you will. You will get angry at each other, argue, and disagree about things. He will still leave his dirty socks and underwear on the floor and pile his wallet and belt on your tables and leave dirt on the chairs where he put his foot to tie his work boots. And you will still squeeze the toothpaste in the middle, forget to wash his dirty socks, forget to wash the dishes and make the bed. BUT...you will still love each other if you love the LORD and put HIM FIRST in your lives.

Just because you have a few bumps in the road doesn't mean he's bad, or you're bad, or that you need to separate or call it quits! That's taking a cowardly way out and not facing responsibility. Marriage is NOT all about YOU and it's NOT all about your husband. 

Marriage is designed by God, ordained by God, and blessed by God if you do it GOD'S WAY.

You might be saying, "Well you don't know what MY husband is like!" or "You don't know what my wife DID!" No...I sure don't. BUT, that is no reason to pass the plate on responsibility. Because here's the deal: If you love the Lord MORE than you love your spouse, then things will be better. If you put HIM FIRST in your life, then things will work out. But you BOTH have to do this! He will take care of you and take care of your marriage IF you let Him. And an amazing thing will happen... you will love your spouse even MORE and you will WANT to do things for them.
We love going places together!

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. ~1 Peter 4:8, NLT

My husband and I have a wonderful relationship. Yes, we have had our ups and downs. We have had moments when we didn't talk to each other for a while. A short while. I had moments when I wanted to leave as I'm sure he probably wanted a vacation from me, too. But never did we follow through with that. NEVER! We promised each other long ago that we would ALWAYS talk things through and we would NEVER leave.

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[b] 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body. ~Ephesians 5:25-30, NLT

I grew up in a home listening to my parents fight and argue. Many times I remember hearing one or the other threaten to leave. That instability as a child left me with the insecurity that my husband would do the same thing. But my husband was different. He never did. Instead, he did quite the opposite and got closer. 

When God healed me of the many years of mental and emotional abuse, and the many years of depression and intimidation, our marriage got even better! My husband always supported and loved me through all of it. I was the one who flit from one crisis to another and couldn't figure things out. But he was patient with me as God was patient with me and when I was healed, my mind was cleared and I realized that God had given me a godly husband who DID love me as Christ loved me. God gave me so much more in Don Athen Wilburn than I bargained for. And for that and for him, I thank God every day.

I'm not bragging on US per se. I'm bragging on God.  Because without the LORD in BOTH our lives, we wouldn't have THIS! It's all about HIM. It's all about focusing on and loving Jesus and asking Him what we should do. Because when it comes right down to it, we can't do this by ourselves. We would mess it up! And that's where many couples have difficulties. It isn't about who's right or wrong, or who is the "boss." It's ALL about Jesus.

After 30 years...we're still working on it - together!

31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”[c] 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. ~Ephesians 5:22-33, NLT

Sometimes though, it is necessary to seek professional help in your marriage. Seeking a good marriage counselor is wise advice, especially if your counselor can help you and your spouse discover God's plan for your marriage. If you can't get to a counselor's office, try online counseling together. One place to start would be Better Help online counseling services. You can find them at www.betterhelp.com.

Do you want a good marriage? Then put Christ first in your lives. Go to Him for advice. Get counseling if you need to. Pray for one another. Talk things through as a couple, you and your spouse, and always, always talk to God TOGETHER. Before you know it, there will be more love and togetherness in your marriage than you ever dreamed possible. You'll be best friends, confidants, lovers, buddies, and you'll look at your spouse and think, "Wow! I am SO blessed to be with them!" Thank God for that.

*** Shelley Wilburn is not a counselor or doctor but does advocate seeking professional help if you or those you love are in need of it. Shelley is not responsible for Better Help online counseling services or their counselors.


Karla Akins said...

You are SO BLESSED to have each other! And you have a truly beautiful family.

Jackie Bartoni said...

I loved all of what you just wrote and you both are the greatest example of what true commitment to the Lord and to each other is!!! Mike and I have had a few bumps but it's the bumps that makes us stronger together. And the Lord above is in our heart and soul and has opened our eyes to what it takes to be committed to both the Lord above and each other!!! Love us girl and love your posts!!! Can't wait for May :)

Shelley Wilburn said...

Thank you, Karla! I'm pretty proud of all of em, myself. ;-]

Shelley Wilburn said...

Thanks, Jackie! You & Mike keep putting Jesus first & things will keep getting better. May is on the way! It's gonna be fun! :-D

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