Sunday, February 19, 2012

What Character are you Showing Your Wife?

You know, it’s kind of funny, the way we act towards our wives is often much worse than the way we act towards anyone else. The old saying of, “you only hurt the ones you love” is as true today as it has ever been. We don’t hurt strangers, we hurt those who are closest to us, especially our wives.

Every time there is anger, harsh words, jealousy, offense, bitterness or strife, we are demonstrating that we are much less mature than we think we are. We are also demonstrating that we don’t love the other person, we only love what they can do for us. Our love is often a totally self-centered love.

I realize that not everyone who reads this blog is a Christian, but I need to speak directly to the Christian men for a moment. Marriage is the greatest test of our Christianity that we will ever encounter. We all have the capability to “act” Christian in public, especially in the church, but that doesn’t mean that we have the character of Christ in us. The true test of our Christianity isn’t how we live in the church, but how we live at home.

True Christian maturity isn’t about being able to lay hands on the sick and see them recover. It isn’t even raising the dead. True Christian maturity is manifesting the character of Christ, each and every day of our lives. If you can’t manifest Christ-likeness to your wife, as we have been commanded to do (Eph 5:25), then you aren’t mature yet.

Ninety-nine percent of marriage problems in Christian marriages are only a lack of demonstrating Christ’s character. If you and your wife are having problems, then neither of you is acting as Christ would want you to act. Now, don’t throw the blame on her, I said, “neither of you.” You deal with you, and let God deal with her. In fact, if you want God to deal with her, then model Christ-likeness before her. That’s the best thing you can do to help her become more like Christ.

One of the greatest secrets I have learned about marriage counseling is to not talk to people about their problems. That’s right, when people come to me to tell me about all their problems, I don’t listen to them. Who needs to listen to hour after hour of people complaining about each other and finger pointing? How is that going to help them? I’ll tell you how… it’s not.

Instead, what I try and do with couples is to “jump over their problems” and deal with the character issues which are causing them. That way, instead of having to work through each and every problem, with me acting as a referee, we can deal with the attitudes of their hearts, develop their character and bring them to true maturity. Then, and only then, do we see true results. Not only true results, but amazing, life-changing ones.

So, what type of character are you showing to your wife? Are you showing Christ’s character… or is it something that you’d rather not talk about? If it’s not the character of Christ, it’s time for you to change. 

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