The Excellent Wife Chapter 5: A Wife's Understanding of Marriage
The subheading for the chapter is God's Purpose, meaning God's Purpose for Marriage .
Peace sums this up by saying,
"The goal of the Christian husband and wife in marriage is to have a oneness that is characterized by a loving spiritual and physical bond that glorifies God and thereby enhances personal spiritual growth...each partner helps the other become as much like the Lord Jesus Christ as possible."This spiritual growth in marriage will not just happen, we have to pursue it. It will involve commitment, perseverance, diligence, and most of all the Grace of God to fulfill it.
Peace then gives us 4 Goals that will aid us in our pursuit.
1. Make marriage a matter of faithful prayer
2. Commit to a biblical course of action
3. Take personal responsibility for your own failures and repent
4. Submit and participate in the process of "mutual sanctification" (mutual sanctification in marriage is the biblical process of helping each other become as much like the Lord Jesus Christ as possible)
In looking at this list I realized how I do not see my marriage as something I need to give to much attention to. Don't get me wrong, my relationship with my husband is very important and I would never say otherwise, but do I make it a matter of prayer... am I helping my husband (and myself) to become more like the Lord Jesus... I pray for my husband, my children, family and friends, but I do not often pray for my husband and my relationship in marriage. I get so busy with the cares of the day, children, and the fires that often flare up that I don't really give too much thought to pray for our marriage relationship. If there is a conflict we address it and move on. But are we really growing together through that conflict or are we patching it up and moving on to the next thing.
This really burdened my heart and made me think; my husband and I plan to talk about what we can do to change this. I am grateful that I am able to talk to my husband about anything. What a gift God has given me in his giving of the marriage relationship and in giving me my husband. By God's grace I can nurture it and watch it grow.
I think that I (and my husband) are committing to a biblical course of action, which was the number 2 goal on Peace's list, by making sure we are diligent in making theses changes in our marriage.
Number 3 is taking personal responsibility for my actions and REPENTING. I will not be able to get to number 4 without going through 1-3 first.
Peace ends this chapter with some great practical suggestions for receiving reproof from you husband and also giving reproof to your husband. She says the reproof should be done privately, with gentleness and with the motive of restoring the other person (Pgs 40-46). I won't be able to go into them now, but they are a must read.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:11-13
There are some other ladies who have thoughts on this chapter. Please stop by Leslie's Blog (our hostess for this book reading) and read her comments along with the others.