Monday, April 21, 2008

Lux Vent Reading Group

The Excellent Wife
Chapter 4: A Wife's Understanding of Relationships

The Trinity is a relationship in which three eternal persons...reveal, know and love each other tenderly and perfectly for the other's good within the context of an eternal commitment. Stuart Scott.

The unity that God intends for us to have in relationships is only possible through Jesus Christ. Only in Christ can the relationship between husband and wife be godly, good and righteously intimate. The Godheads relationship is my model. As there is harmony in the Godhead there can be harmony in my marriage.

Martha explains in this chapter, how we are given a perfect example of what a godly relationship looks like in the Trinity. Wow, what an example. In the Trinity, there is love, harmony, oneness, and submission. She gives us a chart so that we can compare the characteristic of Fallen Man's relationships and the characteristics of relationship in the Trinity. How far I am from that perfect love.

When I read the section on "what God's norm is for our relationships here with each other...", my first reaction was I would never say that. Here's what she said.:

In order to be perfect in unity, you must stop asking yourself questions like "what will it do for for me? or What will I get out of it? Instead ask How can I glorify God? or How can I walk in a pleasing manner with God and enjoy Him as I go?

First I said, I would never say "What will it do for me," then I thought about all the times when my husband would ask me to do something for him, and if I really didn't want to do it I would find a way not to. In my mind I wasn't saying "What will it do for me," but after reading that chapter I realized that it was the same thing. The reason why I didn't want to do it was because of me - It did not benefit me. If I'm not thinking of how I can glorify God in what I do for my husband, children and my friends, I will certainly fall in to glorifying myself very easily.

This is not to say that we should never think of ourselves, because we are to take care of ourselves. And that requires thinking about what is best for you at certain times. But, in our relationships God ask us to think of others first. And in our marriage it should be our husbands. Not to concern ourselves with how we will benefit form what we do, because God will provide what we need. I am not supposed to worry about getting back from my husband what I give to him. My focus should be to do what is pleasing to God and He will provide for me through my husband at times and also by his own hand.

In my situation I know that my husband wants to do the same thing for me. And since we are both fallen creatures we fail each other all the time, but we will both continue on. As Stuart Scott said so eloquently, we want to love each other tenderly and perfectly for the other's good within the context of an eternal commitment. And this will not just happen, my natural tendency is to "self. " As I daily spend time in the word, learn from and be encouraged by others, such as, doing book studies like this one, and committing to my husband, he and I progress into being more and more like Jesus together.

This study of The Excellent Wife has been so rewarding to me and we are only on chapter 4. Come join us, it's never too late. Leslie at Lux Venit is hosting this book study. Please stop by her blog and benefit from her wisdom and experience as well as the many other ladies that have joined her.


Leslie said...

Interesting that it seems so much easier to put others first when it comes to people outside of our immediate family members. When God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves, I think he's talking about husbands, too. :) Instead we expect our husbands to just "understand" why we're rude to them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Adzele K. Jones said...

In reading your post, I started to wonder about the full extend of the statement or question "What will it do for me?" Like you said, even when we can rationalized our attitude we still have to put ourselves at side and focus on God...I have to say, it is hard and painful..but with practice and a lot of prayers, it is possible, and the rewards is a blessed self and a blessed relationship all in the Grace of God.