The Delicate Balance
In the Garden of Eden, God gave the first man an incredible gift: a wife. She was the one who fit him perfectly -- custom-designed by God to be his ultimate partner in life. But marriage is not automatic. It must be maintained. Husbands and wives must live out their callings as God intends. Otherwise things get off-balance, and it's not only the marriage relationship that suffers.
Read Ephesians 5:25. Paul reminds husbands to follow the example of Christ: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and give himself up for her." Pointing to Christ's example again, wives are instructed to do the same: "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands."
It's a delicate balance in a Christian marriage, like a chemical formula. Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially, and wives to submit to their husbands willingly. If these two ingredients are not balanced, the marriage relationship becomes off-balance. And sometimes a mistake in the formula can burn the whole chemistry set.
God's design for marriage is written into the fabric of creation. And when we step away from God's good plan, things are headed for disaster. Peter counsels husbands to guard this delicate balance "so that nothing will hinder your prayers" (1 Peter 3:7).
It's not only the marriage relationship that suffers when we abandon God's design. The husband's relationship with God suffers, and so does his wife's. Satan is powerless if we will keep our eyes on Jesus. But if we allow the enemy to gain a foothold in any part of our lives, including marriage, our relationship with God will suffer.
Husbands, are you loving your wives as Christ loved the church? Wives, are you submitting to your husbands, as you do to the Lord? If your relationship is not being lived out according to God's design, ask for His forgiveness and take the necessary steps to bring your relationship into alignment with His will. As soon as repentance, confession, and restoration of that marriage formula takes place, joy is restored. And you can be confident that your relationship is not a hindrance, but a gateway to communion with your heavenly Father.
Prayer: Father, show me the ways in which I need to nurture my marriage and restore and maintain the beautiful, delicate balance that You have designed. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps" (1 Peter 2:21).