Establishing Healthy Husband-Wife Relationships

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Husband and Wife

Last night I had a revelation from the Lord. It taught me what a real Godly relationship is, and it answered some of the questions that I have been seeking answers to since the days of my childhood.

I used to not like the scripture found in Colossians 3:18 which reads, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.Ephesians 5:22-23 also teaches, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

What I believe those scriptures are teaching is that God does not look upon women as being “second class citizens.” What is also being taught is that the husband, if he is a Godly person who loves and obeys the Lord, will see his wife as the Lord sees her – a choice and special daughter of God. In my personal life, I always felt that it was a continual power struggle to see which of us could be the most domineering in the relationship. After some time, I soon discovered that I had missed the mark completely.

Husbands and Wives Care For One Another

In order to have and keep up a healthy marriage relationship, I had to come to the realization that if I am a daughter of God, walking in obedience to His will, then I should have a heart’s desire to do those things which are pleasing unto Him, and that included being submissive to my husband. I also gained the understanding that being submissive does not imply that any wife should have to endure the abusive behaviors of her husband, but rather, being submissive means that she should love, respect, and honor her husband as the authoritative figure (Priesthood leader) of the home. By so doing, she demonstrates her respect, love, and honor for her Father in Heaven and lives her life in accordance with the plan for marriage which He has established.

How could I possibly be a “second class citizen” if I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father? The answer, I can’t! Like the Psalmist, I declare that “I will praise [Him]; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14).

What the Lord revealed to me is a message that I wish to share with all women. If your husband refuses to treat you with the love and respect that a daughter of God should have in a marriage relationship, then you are married to the wrong man. In Ephesians 5:25 we read, “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Ladies, if your husband does not love, respect, and honor the church or more importantly, Christ who is the head of the Church, and if he is not willing to be obedient to His commandments, how can he show that same type of Christ-like love towards you? Simply, he can’t! If that is the type of relationship that you find yourself in, then it is certain that Heavenly Father never put his blessings upon the union from the start.

Romantic Love

From the beginning when Adam was all by himself on this earth, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). The scriptures go on to tell us:

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man (Genesis 2:21-23).

Therefore, God designed marriage between a man and a woman, not for one to lord it over the other, but that “they shall be one flesh” (see Genesis 2:24). In other words, the husband and the wife complement one another.

There is an order which must be followed if you are seeking a true Godly marriage. First, the man is the head of the household – the Priesthood leader – and the woman is to respect and honor his role if there is to be any happiness in the home.

However, before a man can become a good spiritual leader of a home, he must align his will with the will of the Father, be obedient to His commandments, and learn to follow and act upon the promptings of the Holy Spirit. By so doing, if it is his wish to be married, the Lord will bless him with the right woman to be his wife. Once he is married, it then becomes his responsibility to assume his proper role as head of the household. He is to “dwell with [his wife] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that [his] prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). He is to love his wife, and not be bitter against her (see Colossians 3:19). If there are children in the home, he is also admonished to “provoke not [his] children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

The role of the wife is to be her husband’s help meet and to nurture their children. She is to be a woman who is “sober, loves her husband, loves their children, discreet, chaste, keeper of the home, good, and obedient to her husband, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (see Titus 2:4-5). As a result of her obedience to her husband and to God, she will be greatly blessed. Together, she and her husband will be able to raise a righteous posterity. They will be able to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Perhaps an understanding of the words “submissive” and “honor” are in order at this juncture. To be submissive does not imply that a woman has to tolerate abuse from her husband. She is not her husband’s literal punching bag, footstool, or doormat. This would also include not tolerating verbal abuse.  The husband is to honor his wife. She gave up her name to take his. Honor means that he should show her respect which involves being courteous, considerate, and giving emotional support when needed. The husband should not belittle or berate his wife in private or in public with his cutting remarks. He must realize that his wife is not perfect, but neither is he. He must be gentle towards her, control his temper, abstain from physical violence and restrain from making her feel inferior. I might add that these same “rules” apply to the wife in the way that she treats her husband. In other words, both husband and wife must learn to “be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven [them]” (Ephesians 4:32).

Abusive Relationship

Women who are in abusive marriages and relationships lack self-esteem and often feel void of the love and compassion that God offers them. As a result, many do not seek a Godly life, but rather, they turn to the things of the world to fill a chaotic void in their life. They live under the delusion that the man they are in a relationship with “loves” them, and so they often find themselves hopelessly trapped and unable to escape an explosive situation. Too often, many lose touch with reality, believing that they are worthless, and as a result, they never live their lives as the special daughters that God intended for them to be.

Ladies, if you are in an abusive relationship and you are living under the delusion that you are being submissive to your Heavenly Father, it’s high time that you take a moral inventory of yourself and do some serious soul-searching, and begin to realize that it is not God’s will for you to live your life filled with self-doubt, fear, and feelings of no self-worth. A lot of Christian women put up with abuse because they think they are being submissive to their husband, but an abusive marriage is not Heavenly Father’s will for their life.

In order for a couple to set up healthy husband-wife relationships, they must first put the dynamics of marriage and family in their proper perspective, and not be misled or confused by the misconceptions of the world. Perhaps the first question that a person should ask themselves before becoming involved in a relationship or marriage is, “Is this God’s will for my life?”

Karlyn Stebbins; 29 March 2014

Additional Resources:

The Empirical Triangle of the Marriage Union

The Blessedness of Womanhood

The Father That Every Child Needs

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

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