Without a doubt, marriage is in trouble—even among Christian leaders. You know the stories and the statistics. Few of us are immune to marital strife. And if the truth were told, many who hold ministerial credentials have struggling marriages.
William Barclay commented, “Any marriage in which all the privileges are on one side and all the obligations are on the other is bound to be an imperfect marriage with every chance of failure.”
How would Jesus treat your husband? How would Jesus treat your wife?
I can tell you some things Jesus would never do. He would never:
- Be rude
- Treat someone like a slave
- Tell someone to shut up
- Allow someone to or demand that she wait on Him hand and foot
- Give the silent treatment
- Insist that His demands be met without consideration of another’s needs
- Be unfaithful
Several years ago, a friend declined to attend the wedding of a leading Christian author who had divorced his wife without biblical cause and was now marrying another woman. When my friend confronted him, this author replied, “Well, I just cannot understand why God would not want me to be happy.”
What happened to this man? He took his eyes off Jesus and failed to treat his wife as Jesus would. How exactly would Jesus treat your wife?
He would model the response He desired. Did Jesus want His disciples to learn to be servants? Rather than lecturing them, He demonstrated service by taking a towel and washing their feet. Although headship was His by right, He earned it. Even as there are those who want an honorary doctoral degree without having to work for it, some husbands want the title of head but have never earned it.
Jesus would initiate communication and reconciliation. Who repairs the relationship between Jesus and Peter after Peter’s threefold denial? Jesus. After His resurrection, He personally appeared to Peter. If the husband is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, it falls to the husband to initiate the steps needed to repair trouble in a marriage. Why is it that nearly 80 percent of counselees with marriage difficulties are wives rather than husbands? Husbands need to take the lead in repairing marital damage and not leave it to their wives.
Jesus would exhibit responsibility, provide security and take the lead in demonstrating tenderness. He would not come home from a day’s work, sit in a lazy chair and begin barking orders. He excelled in giving love to others and always looked for ways to help, strengthen and encourage.
George O. Wood is the general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.