Hi everyone,  it’s Todd (Crystal’s less attractive other half).   A few weeks ago my wife wrote a fantastic post on our marriage.  Usually, I know what she’s writing and when she’s posting it.   This one, however, took me by surprise.   In my opinion, she pretty much nailed it.  Marriage can be hard.  Marriage can also be incredibly rewarding.  Ladies I’m hoping to give you an insight into the male mind.  Don’t be scared, many times there’s not much there.  Men, I’m challenging you to grow in your faith and hopefully point out a few verses that will help.

Our marriage has been a crazy road filled with highs and lows, but I knew when I met Crystal in 1996 that she was something special and in 1998 I proposed to her.  It’s  has been a long windy road full of mostly highs, but our fair share of lows, ever since.

View of Newport Bridge from King Park

View of Newport Bridge from King Park

This is where I proposed to my wife to be.

Why I Think Marriage Is Hard Work For Women

Crystal will not agree with the things I am about to say one bit, but my perspective is different.  I believe Crystal is a Proverbs 31 woman.  She believes she still has much to learn before that can be true, but I say it is already true.  Striving to live this out is one of the reasons why I think women see marriage as hard work.   Crystal wasn’t always a Proverbs 31 woman, but fortunately for me, she has sought God to MAKE her that way.  She seeks Him, and he restores her and guides her to be the woman He wants her to be.  Let me show you what I mean by breaking down the qualities I see in her according to scripture.  I could use all of the verses from Proverbs 31, but I’ll highlight a just few of my favorites.

Proverbs 31:11 ‘Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value’   –  Only God himself gives me more than Crystal does on a daily basis.  I trust her with the lives of our children.  She homeschools them, and I have no second thoughts on this AT ALL. 31:12 ‘She brings him good, not harm,  all the days of her life.’  – Crystal does everything in love.   (see 1 Corinthians 16:14, which strangely enough led me to write this post)  Crystal seeks to continually improve herself and bring everyone in the family closer to God.  Proverbs 31:30 ‘Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.’   To me, this is a command from God.  I often fall short on praising my wife, romancing her.  Sometimes I just have such a thick skull, and I don’t get it, and she’s left feeling like poop.  (Can I use the word poop on this blog?)  Oh well.

Why I Think Marriage Is Hard Work For Men

Don’t be discouraged ladies, and guys, don’t think that you’re off the hook.  God doesn’t just call women to be Proverbs 31 women.  He also calls men to lead and shows men what their responsibility is.  Any man that says Ephesians 5:25-33 is easy doesn’t understand it.  Christ died for the sin of the world because God LOVED the world.  Men we’re supposed to love our wives in that same way, with that much love, that much grace and that much forgiveness.  Whoa. Wait!! As a guy I like the Ephesians 5:22-24 verses and I think when Paul was writing this letter he should have just stopped there.  Wives submit to your husbands.  That verse makes life sound pretty cushy to me. But God wants more.  Sigh, there goes the cushy life.  Or does it? Maybe God and his infinite wisdom knows more than a dopey husband like myself.

The Message translation puts verse 25 this way: ‘Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting.’

THIS IS HARD!!! Especially as a man. Am I supposed to love and submit to her as well? Submission means weakness, doesn’t it? At least that’s how I think a lot of men think of it.  I’m less of a man if I submit, aren’t I?  God says no,  just look at the words of the greatest man himself, Jesus.  John 15:13 ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’   Jesus submitted his life on the cross.  Weak? Hardly.  God expects a husband to love his wife that much? Where’s the towel to throw in? Where’s the bell to ring out?  How in the world am I supposed to match that?

For me, this is where things often go south.  I’ve never really been good at the romantic stuff.   Want my latest lame excuse?  How can I love my wife as much as Christ loved the church? I think I can’t.  So if it can’t be elaborate and big and fancy and have a huge ‘wow’ factor, it wouldn’t happen.   Leave her a little love note? Rub her feet just because? Let her know I’m thinking of her when we are apart?  What is that compared to how I think of her?  So nothing would happen.  Guys,  this is where we need to step it up.  A little note,  flowers for no reason other than to say you’re thinking of her,  picking up your junk before she asks you.  Are these things hard to do? No? Are they hard for men to remember to do? YES!  Not because we don’t love our wives.  Not because we don’t want to make them feel good, but because our minds just don’t work that way.  We want to fix worldly problems! Are you sad? Let me DO something and make you happy? So ladies, give us some grace.  We’re wired differently.  Understand that if your husband wants to fix the problem, it’s his way of showing you he cares.  Yes we know we can’t always fix it, and we even know that on very rare occasions when there is a blue moon, we’re the real problem.

How Can We As Men Get Better?

Do I fall short on living up to Ephesians 5? YES!! Men, if you’re not serving and loving your wife the way God has called you I ask that you first start seeking Him.   I need to do this daily, and many days I still fall short.  Start by memorizing Ephesians 5:25.  Learn it in multiple translations.   Expand on it with the rest of Ephesians 5.  Then maybe hop over to 1 Corinthians 13.   The more you connect with God, the deeper you can connect with your wife.  Marriage is hard, but when as a couple you’re working together and seeking God together things can be a whole lot easier.

Tell us about your marriage! Are there verses that you strive to live by?  Have you found something that works for you?  Have your tried other things and failed.  What inspires you and your love?  Leave a comment… we want to hear about it!