Yesterday @FierceMarriage on Twitter posted a question that got me thinking. They asked, “If you could give a young engaged couple some words of advice for their upcoming marriage, what would you say?” I did reply, and you can read that reply here, but I wanted to expand on what I wrote and speak to you about it. In order to have a successful marriage, you need to know your place!
Every husband and every wife needs to know their place in their marriage, and to stay there. If either one of both of them step out of that place, or are removed from that place by their spouse, the marriage will suffer. The marriage relationship, along with many other roles and relationships in life, will fall apart. There needs to be order in the family unit for it to function properly. The marriage relationship will bring strife rather than joy. Children raised with that marriage as an example will go into their own marriages with confusion and poor habits. That couple’s influence on other young couples will be a stumbling block for them. In short, bad things happen when a husband and wife don’t know their places in the marriage.
What are their places you ask? No, I’m not going into the wife at home vs working wife discussion. Submission is a topic for another post. I’m talking about how a couple needs to know their places as far as priority and influence in each other’s life!
Not Too Elevated
A husband or a wife should not take too elevated of a place for themselves in their marriage. One member of a couple should not view the other too highly either. Neither of them are God! Nobody should treat their spouse as if they were God. Neither should they act as if they are their spouse’s God. Only God can be God! God is perfect, He deserves to be worshiped, is unchanging and all-knowing. We are not. Our spouses are not.
To avoid taking that place in the marriage, spouses need to encourage each other to take time with the Lord. Protect each other’s Bible reading and prayer time. It may take sacrificing some of their together time. However, if a couple puts their marriage ahead of their relationships with the Lord, it throws everything else in their lives out of whack.
Likewise, no one should make their spouse into an idol. It’s not their job to fulfill every need. They cannot live up to that expectation. A spouse’s place is not up on a pedestal to be fawned over and bowed down to. One party is not a slave with the other being their master.
Not Too Lowly
Spouses should be careful not to think to little of their other half either. Putting work, children, or other family members ahead of each other is not healthy for the marriage either.
To make sure the marriage is made a priority over other things, a couple needs to make sure they are getting time together. Never cancel plans to take optional overtime at work. Put the kids to bed early or leave them with a babysitter, and tell them why! It sets a good example for them to see spouses choosing each other. If any family member says something rude about their other half, a spouse should defend them, and even make a point to speak well of them. Doing these types of things keeps your spouse in the proper place in your marriage.
Just the Right Place
The right place for a couple to be in each other’s lives is on equal ground. They should be priority above everything else, second only to God. When spouses know their place, and stay there in their own eyes as well as their spouse’s eyes, the marriage flourishes. The couple sets a good example for their children and other couples they are in contact with. They find joy in their relationship and their expectations are reasonable. The marriage will not be a slave and master relationship, but a relationship like the one Jesus has with His people (Ephesians 5:24-26).
Now that you know your place in your marriage, how do you plan to make sure you stay there? Do you need to re-evaluate how you see your spouse? Do you need prayer for your marriage? Feel free to share in the comments or to email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org!