“My daddy works for my mommy and makes money,” says Ellen, 6.
Lance, 6, shares a similar view: “Mama can stay at home, and the mommies can rest. Mommies can ask daddies to go get something, like food for the kids.”
Everything really begins at the altar, says Kimberlee, 6: “When the husband got married, he said he would love her and take care of her. When they get married, they say stuff like that.”
But there’s more than economics and chores, says Elliot, 6: “A husband should hug and kiss his wife, give her flowers and pick up the kids. He should also feed the dog.”
Well, we still have chores, but a little hugging and kissing along the way will make them seem effortless. Besides, your dog will appreciate your cheerful attitude.
“Men, do not argue with your wives, for you will never win,” says Constance, 11. “Wives will always try to win an argument.”
There’s an ancient proverb that says, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Choose your arguments carefully.
To promote harmony, Kelsey, 11, offers this advice: “I think that husbands and wives should listen to each other and consider each other’s ideas and thoughts. They should appreciate each other, be thankful for one another and be happy if something good happens to one of them.”
Three short Bible verses confirm Kelsey’s insight: “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). “In everything give thanks” (I Thessalonians 5:18). “Rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15).
Marriages could be revitalized if the couples listened, thanked and rejoiced. Couples should listen to God, thank him for their spouse’s uniqueness and rejoice in the Lord for marital blessings.
When a husband hears God, he’ll listen to his wife as the unique person God created to bring him into greater conformity with Christ. He’ll find creative ways to express his appreciation. He’ll encourage her and rejoice in her growth, achievements and interests. He might even learn how to be gracious to smiling in-laws who believe their daughter could have done better. Wise wives know that listening, thanking and encouraging are two-way streets.
“Be kind and faithful to your wife as God was to the church,” says Meredith, 10. “Husbands should honor and care for their wives like God cares for us.”
Meredith gives us the view from heaven. Just as animal sacrifices in the Jerusalem temple foreshadowed the greater reality of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for our sins, so marriage serves as an illustration of something greater.
Even though all marriages after Eden consist of two imperfect people, all have one thing in common when they begin and hopefully for their duration — love.
Think about this: Jesus demonstrated love for his bride when he willingly allowed himself to be sacrificed for her sins. In the Bible, the universal church consists of all people who by faith have been made pure by the cleansing power of Jesus’ sacrificial death. The bride, who has kept herself pure for her husband, is the metaphor (the bride of Christ) God chose to label this mysterious union of Christ and his people (Ephesians 5:22-33). Jesus’ passion for his bride makes all human love seem tepid by comparison.
Memorize this truth: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
Ask this question: Do you look at your wife in the light of heaven’s grand design?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2006 CAREY KINSOLVING