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Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Man Trick

Have you heard of this? It's called the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge. I read about it here from a woman who tried it. You see, she was evangelizing her unbelieving husband for 25 years. Nagged him to improve. Turned up the sermon CDs. Left tracts on the coffee table. Complained about him to him and to her church groups (okay, it was "prayer requests" to the church groups). The result? A miserable marriage and an unsaved husband. Then someone recommended she try this 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge.

While many in the church would agree with her approach and encourage her to continue, the Bible, you see, doesn't recommend this approach. Instead, here's what the Bible recommends:
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external -- the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear -- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious (1 Peter 3:1-4).
What an interesting approach! Instead of hounding and nagging, pushing and shoving, complaining and backstabbing, it would appear that God recommends "respectful and pure conduct". Instead of dressing to impress, it looks like the adornment ought to be "the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit." Huh. Who would have thought?

As it turns out, of course, it would appear that the Designer knew what He was talking about. Wives, for a large part, haven't figured out this little fact about men. What husbands want above all else is respect (Eph 5:33). Wives, for the most part, want love (see that same reference). A savvy wife, then, who wants to have a successful relationship with her husband, would do well to ... well ... do what God says. Respectful conduct. Gentle and quiet spirit. Respect. (Wives, added hint. What you may think of as "respect" and what he may think of as "respect" may not be the same thing.)

Look, humans are sinful. Given. There is no promise from God that "Wives, if you do these things your life will be glorious and your husbands will be all you want them to be." Indeed, husbands, while the bumper sticker may assure you, "Treat her like a thoroughbred and she won't be a nag", it simply isn't a divine guarantee. But here's what I can guarantee ... to both. Doing what God wants in the way God wants us to do it will absolutely result in the best possible outcome. So who is it that would get in the way of a wife who wants a happy marriage using God's instructions? I don't suppose it would be God. Your guess?

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