31 Days :: Day 20 – When Our Rights Are Wrong

This Morning:

  • Journal about what you woke up thinking about. Are your morning thought patterns improving?
  • Pray that God will help you see your marriage through new eyes (and thoughts and words) today.
Devotion: When Our Rights Are Wrong

I’m going to be pretty vulnerable today. Just a warning. This one is mostly geared toward married women (but there are important principles for everyone).

It’s amazing how God works. Over the past several days, my marriage has been under attack. Our arguments have done nothing productive… instead they have made God’s heart frown. It’s just been ugly. Today specifically, I have felt a gripping on me that cannot be explained by anything other than satanic attack. I have been exhausted, unable to make myself do much of anything. I have just felt strange… confused… angry… and scared.

Now to tell you about an interesting sequence of events from today. Waiting in the car line this afternoon, I checked Facebook and came across an article about a sweet couple who died holding hands. Before we discuss this any further, I would love for you to read this article: Couple Married 72 Years Dies Holding Hands. After reading it, I suddenly remembered a few other mentions of marriage that had come at me earlier in the day. A moment later, KLOVE started talking about marriages in America. So marriage talk was coming at me from everywhere, and then it hit me. I’m supposed to talk about marriage today.

We sometimes think we are “too big” in our marriages. I’m mostly speaking to wives here about our resistance to submission. I admit that I am the world’s worst at bucking my husband. It’s a control issue. One that starts in my mind… and comes out of my mouth.

How many times have we asked damaging questions in our minds about our spouses:

  • But what about my rights?
  • Why can’t he just listen to me?
  • Would taking care of the kids actually be easier without him here?
  • Doesn’t God want me to be happy?
  • Why did I marry him?
  • Why can’t he be more like _____?
  • What might life be like if I just started over?
  • Other???
Guess where these mind questions come from? STRAIGHT FROM THE ENEMY! They are incredibly dangerous to entertain!!! Our spouses are here, not to make us happy, but to partner with us in bringing God glory through our lives.

The thoughts we allow to go through our minds can be detrimental. The things we think on always affect what we say and do. When we start to think in this negative way, it begins to spiral. We begin entertaining these thoughts more and more. Then we start throwing out mean things. We start to cause pain. God didn’t give us marriage to hurt each other. As wives, He says we are to submit to our husbands (which is really hard for a control freak like me).

Here are some scriptures relating to this:

and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. – Titus 2:4-5

So we are to LOVE our husbands. Not beat them down (even in our thoughts). Self-controlled (not saying what we feel in the moment). Pure (we’ll talk more about this next week). Working at home (not lazy, and not complaining as we serve). Kind (not angry, bitter, demanding our rights, or mean). Submissive (not demanding our own way, but following their lead).

Likewise, 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. – 1 Peter 3:1-2

So we are to be SUBJECT to our husbands. That they may be won with our conduct. I’m learning (finally) that nagging and yelling do not “win” my husband’s affections. Plus he deserves more than that. Respect… what all husbands want and NEED is to feel respected. And there’s that “pure” word again (looking forward to next week).

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. – Ephesians 5:22-24

So we are to SUBMIT to our husbands, as to the Lord. Maybe that’s where we need to stop and talk. How is your submitting to the Lord? That’s where it has to begin. Before we can successfully submit to our mates, we must first submit to our Lord. We should submit in everything. That means our rights are wrong. When I chose to trust Christ, I chose to give up my rights. When I chose to marry that man, I chose to be ONE with him. To give up my self-centeredness. That doesn’t mean we are going to be slaves. God gives our men just as much instruction about marriage as he gives to us.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Ahh yes… the love chapter. Here is why we submit. Because we love. And it’s pretty clear in this chapter HOW we are supposed to love. I see nothing in 1 Corinthians 13 about “Love will make me happy,” or “Love will give me my rights,” or “Love will allow me to have my own way.” Do you?

I will be the first to admit today that my mind has not been “planted” in my marriage the way it should be. Resentment from things in my past, a desire for control, and my own beliefs about what marriage should be have blocked me from living life holding hands with my man. But holding hands is what I want. It will be pleasing to Jesus… and it will also be a good thing for the man that I love. When I read an article again about a couple who “died holding hands” I want to be able to smile and see my marriage in their story.

Marriage is a topic close to my heart… and one of the passions that led me to start Grow Where You’re Planted, by the way. If you don’t know my story, I invite you to read this post on my friend Karen’s blog: From The Inside Out.

To Make You Think:

  1. How are your thoughts when it comes to your marriage? Pure… or selfish?
  2. How is your submission? To the Lord and to your husband? Do you see how holding onto our rights can be wrong?
  3. Do you recognize how our pride and feelings of entitlement can get in the way of the good that God really wants to do in and through us?
The Rest of the Day:
  • Spend time in prayer about your marriage. And about your submission to the Lord. Ask God to reveal any issues to you and to break you in any areas that you need to be broken.
  • Journal about how you are feeling right now. Write down a commitment to protect your thoughts when it comes to your husband.
See you tomorrow!

Continuing on…  31 Days :: Day 21 – I Boast No More

6 Replies to “31 Days :: Day 20 – When Our Rights Are Wrong”

  1. I loved this post. I agree so much with what you said. I have found that the more that I respect my husband, the easier it is to love him. Also, he is better able to make decisions when he knows that I support him. I think that respect is incredibly important. When I respect my husband, he is much more loving and it is easy to submit to him because I know that he has our best interest at heart. So many people try to ignore what the Bible says about respect and submission, but it is really important in a marriage. Thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing this!

    1. Thanks so much, Rene! While preparing for this post, I genuinely experienced spiritual warfare stronger than I have felt it in a long time. It was a scary, but incredible, feeling. I\’m thankful that God put these words out there. One of those that wouldn\’t have gotten written if He wouldn\’t have stepped in. So thankful!!! Now if I can just get over myself and love and respect my husband consistently… the way God wants me to! 🙂

  2. Well, I'm not married yet but I definitely struggle with the lesson of pride and self-entitlement obstructing God's work in my life! It is so true that the thoughts we entertain become actions that are easily utilized by the enemy. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I think we all struggle with pride. As women, we seem to struggle with it in a unique way. I\’m thankful that God always gives us a way out when we are tempted in our minds! Now if we can just start living by it!!! 🙂

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