Thursday, February 11, 2010

Success in Marriage Key 3: Set a Positive Example

The Apostle Peter gave instructions for Christians to set a good example even to their non-Christian mates: "Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear" (1 Peter 3:1–2).

Remember, you cannot change another person against his or her will, but you can change yourself! We all have God-given responsibilities in our marriage and family. God tells husbands: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her" (Ephesians 5:25). Are you, as a husband, fulfilling your responsibility? Some husbands and wives place great emphasis on judging their mate’s conduct, to excuse their own lack of faithful service. Remember, we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, as it tells us Romans 14:10. Be sure you are fulfilling your own God-given responsibility as a husband or wife!

Years ago, Tomorrow’s World magazine Editor in Chief Roderick C. Meredith wrote two very helpful articles outlining the Christian responsibilities of husbands and wives. His article "What All Husbands Need To Know!" has helped me greatly in the more than 40 years of my marriage. Summarized briefly, a husband’s five areas of responsibility to his wife are: love and respect, support and encouragement, leadership and guidance, help and protection, and inspiration to grow (Plain Truth, June 1966).

A few months earlier, he had written a similar article, "True Womanhood—Is It a Lost Cause?," outlining qualities that will help a woman help her husband and the whole family. Those areas are: responsiveness and service, tenderness and beauty, intelligence and understanding, Christian virtue, and faith, hope and courage (Plain Truth, November 1965).

When we apply these biblical characteristics in our lives, we enrich the lives of others, and we strengthen our marriage and family.

The book of Titus outlines biblical responsibilities for Christian women, explaining that the older women should teach and "admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children" (Titus 2:4). Are you wives and mothers who are reading this article fulfilling your God-given responsibilities? If you are, you will be a positive example to your husband. God will bless your efforts, if you acknowledge Him in your marriage, and if you ask Jesus Christ to live His life in you. With God’s help, strive to be the best husband or the best wife you can be.

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