I have been married to my wife for a little over seven years. Our marriage has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. Sure there are times when she gets on my nerves (just so you know, I don’t get on her nerves because I’m perfect). We can both be stubborn and there are times when things get a little testy. But I thank God daily that she’s all mine.
With that comes the understanding that I am responsible for my wife’s spiritual growth. In our gender-inclusive (which I personally love and practice), compartmentalized, personalized society, men tend to lose sight of this fact. Husbands play a very special role in their wives’ spiritual development. When we don’t fulfill that role, we have failed as husbands. And it’s easy to fall into this trap. Especially when our personal growth is yielding fruit. We have our own personal Bible studies. We spend alone time with God. We grow…but individually. The truth is: Men should be equally as passionate about our spouse’s spiritual growth as we are our own.
The Nervous Husband
And when there is a spiritual disconnect between you and your spouse, it tends to hinder their growth. I have a confession. I’ve preached on many occasions. Without fail, the one thing that makes me nervous the most is preaching in front of my wife. I know pastors who practice their sermons in front of their spouse. I can’t do it. Not going to happen. She makes me nervous. Probably all that sexiness she has going on. But every time I walk out of the pulpit after I preach, I always seek out her opinion. What did you think? Was it too long? Did you get me when I said…? There’s something comforting and reassuring about her words. Because I am spiritually knit together with her.
Sometimes those nerves work against me. Sometimes those nerves cause me not to pray with her as often as I should. And I excuse it. I pray fervently for her on a regular basis. But I have learned (and am still learning) that there is a significant difference between praying FOR your spouse and praying WITH your spouse. The excuses continue. I thoroughly enjoy my personal study time. But there’s a huge difference between reading a personal devotional and sitting down and reading a devotional with your wife.
Conviction to Lead
As I was reading a quote today, I was convicted by these three words God spoke to me: “Don’t become Lot”. You remember Lot, right? Living in Sodom with his family. Delivered supernaturally by God. But he lost his wife in the process. She looked back toward Sodom and turned into a pillar of salt. A tragic tale. But here’s the greatest tragedy summed up the R. Kent Hughes:
The very woman who bore [Lot’s] children, who was on most intimate terms with him, who knew the contours of his soul, saw nothing in him or in his faith to point her from earth to heaven.
Wow. So today I repented. I repented of anything I have done that hasn’t pointed my wife from earth to heaven. That time I went an entire day without speaking to her just to prove a point. I repented for not praying with her enough, reading with her enough, and processing with her enough. And it took three simple words: “Don’t become Lot”. And I prayed these words to my God: “In my thoughts, words and deeds, may I continue to point my wife from earth to heaven. I prayed those in awe-inspired humility. Knowing that I’m just as responsible for her spiritual growth and development as I am my own.
Because ultimately I want our relationship to BE salt to this dying world and not BECOME a pillar of salt.