During a quick Bible study after church, the other day, my wife and I ran into a scripture that is familiar to many of us. 1 Corinthians 7:4 reminds us that the husband has control over the wife's body and vice versa. But in light of several recent conversations, I began seeing this from another perspective that I've found helpful and believe that you would too.
Traditionally, this is referenced when speaking about the state of our sexual relationship. This application is accurate and has significance! However, I believe that the Lord can use this verse to reveal another meaning to men that are seeking maturity in their marriages. Namely, that our whole person is in some way subject to that of our wife because of God's desire for mutual submission. Paul also reminds us that "...married people will have trouble every day..." in 1 Cor. 7:28, so with that in mind, let's explore a few relevant examples of these "Every Day Troubles" that marriages endure.
Every Day Trouble #1: You receive a call from your wife wondering why you are an hour late coming home. You quickly tell her that you are working overtime and can't talk. Later, when you arrive home, she is noticeably and possibly verbally upset. Her reaction incites anger on your behalf because generally speaking; you were doing something positive, working. The tension in this situation could have easily been avoided by submitting your plans to your wife and calling her to give notice by saying. "Hey, honey. They are offering overtime at work tonight, so I am going to stay for a few hours. Are you good with that?"
Every Day Trouble #2: The Mrs. comes to you and tells you about plans that she made after church. You retort "No, you have to be home tonight! I am already going to the game!" Mutual submission understands that your wife is in need of a break as well. Honoring her in this way would look like this reply instead. "I'm sorry we got the plans confused, but I've already purchased my tickets. I'll tell you what, I will take the kids to the park tomorrow after work so that you can have some downtime."
Every Day Trouble #3: You've thrown your back out building the latest project on the Honey-do list and have been laying in bed for the last 4 hours. Seeing that you are barely able to move, your wife tells you that it is time to go to the Dr. You gruffly reply "I don't need to go to the Dr, I'm all right." And you immediately get the look from your wife that means "Get up and go now!" There is no discussion to be had, my friends. Your wife has your best intentions at heart, and instead of bickering with her, simply take her guidance.
In all of these examples, one thing is clear. By opening lines of communication, you keep the Biblical authority granted to you as the head of your home, while sharing the power of your body with your wife. These simple acts of consideration sow seeds of accord with your spouse. When we fail to communicate our whereabouts, fail to be considerate in our responses, and fail to take her well-meaning advice, we are failing to respect our union and crossing marital boundaries. Choose to look and listen with the eyes and mind of Christ. Anything that causes pain to our spouse is significant and begs thoughtful application of this verse. 1 Cor 7:4b "and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife." We must, husband and wife, submit ourselves to God. As leaders in our home, we must make the first move.
Thanks for joining me in part one of this series, looking forward to sharing some more thoughts with you in part two.
In the meantime, let's chat in the comments below. Do you have any other examples of Every Day Troubles that you face in your marriage? If so, share! And let us know how you exercise mutual submission.