This is the final installment in a three-part series. The full first part and second part of 21 things a man needs to know about marriage is here, but we’ve listed the first 14 things from those posts here.
- A man needs to know that the ultimate team is marriage.
- A man needs to know the difference between being a consumer and an investor in life, in relationships, and marriage.
- A man needs to know the Christ-like role of servant, husband, and lover.
- A man needs to know that marriage is meant to mature a man into Christ-like character.
- A man needs to know the meaning of love.
- A man needs to know that a marriage and family depend upon God as their maker.
- A man needs to understand sexuality as God’s good creation, distinct from its counterfeits.
- A man needs to know that the key to great sex is exclusivity.
- A man needs to know that marriages typically have a one or two year “honeymoon era.”
- A man needs to know that living together and having sex before marriage uses up a good portion of the “honeymoon era” euphoria.
- A man needs to know that commitment is a key to success in all of life, and especially in relationships with a woman.
- A man needs to know that marriage is not easy.
- A man needs to know that the purpose of marriage is less to make you happy, than to make you holy.
- A man needs to know that God gives authority and responsibility to a husband to make the marriage thrive and last.
15. A man needs to know that he can change his marriage by changing himself. He can make himself a better husband by making himself a more consistent and devoted follower of Jesus. If he wants to improve any aspect of his marriage, family or parenting, the solution lies in deepening his daily commitment to God. The path to build a great marriage or heal a marriage is to humble one’s will, to let the Holy Spirit take control of him and to obey Christ.
16. A man needs to know that romance is created and sustained intentionally. Thinking about what she likes, remembering what is important to her, setting things up the way she prefers … these are all critical. In dating and various stages of life, romance can spontaneously happen, but for the long term, it must be deliberately planned and created. If a man wants to be a leader, this is an area in which to lead. It leads to good things.
17. A man needs to know that divorce is avoidable. He understands that nothing is impossible for God, and he humbles himself to admit and repent from the ways he fell short in loving his wife in the past, so he can excel at loving her from this day forward.
18. A man needs to know that he can recover from a wife’s affair because he has the power to forgive. Jesus forgave all his sin, and he is called to do the same with his wife. Furthermore, he seeks to understand what led his wife to be unfaithful, even if it means admitting his own failure. Usually a man breaks his vow to choose, love, and protect her before a woman breaks her vow to be faithful.
Note: if you have an affair, you don’t have control over whether you can recover because you can’t force a wife’s forgiveness.
19. A man needs to know that even the worst things can be redeemed for deeper purposes. Romans 5:3-5 reminds us to rejoice and find value in tribulation, loss, and suffering because tribulation brings perseverance, and perseverance brings proven character like that of Jesus, and proven character brings hope, and hope does not disappoint because God’s love is poured out to us by His Holy Spirit.
Face crises and trials and suffering straight on with Christ and a few close teammates. A man steps up by surrendering to Jesus Christ and persevering in making Him the center and Lord of his life.
20. A man needs to know that humbling yourself to your wife is the gutsiest and most successful way to heal her heart and your frequently-compromised relationship. A man with courage and wisdom will never overlook his wife’s hurt feelings. And he’ll seek to overlook the disrespectful words she blurts out in reaction to how he hurt her feelings.
When you are in conflict, don’t wait for things to blow over. Don’t try to point out her fault. Don’t try to minimize the situation. And don’t defend yourself. Instead, be a leader. Start the apology. A great starting point is, “I was wrong. I hurt you. Please forgive me?”
21. A man needs to know that a wife wants you to lead her, but will tend to lead and control you if you don’t lead and initiate. Leadership starts with your character and your devotion to Christ. Your walk with God determines the quality of your love and leadership as a husband.
Seek God. Read His word in the Bible. Pray for Him to shape and lead you. Humble yourself before Him. Seek a mentor or group to help you grow and become a good husband.
Leadership of a wife is humility before God, initiating teamwork with your wife, praying with her every day and praying for your family. Most guys I know well are like me in this: If you’re frustrated with your wife and your marriage, the solution lies in getting back into Jesus and His Word!