Hearing what we need to do as men and women in our relationships is very difficult. I am sure that during last week’s message, as husband’s were called to love their wives, their tired, grumpy, moody, stressed, emotional, verbally powerful wives, that there was some fear there. Likewise, this past week, as women heard about the respect their husbands needed, they too had fears of being taken advantage of, trodden down and following a poor leader (ie: do dee do).

I’ll admit, doing some of the things required to break the crazy fighting cycle in our marriages, can make you feel like you vomited in your mouth a little. It isn’t easy. It requires, like all things worth having, hard work from both the husband and the wife. I want to tell you though, it works. Crazily enough, it really, really works. Not just in my marriage, but I have seen it at work in the marriages of my friends who went through this study with us.

And isn’t it ironic, that the behaviors that seem to make the least amount of sense are exactly what we are called to do? I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised, because we happen to serve a God who likes to turn things inside out. The God we serve has a way of looking at things that is totally contradictory to what we are told will work in this world. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” 1 Cor. 3:19

The Jews were expecting a King who would come, fight, and restore their earthly nation.
They got a poor baby born in a stable to parents with a shady past.

Leadership 101 says we need to push and strive to get ahead.
Jesus taught us to wash our follower’s feet and to serve others.

The world tells us to take all we can and look out for number one.
God tells us to take up our cross and die to ourselves.

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Luke 9:22-24

It doesn’t make sense to act lovingly to a rude, disgruntled, disrespectful wife, but ironically, that is just what she needs to change. It doesn’t make sense to be calm and respectful to a cold, distant, thoughtless man, but likewise, that is just what he needs to change. That is the beauty of God’s grace. It doesn’t make any sense at all, but it is absolutely, irresistibly, what we need. When we start to act lovingly and respectfully to our spouses, we can begin to be God’s grace to them. May God bless our marriages this week as we try to live out His grace.

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