Marriage (1): untended gardens grow weeds

(Tim Bayly) #1

New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:

(Jesse Tiersma) #2

Thank you for this. Wise and pastoral counsel for my own marriage, and a blessing to anyone who will read and apply it.

(Nathan Smith) #3

Pastor Bayly (from the article): “Otherwise, this dear precious bride God has given you was taught and exhorted and vowed to obey you, and likely (actually very likely) you failed to take the first days and months to help her to grow in submission.”

So true in my case. I hope there are men reading this who do not wait until they’ve been married five years before they realize their error and start leading. I even thought my hands-off “leadership style” was great and encouraged her to be her own woman for years. So foolish.

So much marital advice I hear is either weak or backward. I thank God for showing me a better/right way and helping me repent. I’m still learning and growing - and I guess I always will be - but at least it’s in the right direction now.

Thankful for you and your ministry.

(Jason Andersen) #4

Man, so much I can say on this topic. My wife and I have been married for 14 years. We each had pretty evangelicalish backgrounds growing up, and while we each held to what I would describe as “traditional” understanding of men being “initiatior” and woman being a helper, we had no real Scriptural footing concerning manhood and womanhood. Anything we had right in our understanding was owing purely to God’s mercy in the assumptions passed on to us by the circumstances of our upbringing, but otherwise I look back and stand amazed at our ignorance.

Looking back over the years of our marriage, some of the things God providentially used to teach me about the nature of manhood and womanhood were actually, first, rooted in… well, nature. That is, through my disobedience to God’s prescribed order of headship, I learned that it doesn’t work. Before the Scriptures were ever illumined to me on the matter, I learned firsthand what happens in a home where the man does not lead, and acts like a boy.

For example, coming into our marriage, I was deeply steeped in video game addiction. I managed to keep my wife ignorant of how big a problem this was prior to us getting married, but once we were married and living together, she got to see what kind of man I really was. I was irresponsible when it came to basic things. I did not care to keep oversight of our finances – I let my wife handle that. Though she would constantly look to me for leadership, I deferred to here in every matter of running our new home. I didn’t care.

It created strife in the marriage, by God’s grace. Not because my wife was cantankerous. On the contrary, she soldiered through it. She paid the bills. She made the decisions. She kept things going. For a few months, I was even unemployed while she went to work every day. I stayed home and played video games while I “looked” for a job. But it was plainly clear to me that she was frustrated that her husband was acting like a boy. She never said it that way, though there were definitely arguments where her displeasure was clear. She did not know how to articulate it, but she was looking for a man to lead her, and he refused.

By God’s grace, a sense of shame began to mount up in me. I felt emasculated, and not because I had a raging feminist wife, but because I was not acting like a man. Sitting down to play video games began to be accompanied with immense guilt. And God used this shame to bring about repentance. In hindsight, I am thankful that though both of us were exceedingly ignorant, God mercifully spared me from having a torturous wife, but rather through her long-suffering left room for the discipline of God.

Shame is indeed graceful.

(Nathan Smith) #5

Thanks for sharing, brother.

(Lucas Weeks) #6

Yes, thanks for sharing. A patient and godly wife is part of what helps us weak men grow in strength and leadership. That may sound strange to someone who thinks that strong men emerge out of thin air, but to those of us who have benefited from a good wife? We know their help in our growth as men and as leaders is simply immeasurable.