Dethroning the Fantasy Marriage: Christian Wife 101

Welcome to Christian Wife 101
This series is meant for all wives, newly married and decades married, living the oft-times difficult journey of marriage who want to rediscover the blueprint for joy and peace that God made possible and laid out in His word.

I’m in no way an expert on godly marriage nor am I a perfect wife. Far from it. But thanks be to God’s merciful Spirit, He has taken my past mistakes and opened my eyes to how I was sabotaging my desires for a peaceful life. When we try to rewrite God’s design, we will fail every time. But, oh, that illuminating moment when we finally get it: only God’s way works!

Christian Wife 101 is about getting back to the basics of what God says marriage is. Getting back to what God says a “help meet” is. Christian Wife 101 is a study for wives who want to thrive (not merely survive) in their role as a Christian wife.

 

Dethrone the Fantasy Marriage

I can’t say precisely when I realized my fantasy marriage was doomed. There was no clear-cut moment of descent onto the glaring stage of reality. I just remember that shortly after my honeymoon, disillusion settled around me like dust in an unused room.

 

Christian Wife 101

Dear young bride, your husband is not your dream come true.

He is not an ornament to decorate your life with.

~ desert.rain.gleniece

 

This man of my dreams wasn’t mimicking the life-size poster of an ideal husband that I carted around in my head before “I Do” graced my lips. He wasn’t perfectly charming, agreeable, and loving to me the way I imagined he’d be. This manly man I fell in love with wasn’t poseable like a mannequin on display and wouldn’t concede his rightful authority no matter how much I tried to convince him of the wisdom of my ways. This was disastrous!

I never saw myself as a manipulating or bitter wife. (These cringe-worthy attributes are much easier to spot in others than in yourself.) But through subtle feminine cunning and outright desperate control, I kept trying to repair the broken facade of what I thought my husband and marriage should be. And when this repeatedly failed, I began to concede, with a furrowed brow and a pitiful moan, that I’d never have a happy marriage.

 

What we’re taught about marriage

I wish I grew up in a home where both parents loved and honored each other as God intended. When parents live out their marriage this way, they give their children a glorious gift they take with them into their future marriages that sideswipes many marital woes from ever surfacing. {sigh} But many of us, I’d venture to say, were not blessed with a great example and learned false ideas regarding the institution of marriage and the roles of husband and wife and struggle daily with how to reconcile that.

Like me, you probably didn’t set out to be a disrespectful wife. You probably didn’t intentionally try to grab the reins of authority away from your husband. You certainly didn’t think you were sabotaging your children’s future by warping their perceptions of God’s design. But it happened none the less.

We enter marriage starry-eyed, thinking our husband is the final piece to the puzzle, the prize at the end of the race, the shiniest bauble in our chest of dreams. We want to polish him and show him off and revel in how he makes us feel. But eventually baubles chip and lose their sheen. We’re left with a not-so-pretty ornament we’d rather tuck away. Disappointment, anger, and comparison fill our once giddy minds.

That’s what happens when dreams become idols.

 

Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own mercy. Jonah 2:8 NKJV

 

Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god. Psalm 16:4a

 

Idols capture our hearts, motivate our actions, and build us a house we eagerly move into without first checking the foundation. Because any dream outside of the will of God is built on sand. It’s a balsa wood structure of false hopes and unrealistic expectations surrounded by a white-picket-fence of impossibilities.

Your balsa wood husband will eventually collide with the stone wall of the real one. And when he does, you’ll convince yourself an imposter is sleeping in your bed. Was there some switcharoo Laban-style when your back was turned? Did God make some terrible mistake?

No. God knew exactly what He was doing in bringing the two of you together. God gave you your specific husband (yes, the same one with the crazy ideas and maddening ways) to grow you spiritually, to help you physically, and to guide you mentally past the me-centered world you inhabited with glee.

Real men can’t live in the confines of our dreams and we shouldn’t be surprised when they shatter those girlhood fancies leaving splinters at our feet. Much of our disappointment in marriage stems from idolized dreams and the expectation that our husband should conform to them. But that’s not God’s way and we wonder why we cry.

 

Christian Wife 101

I was in love with the IDEA of marriage—

the heart-shaped cutout of Happily-Ever-After I carried with me from my youth.

~ desert.rain.gleniece

 

Are you idolizing a fantasy marriage? Dethrone it. Only God's authentic design for marriage will stop the strife and bring you the peace and harmony you seek. #christianwife101, #godlymarriage, #christianwoman, #repentance

 

 

Your fantasy marriage is not from God

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

 

We are told by the world that our “rights” and our happiness is all that matters. That if marriage becomes too uncomfortable or inconvenient to let it go and get on with our lives. Even within the Christian church, feelings and circumstances often take precedence over what God says is right. Our ways are not His ways and once we accept that and repent of our stubbornness, light casts its healing rays over our previously dark marital path.

 

 . . . for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God. 2 Corinthians 6:14-16a

 

Even though it brought me nothing but pain, I hung onto my “fantasy marriage” far too long. It was a worldly viewpoint I held tightly alongside my faith in God and belief in His word. But we can’t have it both ways. We can’t keep evil ideology like a beloved pet on our laps then shoo it somewhere safe only to bring it out later when it suits us. Like biblical doctrine, we can’t take the parts of marriage we like and disregard the rest. Marriage is not a 50/50 partnership or an equal authority arrangement for men and women to merely satisfy their emotional and physical needs. It took me years to realize my fantastical idea of what marriage should be was more important than listening to what God already said it was.

 

 

God says:

  1. Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). God created this most worthy of relationships for the good of men and women and society in general.
  2. Marriage has a purposeful structure (1 Corinthians 11:3). The Father is the head of Christ; Christ is the head of the husband; the husband is the head of the wife. This is God’s righteous authority structure that the world hates and urges us to defy. But within God’s design, there is peace—not oppression.
  3. Wives are the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7). Physically we are weaker and need the help of a masculine partner. Spiritually we have the greater potential to be deceived (as was Eve) and therefore God places us under the protection of a husband/leader. If our husband makes an error in judgment and we follow our husband, we are not held responsible for the outcome. We are protected by God when we respect His order and trust Him.
  4. Marriage is an archetype of the oneness the Father and Son have (John 10:30; 17:11, 21-22) and Christ and His church should have (Ephesians 5:32). The ultimate goal of marriage is oneness between husband and wife. When the two become one they fulfill the mystery that is God and His Son and Christ and His church by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, and of one mind (Philippians 2:2).
  5. Marriage, God’s way, produces godly children (Malachi 2:15). We women can break the cycle of generational dysfunction when we adhere to the only proven path to marital joy—obedience to God.

 

As Christians, we don’t regard Christ as less important or loved by being in subjection to His Father. So why do we think we are less than in our role as wives? We are not less important or loved by God because He asks us to submit to a husband. On the contrary, when we submit to His divine order, we are honored and protected by it.

Our role as wives is similar to Christ’s role as a Son under God, the Father. Our role as wives is also similar to the church’s role as a Bride under the headship of Christ. The church is subservient to Christ, and Christ is subservient to the Father. (Subservient never means abused or denigrated.)

When we fight the order God created, we are, in essence, placing ourselves above Christ (Christ and the church) and above God (God and His Son). Nothing good can come from that. Our attempts (innocent or not) to circumvent this order will only result in confusion, strife, and pain. But when we accept the wisdom of God’s order, good comes in the form of joy in our marriage and the long-awaited peace we’ve been searching for.

So let’s drop-kick the cardboard facsimile of marriage that Satan wants us to worship along with the life-sized poster of an ideal husband—that no flesh and blood man could ever attain—and embrace God’s authentic version of marriage. This righteous version is not subject to our feelings, skewed sense of justice, or even our difficult circumstances. Only by obedience to God’s ways, can we, as burgeoning godly wives, begin to experience the marital peace and harmony of our dreams.

In the dazzling light of God’s reality, marriage becomes a thing of beauty to behold. A jewel that only gets more valuable over time.

 

 

Abiding in the Vine,

~ Gleniece

 

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About Gleniece

Writer/Editor at Desert Rain. Wife to Mighty Man. Homeschool mom, Bible study-er. Lover of wine and chocolate. Ever thankful for the gift that is Christ.

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