In the tip for Sunday I wrote “These men and women do not act out of compulsion or fear, but rather out of love …” This was spoken about men and women who serve the Lord, but it should also be true of husbands and wives. Just as some “Christians” act out of fear, trying to please a God they feel is unpleasable, so some men and women act towards their spouses. I have known both men and women who were afraid to speak up, afraid to disagree, afraid to have an opinion that differs. Other men and women are always trying to figure out what is going to be wanted to try and avoid displeasing their spouse – not out of love, but out of fear of what might happen is they “fail”. I’m not (just) talking about what we would term abuse, but about fear of being rejected, ignored, grunted at, or otherwise not treated as we should be.
Ask yourself, has your bride ever done these things? Have you ever given her reason to act more out of” fear” than love? Have you ever used that to get something you wanted, or to avoid something you did not want to deal with? If there is any chance this has ever occurred, may I suggest you deal with it in your heart, and then with your bride?
Also ask yourself if you avoid saying or doing certain things because you know there will be a price to pay rather than because you wish to not do something that might bother or offend your bride. Most men have a desire for peace in their home, and it is tempting to let things go for the wrong reason. For any single such event it may seem like a good move, but these little events can add up till the weight of them is difficult to bear.
Do all you can to ensure that both you and your bride are acting out of love rather than any concern for what might happen if something else was said or done. Letting something go because it does not matter, and does not bother, is good – letting it go when it does matter, or does bother, will ultimately be bad.