Be a man and go first.

May 20, 2011

in Series, The "D" word

© Paul H. Byerly

I suspect many of you have seen the saying “The beatings will continue until morale improves”. We laugh because it’s so wrong – beating people to make until feel better, or at least act like they feel better. Unfortunately, I see a lot of men and women doing something very similar in their marriages. Not beating each other, but denying, limiting, and holding back from each other until they feel sure their spouse is a committed to change as they are. It’s “you go first, then I will follow” and when both spouses do it, no one will ever go first, and the marriage is going to suffer greatly – and very possibly end in divorce

So suck it up and go first, guys. Be a man. Take the risk. Do what you should do even without any guarantee that it will work. Choose to love, forgive, serve, sacrifice and care for her, regardless of what she does or does not do in response. Keep doing that until you can’t do it anymore, and then ask the Lord to help you keep doing it a while longer.

Is this my usual “I’m talking to men, not women, so I am telling men what they can do, not what women can or should do?” Yes, that does apply here, but there’s something more behind this one. I am convinced, both from what I read in the Bible and from what I have seen in many marriages, that women are far more likely to respond to their husband “going first”. I think God made women to respond, and made men to initiate. That does not mean every women will respond, some won’t. It also does not mean a wife should just wait for her hubby to act – if you are a woman reading this, do what is right because it is right.

Bottom line: If your bride did not enter marriage significantly damaged, and if you have not been to horrible to her, there is a very, very good chance that she will respond in kind if you start working to be the best husband possible.

2 comments
AJ
AJ

Yes, this is the way to do it. I've done it the wrong way for years, and it only ended in even greater disappointment and frustration. That was the case even though I knew that my wife was convinced of the need to address her sins against me. Aren't we all weak like this, knowing what is necessary and yet not doing it? But this is where we must take charge and take responsibility, as this writer says. Being a man and 'going first', committing to the acts of change ahead of my wife, is not only right, and biblical--it's a matter of loving my wife sacrificially, as well as living with her 'according to knowledge'--but it also has worked in ways that the other (stupid, wimpy) strategy did not, and does not. Going first is turning around my relationship with my bride of fifteen years.

Mark John
Mark John

1 Peter 4:8-9 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

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  1. […] Be a Man, and Go First – the title says it all.  If you’re reluctant to follow this link, it may be the very thing you need to read.  Go for it… Marriage Missions International  […]

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