Elizabeth George is a Christian writer, teacher, and popular public speaker. She has written over 21 books mainly aimed at Christian women, focusing on Christian living and personal Bible study. Her titles are geared to help women remain focused on God’s truths for them along with real-life applications.
Check out this excerpt from the chapter “A Heart that Loves—Part 1,” in Elizabeth Geoerge’s title, A Woman After God’s Own Heart. Through May 30, you can get this ebook plus 17 more devotionals and study guides from Elizabeth George in the Elizabeth George Bundle for $69.99 and save 65%!
How can a wife nurture a heart of love, a heart prepared to support her husband in practical ways “until death us do part”?
Decide to make your husband your Number One human relationship—Our relationship with our husband is meant to be more important than the relationships we enjoy with our parents, friends, a good neighbor, a brother or sister, a best friend, and even our children—and the way we use our time should reflect that ranking.
I learned a lot about this kind of decision while reading a book written by a mother and her married daughter, Jill Briscoe and Judy Golz. Right before her daughter was married, Jill sat her down and told her that once she was married, she couldn’t come running home and she was no longer to be dependent on her parents for anything.
Then the daughter wrote: “When [Greg and I] were first married, I almost automatically reached for the telephone whenever I had a certain problem or very good news to share. Usually before I finished dialing your number, Mom, I realized what I was doing, and I made sure Greg knew about it first before calling you.”
Judy also asked her mother, “Do you remember the time Greg and I had a newly married tiff and I called you in tears? The first thing you said to me was, ‘Judy, does Greg know you are calling me?’”
I say, “Bravo!” to this mother who voluntarily stepped out of a Number One relationship with her daughter and showed her the way to make her husband her new Number One human relationship! After all, God said that we are to “leave and cleave”—to leave our parents and cleave to our mate (Genesis 2:24). When parents are overly involved in a child’s marriage, problems can arise.
In Building a Great Marriage, author Anne Ortlund suggests that couples consider signing an agreement that spells out the status between marriage partners and parents. She suggests the wording might go something like this: “I am no longer accountable to obey my parents. I am freed from that authority, to be bound, joyfully and securely, to my mate.” A pastor I know includes vows for the parents during the wedding ceremony: They basically vow to stay out of the new couple’s marriage!
Whenever I counsel a young married woman, I enthusiastically encourage her to talk to her mother and mother-in-law about recipes, skills, crafts, interests, the Bible, and spiritual growth. But I am emphatic when I say not to talk to either woman about her husband. (And that works the other way, too. Mothers and mothers-in-law shouldn’t be discussing their husbands with their daughters and daughters-in-law.)
To make your husband Number One will take some work as you deal with drop-in parents, learn not to plan things with either set of parents (or anyone else for that matter) without asking Mr. Number One first, and handle expectations (“Of course you’ll be spending Christmas with us?. . .Or coming over every Sunday?. . .Or calling every day?”). Your husband is to be Number One in your life (after God)—and he needs to know it. [Click to tweet!] And everyone else needs to know it too.
Begin to choose your husband over all other human relationships—Again, this includes your children. Two psychologists stated, “The point at which many marriages jump the track is in over-investing in children and under-investing in the marriage.”
Elizabeth George’s ebook, A Woman After God’s Own Heart is available with 17 other titles that focus on spiritual growth as a woman, wife, and mother in the Elizabeth George Bundle—on sale for $69.99 through May 30!
Elizabeth George is a Christian writer, teacher, and popular public speaker. She has written over 21 books mainly aimed at Christian women, focusing on Christian living and personal Bible study. Her titles are geared to help women remain focused on God’s truths for them along with real-life applications. Check out this excerpt from the chapter “A Heart that […]