I Peter 3: 7 “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
It has often been said that prayer is essential to experiencing a great marriage. Whereas no doubt this is true, Gary Thomas suggests another perspective that is very worth noting in the chapter: “Good Marriage Fosters Good Prayer.”In referencing the scripture above he notes the following connection… – if the husband does well in the way he treats his wife, he can expect more fully to see God work through his prayers. And otherwise NOT!
Choosing the sacrament of marriage is a life long exercise in dying to self and putting someone else’s interests above your own. There is no other way around it. And when we do, Scriptures indicate there are added blessings – a lack of hindrances to our prayers!
Every day, all day, as long as Zerrin and I are alive I must be willing and ready to put aside my wishes and desires in order to put her first. She must do the same. Why? Because one day, 30 years ago, we stood before God and man to vow our unconditional love to each other not to self! From that day forth we were no longer single but a couple. Is this not true for you as well? Joined as husband and wife, we became teammates in the game of life. The greatest teams are where each player stays aware of his teammates in order to best work together and win together!
Well you say, does that mean I can’t hang out with my friends or do anything I want to do? First, listen to the spirit that is so often behind that kind of question. It is a spirit of demandingness…”I have rights too you know!” Do you? I would suggest, the moment you employ that rationale you begin the process of undermining your marital vows. You committed to giving your life to your spouse! You are no longer your own, you gave yourself to the one you love! Is that not still true? Then let go of the “I have rights too” perspective! Second, I never said we can’t do things we wish to do. I periodically play racquetball with a friend, go to a movie with another, and watch football with a neighbor. I did say however, that I must be “ready and willing” to put aside my wishes and desires in order to put my wife first. What if she has real concerns about what I want to do or whom I am with? What if my doing what I want to do makes her insecure, leaves her feeling alone, causes her to feel greater burdens of responsibility, or simply keeps us from spending good time together ourselves? Then by all means, I will give it up. Why? BECAUSE SHE IS MY BRIDE! I love her dearly! And I vowed to put her first – until the day I died. Didn’t you with your spouse? The last thing I want to do in any way is hurt my wife or cause a breech in our relationship.
Life is tough. It is full of challenges. I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get. More than anything, I want to stay close to God and experience Him being on my side. And if that means working that much harder, and doing whatever it takes to make sure my relationship with my wife is all it can be – then I am thankful for that extra incentive. Zerrin and I love each other like crazy – but we are still prone to being “me-centered” just as much as everyone else. So we work hard at our relationship and die daily (many times a day in fact!) in order to keep our vows to each other, and see that our prayers are unhindered! May God help each of you do the same!