Your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ must be your number one priority if you are going to be successful in all other relationships: marriage, motherhood,friendships,family, etc. God's Word teaches us how to treat each of these relationships so that we will succeed and have joy! But my relationship with Jesus Christ must come first.
In fact, if I put anyone or anything before Christ, I am not only breaking the first commandment, I also make God jealous.
Exodus20:3, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
Exodus 20:5, "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God..."
Exodus34:14, "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God."
My first challenge to you is to read your Bible and pray every morning. Let Jesus fill your cup to running over,so you will have plenty to give your husband, children, and other relationships. If my cup is empty when my husband comes home from a long, hard day at work, not only will I not be able to encourage him, I will place pressure on him to encourage me and fill me. That is not his job.
On the other hand, if I read my Bible, pray, listen to Godly music throughout the day, maybe even a preaching CD, and allow the Spirit of God to fill me and keep me full, when my husband comes home from a long, hard day at work, I have much to give. I will be able to minister and encourage my man.That is what I was made to do. The Bible says...
Genesis 2:18, "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."
1 Corinthians 11:9, "Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man."
More specifically, your husband. He comes second; not the children, a job or career, a hobby, etc. Remember, we are on the path to JOY!!! This is the Bible way and it is the only way to real JOY!
Once my cup is filled and my spirit is healthy and in tune with the Holy Spirit, I can now be what I was created to be: my husband's helper/completer. He needs me, and God created me with all the tools necessary to meet his needs. It is my job to learn what my husband's needs are and how to effectively meet them. My husband's needs will be different in many ways than your husband's needs. It is your job to learn about your husband.
I love the man I chose to marry! I love my marriage and desperately want it to succeed. I promised, "Till death do us part...", and by God's grace, I intend to keep my promise. But I do not want to be miserable in the process. The way to find true JOY in marriage is to go to the Creator of marriage and get some advice! His name is Jesus Christ, and His Word, the Bible,has all the answers! His advice cannot and will not fail! It may not be popular advice, and many might even despise it. II Timothy 1:12, "for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
The only way I am able to put my husband above my own self is to walk humbly with my God and obey His plan for my life. That is the only route to true JOY! Many wives seek their own "rights" first and desire for their husbands to help them reach their goals. That is completely backwards to God's plan and will result in much frustration, not peace and JOY.
You may come last, but you are not to be left out. Just because I am putting others before myself does not mean I neglect myself. Do not neglect yourself. When all is said and done, before there was your husband, there was you. Before there were your children, there was you. Your children will grow up and leave the nest. If statistics are true, your husband may die in old age before you. Then there will still be you. The Bible says in Psalm 139:14 you were "...fearfully and wonderfully made..." You are special and very important to God. he loves you! And so do I! I hope you will take time to invest in you. Here are some ideas:
~Walk with the Lord.
This takes us back to our original point of this article. You will be fulfilled when you are saved and walking with Jesus on a daily basis. You will feel loved when you, by faith, accept who you are in Christ and how He feels about you. You will experience the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in your life: love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. You are investing in you when you walk with God!
~Every morning, bathe, fix your hair, put your make-up on (if you wear it), and get dressed. You'd be surprised, but many homemaker moms hang out for the day in sweats, greasy hair pulled back in a pony, and feel gross about themselves! It's no wonder! Respect yourself enough to look great! Face your day with purpose. Use check lists and have goals to succeed at what you do!
~Plan to do something you really enjoy at least once a week. Treat yourself to a Starbucks; get your hair done professionally, or you and a friend do each others hair; go shopping for new kitchen towels, work on redecorating a room in your house, go jogging...whatever you enjoy doing! Choose a time that is convenient for your husband, and maybe he will even watch the kids while you go! :)
The J.O.Y. in Marriage is putting Jesus first, your husband second, and then yourself. It's God's plan, and it works!
Teya is wife to Joshua. They have been married 12 years. She is a busy Pastor's wife and homeschooling Mama to 4 children. I have the privilege of not only having her as my Pastor's wife but as my friend. I pray you are blessed by her post. Michelle