We’ve all had ideas of what the ideal romance is. When you were younger, it may have been images of a knight in shining armor, bravely rescuing the princess. As you grew older, it might have transformed into the classic tall, dark, and handsome stranger that would sweep you off his feet with his charm, wit, and personality. And then, the day came when you met the one. You knew you were destined to be soulmates, and you couldn’t wait for decades of marital bliss.
Finally, you got married. And you quickly learned that, while marriage is wonderful, it’s not exactly that picture perfect image Hallmark makes it out to be. In fact, you began to realize that your Prince Charming has quite a few flaws.
While you’ve told yourself multiple times that no marriage is perfect, you can’t help but look at couples around you that have been married 25, 30, even 50 years and wonder, What’s the secret? How do they still have a happy marriage?
Ephesians 5:18 and 21–22 lets us in on God’s formula for a happy marriage—being Spirit-filled:
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit… Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God…Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Being Spirit-filled isn’t easy because our flesh craves to satisfy itself. God, however, commands us to walk in his spirit. In fact, until we choose to do so, our marriage cannot be what He intended it to be.
Be filled with the Spirit is probably a phrase you’ve heard frequently. But what does it mean? Let’s look at three attitudes always present in a Spirit filled marriage.
1. A Surrendered Attitude
Being Spirit-filled requires the right foundation—being surrendered to the Lord. Romans 12:1-2 says:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
If you’re not surrendered to the Lord, you’re never going to have a Spirit-filled attitude towards your husband. Surrender is a life-long process. But it begins with a daily attitude of, I give up my rights, God, and I trust you.
2. A Submissive Attitude
I get it—submit isn’t a popular word in our society. Our flesh fights against submitting to any authority, particularly to our husband. How many times have we thought, He can’t tell me what to do! I’m an independent woman.
Our marriages won’t be what God wants them to be if we refuse to submit. If, on the other hand, we choose to submit, a wonderful chain reaction occurs. Through our submission, our husband feel respected. And, as he fulfills his role to love us as Christ loved the church, we receive the security we crave.
Is being submissive easy? Of course not. Does it mean you act like a doormat and never voice your opinion? Absolutely not. It does mean, however, that you have a supportive attitude to your husband’s leading and that you submit to his final decision.
3. A Sensitive Attitude
Have you ever heard someone say, “It’s all in the details”? That’s true with marriage. How sensitive are you to little things you know matter to your husband? Make it your mission to know your husband’s likes and dislikes. Go out of your way to make him feel special whenever you can.
Stumped? Here are a few ideas to try today:
- A note in his Bible
- Sewing on a button
- Making sure he has enough covers at night
- Warm towel after a shower
- Toothpaste on his toothbrush
- Take HIM to lunch
- Buying his favorite peanut butter, ice cream
- Breakfast in bed
- Shine his shoes
- Give him a back rub, foot
- Wink at him
- Bring him a drink when he didn’t ask
- Anticipate his wants
- Squeeze his hand
- Let him lick the spoon
- Compliment his tie
Many marriages hit rough patches, not because of some major sin like adultery or pornography, but because each spouse forgets about the small acts of service that makes marriage a delight.
Marriage should be something that you can look back on two decades from now and say, “It just kept getting better and better.” But remember, attitude is everything. Determine to adopt an attitude of constant surrender to the Lord. Choose to be submissive to your husband’s leading. Finally, strive to be sensitive to the little things that add up to make marriage special.
As you allow the Holy Spirit to fill you, you’ll find that marriage can be better than anything you ever pictured.