Josh Christophersen

Reign In Life

A Man Pastors His Wife

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When Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, in chapter fourteen he says that in the church if there’s anything a woman desires to learn, she should ask her husband at home.

Note that he doesn’t say that women should ask their pastors. Why? Because it’s not a pastor’s job to pastor your wife.

Men, that’s your job.

Husbands should love their wives “in the same way” as Christ loved the church. Christ loved the church by washing her with the word and nourishing her. (Eph 5:28-29)

A lot of married women go to the pastor of their church when they want to learn, because their husband isn’t fulfilling his role to be the pastor of his home.  If this is you, then you need to man up and be the spiritual provider of your family.

The filth of the devil and the world is being thrown at wives daily.  It’s a man’s responsibility to wash her off with the word.

But how can you wash your wife if you’re not washing yourself?

How can you teach what you don’t know?

How can you nourish your wife if you’re not nourishing yourself?

If you’re going to pastor and wash your wife effectively, you need to be in the word.  You need to know, study, and treasure the word.

And pastors, stop doing the job your men should be doing.  Train the men to pastor their own wives.

Pastors trying to pastor the wives of the husbands in the church are trying to carry a burden they were never meant to carry and are opening themselves up to unhealthy emotional attachments from women who aren’t being nourished by their own husbands.  It’s not your job.  Challenge the men to do it.

A church where men pastor their wives has healthier marriages, women with more respect for their husbands, and a large pool of leaders to pick from when its time to appoint elders, because managing family well is the training ground for eldership.

A man who pastors his wife, has a healthier marriage, more respect from his wife, and more confidence as a man.

Men, pastor your wife.

(Image Credit: The Library of Congress)

Three Things You Should Never Say To Your Spouse

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Here are three things you should never say to your spouse and why.

1) “You always…”

The vast majority of the time, this statement is just not true.  Most of the time it’s an exaggeration born out of frustration or hurt.

When a spouse says “you always” do such and such, what the other spouse hears is, “You’re purposely hurting me.”  Always doing something carries with it the connotation that it’s being done on purpose, because it takes diligence, focus, and work to “always” do something.

Another thing a spouse might be hearing when you say “you always” is, “You’re really not trying to stop.”  It’s hard to believe that someone’s trying to stop doing something when you believe that they are doing something all the time.

It’s best to refrain from saying that your spouse “always” does something, especially when you are hurt or frustrated.  More than likely, your spouse is not purposely trying to hurt you and is really trying to stop.  Let’s face it, we all have things we wish we would not do, that we actually do often (Rom 7:19).  We all need the present power of the gospel to save us from the power of sin.

2) “You never…”

Just like “you always”, “you never” is usually not true either.  Most of the time it’s an exaggeration born out of frustration or hurt.

What a spouse often hears when you say that they “never” do something is, “You don’t care.”  It’s hard to believe that someone really cares, if you believe that they “never” do something.

It’s best to refrain from saying that your spouse “never” does something, especially when you are hurt or frustrated.  More than likely, you’re spouse does care.  Maybe he or she doesn’t care as much as they should, but more than likely they do care, but are having a hard time doing what they want to do.  Again, if we are honest, we all have things that we want to do that we don’t actually do very often (Rom 7:18-19).  We all need the present power of the gospel to save us from the power of the sin of omission.

Always and Never Responses

Saying that a spouse “always” or “never” does something when in fact, it’s not true, will usually elicit one of two responses:

  1. Either the spouse will be frustrated that the other spouse doesn’t notice their efforts and will start trying to prove the other spouse wrong, resulting in an argument, or
  2. the spouse will be so discouraged that all their effort is going unnoticed, that they just give up trying all together.

3) “Divorce”

I understand that the commitment to refrain from talking about divorce has to be mutual.  If a spouse brings it up, then it forces the other to talk about it.  Unfortunately though, many couples use this word jokingly, for manipulation, or see it as a viable option if they’re not happy.  This weakens the strength of the covenant.

In a covenant, you feel loved in the good times because times are good, and you feel loved in the bad times because of the commitment that was made in the good times, to never leave you or forsake you in the bad.  That’s the power of covenant; you feel loved in the good times and the bad.  When divorce is on the table, you only feel loved in the good times.

Every marriage goes through good times and bad times.  My wife and I have had difficult times in our marriage where we didn’t “feel” love for each other.  But because divorce was not an option, we knew that neither of us were going anywhere.  Our commitment to stick with each other caused us to feel love from each other when we didn’t feel love for each other.  That’s the beauty of the marriage covenant.

Setting yourself up to feel unloved in the bad times by talking about divorce, is unhelpful when you need to feel loved the most.  Mutually committing to leave this word off the table is an act of love strengthening your marriage for both the good times and the bad.

Are you guilty of saying any of these?

(Image Credit: The Library of Congress)

Why Some Marriage Fights Get So Bad And How To Stop Them

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(Image Credit: The Library of Congress)

Here’s the scenario.

You’re arguing about something with your spouse.

The argument escalates.

For some reason one or both of you are abnormally upset about something that seemingly should not warrant such heated discussion.

How did this happen?  Why did this happen?  And why does this keep happening?

The answers lie in two very important truths about men and women.

The first is that men want to be, and believe that they should be, respected.
The second is that women want to be, and believe that they should be, loved.

When a man doesn’t feel respected by his wife, he tends to act unloving towards her.  And when a woman doesn’t feel loved by her husband, she tends to disrespect him.  He’s hurt because he doesn’t feel respected and she’s hurt because she doesn’t feel loved.

And that’s where the cycle begins.  Hurt people, hurt people.

When one or both parties are hurt, the blinding nature of hurt keeps them from seeing that the issue being argued about isn’t really the issue.  The real issue is an absence of love and/or respect.  This is why a husband and wife can fight so vehemently about something so trivial.  Because somewhere during the course of the conversation, someone was hurt by a lack of love or respect, and that hurt raised the intensity level considerably.

The only way out of this vicious cycle is for one of the two parties to lay down their right to the love or respect that they are not getting, so they can address the other person’s hurt and give them the love or respect that they want.  The reason people fight is because they want something, but they don’t get it (James 4:1-2).  If one of the parties fighting, gives up what they want and focuses on giving the other person what they want, the fight can no longer continue.

A man can say, “Wait a second.  Hold on.  I realize now that you’re hurt because you don’t feel loved by me.  I’m so sorry for hurting you and for not loving you well.  Please forgive me.  I’m sorry I allowed this conversation to get out of hand, when the issue was not really what we were even arguing about, but rather the fact that I wasn’t loving you.”

A woman can say, “Wait a second.  I realize now that you’re hurt because you don’t feel respected by me.  I’m so sorry for hurting you and for disrespecting you. Please forgive me. I’m sorry I allowed this conversation to get out of hand, when the issue was not really what we were even arguing about, but rather the fact that I wasn’t respecting you.”

I know what you’re thinking.  That’s extremely difficult to do in the moment.  And you’re right.  It is.

Apart from Christ, it seems impossible.  The good news is that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Rom 1:16).  We can trust in the power of the gospel to save us from sin’s power to keep us reacting in a vicious cycle.