I attend a church small group every fortnight. I get very excited about these meetings because this is my only ministry at the moment. I volunteered to lead worship in these sessions. I play the guitar and sing; it allows me to use what little gifts I have for Jesus.
I shared my wife’s oath-taking story with the group after worship. I acknowledged my ignorance and insensitivity because I thought it was very funny. I told them how I missed hints about taking leave when my wife shared her oath-taking schedule. I told them how I made up for it by asking my colleague to cover for me and bought flowers.
This opened up conversations about how men are generally insensitive and have to be told exactly what we’re supposed to do. The women in the session told funny stories of how insensitive husbands can be.
All of a sudden one of the women burst into tears and ran to the toilet. Our female small group leader followed her right away.
This led the lady’s husband to open up that they’re in a difficult situation. I won’t go into the details of their issue, but all I can say is that they came into a point where they couldn’t sacrifice for one another anymore. Their familiarity with each other and the challenges of marriage hardened their hearts. They couldn’t sacrifice for their spouse anymore.
I could imagine that it wasn’t like that at first. I imagined a guy who was willing to do everything to make the girl happy. I imagined a girl who was willing to accept the guy with all his faults.
I read these verses to the group:
1 Peter 3
English Standard Version (ESV)
Wives and Husbands
3 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honour to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you[a] of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
A lasting marriage requires hard work. We can’t quit when it gets too difficult. We need to learn to put our partners first again. Women should use their submissive nature to turn the men around. Men should sacrifice and understand their wives because if we don’t then, we cannot expect definite answers to our prayers.
We should not say that we cannot sacrifice anymore. We can extend our love if we look to Jesus. We should not look at ourselves or our partners. We should keep our minds open to the truth that we can do all things through Christ. It will hurt, and some people will say that we’re being stupid. But God will empower us and we will see that trusting and obeying the Lord beyond understanding is the best thing that we could ever do.