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Leadership

The Main Work of Your Marriage

Marriage is work but it is good, satisfying work. The type of work is summarized in the title given to the man: husband. It comes from the world of animal husbandry and household management.

You are called to shepherd your wife. You are the leader. You are the protector. This will look different depending on the type of woman you marry. So if you are looking for a wife, keep this in mind. If you are already married, start paying more attention to the woman to whom you made vows.

Is the woman brash and outspoken? Your primary work will be helping her grow a gentle and quiet spirit.

Is the woman timid and complacent? Your primary work will be in pulling her out of her shell and nurturing the habit of hospitality.

Is she someone who doesn’t pay much attention to money? Your primary work will be in helping her instill financial discipline.

Is she a bombshell who knows it and loves showing off? Your primary work will be to inculcate humility and modesty.

Or it might be some combination of all of these. Or something else entirely. It takes wisdom to discern your work.

As you look for a wife (or as you start taking your current husbandly responsibilities seriously), take off your rose-colored glasses and really pay attention.

Here’s the important thing to keep in mind: you’re not perfect either. Have some humility. But it is not your wife’s responsibility to make you a better person. That’s your responsibility, too. It’s not fair, but that’s how it is.

As you do the work of marriage, your job is to not be a hypocrite. Before you guide your wife down a path, make sure you have cleared that path first. You can’t teach financial discipline, for example, if you don’t have financial discipline.

And so as you look for a wife, you must always be looking at your own shortcomings. Your future wife should complement you. She should be strong where you are weak. Together, you two should be able to accomplish much more than if you were apart. If you are already married, pay attention to where you need to pick up the slack and encourage your wife in her strengths.

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” – Proverbs 31:10

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” – Proverbs 18:22

And always remember, as you embark on this important work, this verse:

Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life.

1 Peter 3:7

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