“If I were to ask your wife to describe your faith, what would she say?” I remember being asked this question by a mentor, and it stopped me dead in my tracks. It’s easy to put on the show of being a good Christian for everyone else because they only see you for a few minutes or a few hours at a time. It is a lot more difficult to fake your faith around your spouse. So, does your wife experience the reality of Jesus in you?
This question came to mind for me once again after I saw a quote from D.L. Moody posted on Facebook:
“If I wanted to find out whether a man was a Christian, I wouldn’t go to his minister. I would go and ask his wife. We need more Christian life at home. If a man doesn’t treat his wife right, I don’t want to hear him talk about Christianity.”DL Moody
Here are 5 ways to live as a faithful follower of Jesus in your marriage.
Bring prayer into your marriage.
This one seems to be self-explanatory, but so many couples find this to be very difficult. I will be honest, we found it difficult in our marriage for a long time too. When you pray together, you are admitting that you need Jesus in your life and relationship. You are acknowledging that both of you have weaknesses, and you need his help.
If you are just starting to pray together: once a week, ask your wife what is going on in her world that you can pray for her about. Take a few minutes and pray for those needs right away so she can hear you.
If you already pray together regularly: make sure you pray for each other and for the needs of others. It will help your marriage to grow in oneness and also stay connected to God’s love for people other than you.
Make sure she is your one and only – and knows it!
I once heard the story of a very famous preacher who told his wife that his first calling was his ministry job, and she would have to figure out how to fit into that. You may get angry about this kind of comment, but the truth is many men operate this way when it comes to work (or hobbies or church) and their wives.
For Jesus, everything he did was to honor God the Father and to love his bride the Church.
There is no other person or activity God has designed you to be one with other than your wife. Jobs will change. Kids will move out. Friends will come and go. The one constant is to be the two of you together.
There are so many distractions in our lives. As a man, cut through all of those distractions to pursue her heart and to prioritize her needs. For those of you who love Valentine’s Day – think about how to act like it’s Valentine’s Day throughout the year.
This is simple and difficult. It may test your patience at times, and it may cost you time and energy. But serving your wife is the most practical way you can show the reality of Jesus in you. Serving her is about the little things you do day in and day out. The little things that matter to her and make her life a little easier.
This one may not be popular in our culture, but hear me out. One of the things I have noticed in all the years we have been married is the constant lies coming to my wife from the culture we live in.
There are lies about her value and worth, her abilities, her personality, where God is during tough times, and every other number of things. The easy thing to do is to get frustrated at her when she is experiencing these moments. The godly thing is to speak truth to the lies. Protecting his wife is exactly what Adam failed to do in the Garden of Eden.
Here is what this looks like (and let me also add Shannon does this for me as well). When you see or hear your spouse struggling with something, ask them to compare that thought with what God says. If they are struggling to do that, then you can speak Bible verses or text them Bible verses with the truth. And then there are other times where you may need to firmly and graciously challenge her to stop believing the lies of the devil.
To do this, you need to invest time in knowing God’s Word for yourself. If you know the truth, then you can bring the truth to help protect your wife from lies.
Make Jesus the center of your decision making.
When you are faced with decisions in life, sit down with your wife and ask each other the question of how to honor Jesus with this decision. Once again, this is showing your submission to God while also living out your faith in your marriage.
If you want to have a real, living, vibrant faith – put it into practice at home. If I were to ask your wife to describe your faith, what would she say?