You would think I'd have marriage figured out by now. My husband and I will soon celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary, just a year shy of silver. And that certainly seems like enough time to smooth most of the rough edges. Yet I'm discovering that the basic challenges of the marriage relationship are never really "figured out." We may grow in our understanding and relationship skills, but marriage is a living thing, an organism, a building under construction.
Threats to Marriage
And if marriage can be likened to a house being built, many relationships today don't have a chance. So many couples slap some sort of life together without bothering with the tradition of marriage and hardly considering the foundation of Jesus Christ. It's no wonder that the home is threatened in our culture.
Yet even those who have chosen to build their home God's way face difficulties—the temptation to indulge self and an innate dislike of serving the other. The Creator addressed these issues through the Apostle Paul's writings in Ephesians 5. Both husbands and wives are told to hold the other in great regard. Husbands are commanded to cherish their wives, and wives are commanded to respect their husbands. For both, this is an attitude that could be described as adoration, an elevated way of viewing the other.
The Hammer of Attitude
I have come to realize that my attitude as a wife is a powerful tool, one that can create beauty or havoc. Proverbs 14:1 says "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down" (NIV).1