I recently received the following post written by my friend and childhood pastor, Dick Hester. I asked his permission to post it here because I know it will challenge your prayer life for your spouse.
Praying for your mate: How are you praying for your treasure?
It’s one of life’s great “mixed emotions” moments for most fathers—when it’s your daughter’s wedding day and you give away your precious little girl to the man she’s marrying. The usual daddy sentiment is, “Nobody’s good enough for my little girl—but here she is.” One pastor wrote in an especially graphic way, about his feelings on his daughter’s wedding day. He loved the man his daughter was marrying. He was happy to receive him as his son. But still, he said, “When I placed my daughter’s hand in his hand, there was the feeling I couldn’t get over . . . that I was taking this rare Stradivarius violin and placing it in the hand of a gorilla.”
So, how do you treat a treasure? There’s another hand-off taking place at a wedding besides a dad giving his daughter to her new husband. We can’t see it, but God is entrusting this woman He made, into that man’s hand, as well. In fact, in Malachi 2:14 it says that “. . . the Lord is acting as the Witness between you and the wife of your youth . . .” It goes on to say very clearly that He cares very much about how you treat the treasure He’s given you. He doesn’t want the Stradivarius He created to end up in the hands of a gorilla!
God is pretty explicit about how He expects a man to treat and care for the woman he marries. “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7) Notice, God reveals that if you’re not treating your wife as He expects you to treat her, your prayers may not get answered. Do you think God is serious about this?
The Lord calls us husbands to love our wives with two sensitivities. First, treat her like she is valuable—an equal with you before Jesus, sharing the same eternal inheritance you do. Respect her for how much she means to Jesus; respect her for the unique creation He made her; respect her as one He loves and respects very much. Second, treat her as if she is vulnerable: “the weaker partner,” the Bible says. That doesn’t mean she’s not as smart as a man (I believe women often have wisdom far beyond that of men’s). It does not mean they are helpless or incompetent—my wife does not come close to these adjectives. But it does mean that because of the great strength God gave women, this incredible sensitivity and intuition, she can also be deeply and easily hurt and wounded. There are many men who would never hit the woman he loves, but they would wound that woman repeatedly by their harshness, their sarcasm, their criticism or comparison. Or maybe it’s their neglect, their lack of praise, their lack of attention—maybe just not listening to them.
When we wound the woman we love, either by what we do or what we do not do, her wounds are deeply felt because God made her that way. Often the wounds are long-remembered. I think we men have a high and holy responsibility on ourselves because when we married, we vowed to love and cherish and protect our wife for the rest of our lives. It’s the responsibility to treat her as her heavenly Father meant for her to be treated. Never forget how eternally valuable she is and sometimes emotionally vulnerable.
God is trusting us with one of His treasures. Pray for her!
(Written by Dick Hester)