This is definitely going to be a different message from me and one primarily intended for the guys out there. I want to start by publicly saying how much I admire Ginny for the things that she does, and to say that "I don't tell you often enough and I am sorry that I don't."
Ginny absolutely amazes me with her knowledge of the Word and her fearlessness to speak with anyone, at any time about Jesus and His saving grace. And yet, she still drives me crazy about being afraid to drive somewhere in broad daylight because she might get lost or that I am constantly having to fix her computer because she messes it up so badly at times. But when it comes to the Word, she is never lost and totally fearless. She spends hours each day studying the Word and strives to be approved in accordance with 2 Tim 2:15 "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (KJV)
Please don't take this as a public flagellation on my part or that Ginny and I are having some sort of marital challenges. Quite the contrary!
Ginny and I try to do our daily devotional using Rick Renner's book, "Sparkling Gems from the Greek." One of the more recent devotions focused on 1 Pet. 3:7 "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." (NIV) Besides being an excellent devotion for the day, it pointed out to me so clearly that I have to come to take Ginny for granted in so many unintentional ways.
This daily devotional has given me pause to think about how are relationship has become "tarnished" over the past 33 years because of my lack of attention. In those early days of our marriage, everything was new and exciting. I was more attentive; I was careful how I talked to Ginny in public; I opened doors for her; I was careful not to offend her in public; I was always mindful to show her respect, after all "she was my wife, I had chosen her and she was (and is) the most important person in my life ." Those were the days when she treated me like a "king" because I treated her like "my" queen.
Well, Ginny still treats me like a "king" even though I may not always deserve it, and I have to remind myself each and every day that she deserves to be always treated like a queen. I used the word "tarnished" intentionally because to bring back the luster of the marriage of your youth, you need to "polish" it each and every day and that takes "work ." To make things bright and beautiful again, we must rub away the tarnish of neglect to expose what you know lies below, which is still beautiful. We need to apply God's word in 2 Tim 2:15 to the relationship with our wives just as we have to apply it to our relationship with Jesus.
If you are looking for the Do's and Don'ts of a great marriage, I suggest you get Rick Renner's book and read the October 9, 2004 devotional. It may shock you as it did me that I have been doing more of the "don'ts" than the "do's."