Dear God, I was watching a marriage video by Gary Thomas with my wife last night as my wife and I prepared to lead discussion today for our couples group from church, and he was talking about this concept. He posted this column back in 2014 that goes along the same lines. It’s a great and powerful concept: If my wife is your daughter then, in some respects, that makes you my father-in-law. When I treat my wife in a certain way, I am also treating your daughter in that way as well. But unlike other fathers-in-law, you are omnipresent. You can see not only what goes on in our home behind closed doors, but you see what I do when I am alone. You see into my heart.
So what is my heart towards my wife? Am I guarding it? Am I living out the two greatest commandments in my own home as well as in public?
He also asked another question during the video last night: Am I a spouse-centered spouse or a God-centered spouse? If I am a spouse-centered spouse, that means I will gauge my treatment of my wife based off of how she is treating me. Was she nice to me this morning? If yes, then I might go out of my way a little more for her. Was she cold or focused on other things besides me? If yes, then I might return the attitude in-kind.
However, if I am a God-centered spouse, then I am seeing her through your eyes and her actions are not determining factors in how I treat her, or even think about her. In fact, if she is cold towards me maybe that’s the time you need me to express more concern for her. You need me to care for her and give her even more. It’s not about what she gives me. It’s about what you need for me to give her.
Father, I’m sorry I’ve failed you in so many ways when it comes to my marriage. As a father of two grown children in relationships with significant others, I certainly have my opinions about them. I can only imagine what you think of me. So thank you for entrusting your daughter’s life to me. Thank you for such an amazing woman. I know I take her for granted all of the time. I try not to, but I know I do. So help me to have insights into her and to be exactly that man you need me to be for her sake and so that she can continue to grow into exactly the woman you have for her to be. And in the process, make me the man you need me to be.
In Jesus’s name I pray,