“These older women must train the younger women to live quietly, to love their husbands and their children, and to be sensible and clean minded, spending their time in their own homes, being kind and obedient to their husbands so that the Christian faith can’t be spoken against by those who know them.”
When I told the girls of my local church that I was about to get married, they took turns to counsel me. When it came to the turn of a dear one, she said, “In marriage, let God be your only third party”.
I know she meant well. I appreciate her words. However, taking her words at face value, here’s what I have come to know;
1. God is not a third party: In life,marriage and everything that pertains us, God is not first,or second or third party.He is the all and all.He is the one who gives every other thing its place in our life. When God has His place in our lives as The Lord, He makes every other thing work together for our good and His glory, including our marriage. When He is a spare tyre when our plans,dreams and expectations don’t come through,then we have signed up for many heart aches in life.
2. A healthy third party is good for marriage. Many marriages would have been saved,if only wise counsel was received from a ‘third party’. I am aware that unwise interferences in marriage has led to many breakups. However, the place of wise counsel from elderly couples to both husband and wife is irreplaceable.
So, here is my take, “God is the center, and the reason for every godly marriage. Not merely the person to consult when things go rough.
In the multitude of counsel, there is safety. I’ve not gone through this road of marriage before. If I get to a cul-de-sac, it is widom to consult women who through ‘experience’ have their senses exercised to discern both good and bad.
However, we must consult in wisdom. Not to talk ill or down on our partners, but to ask humbly willing to see your own faults and correct it, more than you are willing to prove that your partner is wrong.
For instance, suppose my husband doesn’t want me to work. And I so passionately want to work. I also know that working will help the family.I have tried all the persuasion I can muster to convince him, but he says No! And it is constantly causing friction between us. I am also convinced that God wants me to work for a while. I have prayed for God to change His heart, but he still stands his ground. What should I do?
I will seek godly counsel from a godly elderly woman. But note, I will not go and say,
“Ma,I have come to tell you that I married a very stubborn man. He has refused to allow me to work. He doesn’t listen to me. He treats me like a slave and a child. I think it runs in their family. If only I saw it before, I wouldn’t have married him.”
That will be talking down on your husband.That’s not what involving a healthy third party means. Infact, a godly woman should rebuke you if you talk about your husband/wife like that.
Rather, I might say,
“Ma, how do I humbly convince my husband to let me work?”
Young women need elderly women to thrive in marriage and in life. It can save many marriages. So, a third-party is not bad after all. Only let it be healthy and wise.