Rock Solid Husbands

There is a lot of “ancient wisdom” being spouted about marriage. That’s why I invited two not-so-ancient men to offer a fresh perspective. Both have been married for less than 10 years (but seem to be doing it very well) . Read what Dave Shrein says in this post and more from him and Jeff Markins on Bold Living podcast above.

Bold Living airs on stations in various cities and for easy on-demand access, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes (search Diane Markins) from my website.  Diane Markins 

Giving Undeserved Love
by Dave Shrein

When I got engaged 8 years ago one thing I didn’t count on was all of the unsolicited advice I would begin receiving. Folks meant well, but it seemed that every married friend I had wanted to share with me their “secret sauce” for marital bliss. Along with every piece of advice came this warning: “your first year of marriage will be really hard.”

(My, how inspiring.)

There are hard moments and difficult situations in marriage but these cannot be attributed to marriage. Instead they ought to be attributed to the fact that a marriage is two sinners who are, by nature, selfish people entering into a covenant where they promise to forsake themselves for the benefit of the other and the marriage.

I have discovered that I experience the most pleasure in my marriage when I take on the role of servant in my home. Love is displayed by acts of selfless service (see John 3:16).

In my role as husband, the single greatest thing I have to do is to love my wife. Loving her requires much more than saying the words “I love you.” Loving her means putting her first, listening to her, romancing her and providing for her. All of this likely sounds pretty typical. Here is what’s not. As a husband I choose to love her like this even when she doesn’t ‘deserve’ my love.

We are each sinful people and as such my wife has hurt me many times. The natural response to being hurt can vary from man to man, but it almost always results in the husband withholding love from his wife until things are made right. This is where my wife and I choose to be different.

Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Here is the Dave Shrein Version: “though I didn’t deserve his love, Jesus still gave it by dying on the cross.” The sin in my life was so bad Jesus had to actually die for it. As Christ chose to love me though I didn’t deserve it, I choose to love my wife even in the moments she doesn’t deserve it. Period. End of sentence, no “but” following that up.

Love is what she needs most of all and so I made a covenant to love her in all situations of life. In turn, the thing I need most is her respect. I want her to be my biggest fan and to honor me… even when I sin against her and do not deserve her respect. When she respects me in spite of circumstances and takes on the role of a servant, it motivates me to show her the love she so desperately needs. In turn, as I love her she is motivated to respect me. Perfect circle.

Regardless of who’s right in our relationship at any given time we decide against “punishing” the other person because Jesus did not punish us… he was punished for us. Jesus does not condemn my wife but offers love freely. This amazing love inspires me to do the same.

*Listen to my revealing interview with Dave Shrein and Jeff Markins on Bold Living March 16th, 11 AM-noon MST on KPXQ or later on the podcast here. We’ll tackle most of the important topics, including sex, fighting and being with a non-believing spouse. Comment to affirm these young husbands or to share your best advice for marriage. Dave’s bio follows his post. Connect with Jeff on Facebook and read more from him on CBN.

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  • Diane Markins

    Dave, thanks for your very wise and sincere post. Your family and your church are truly lucky to have you.

    • Thank you so much for inviting me to participate in the Bold Living journey. Love what you’re doing and so honored to be a part of it!

  • Great message Dave! Thanks for sharing your insight and heart! You are modeling Jesus ! “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,” Mark 10:45

    • Mark, right on… Mark 10:45 is pretty much this post wrapped up in a few words. Thanks for sharing!

  • M. Beck

    So true! Christ did it all for us, now we need to offer that same kind of love for our spouses. Danny and I will be married 35 years in May :-), we are still on that journey learning to surrender ourselves first to God than to each other. Thank you Jesus!

    • Ditto. Isn’t it amazing how even after months/years/decades of ‘practice’ in serving someone else it still can be the most challenging part of every day life? 35 years… that’s awesome… I pray that Jesus would bless me with as many years as life allows with my family.

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Hester Christensen

    Hi Dave,

    I appreciate your post today on marriage. I think the key word you used today is “covenant.” In our humanistic culture the world likes to convince us otherwise, right? The world we live in says marriage is more like a ‘contract,’ not a covenant. Ooohh! You know, like 50/50 – “you do your part and I’ll do my part, and if you don’t . . . .” How often do Christians fall for these lies? Sadly, I know I’ve been guilty. But, I know God beckons me to live differently than the world and reject these faulty notions.

    God bless your ministry,
    Striving to live like an Ephesians 5 wife,

    Hester 🙂

    • Hi Hester,

      I’m really glad you brought up the “covenant” piece. I was very intentional to use that word because, like you said, it runs much deeper than society practices. The contract part is so flawed and aren’t we glad that Jesus gave us a covenant rather than a contract? Shoot, I would have violated a contract in no time, but covenant… that’s what makes our God good and that understanding is what makes marriage good!

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Jeff Markins

    Thanks so much for having me on BOLD LIVING! It was a pleasure to share some of my perspective. I really enjoyed Dave as well. I hope we’re able to do it again sometime!

    • Ditto, Jeff! Great experience to talk together!

    • Diane Markins

      I’m so thrilled you shared on the show. You have insight that many people with 4 times the years of marriage don’t have. You live it, too!

  • Elaine W. Miller

    Great wisdom and advice from these two young husbands! Thanks, Diane, for mentioning my book, “We All Married Idiots: Three Things You Will Never Change About Your Marriage and Ten Things You Can.”

    • Elaine, thanks so much for the kind words. When Diane mentioned your book, I thought to myself, “yep, we all totally married idiots and we’re just trying to figure this thing out.”