"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up..." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
This portion of the website is for both husband and wife as it is to do with responsibility and accountability for both man and women; in marriage and relationship.
So let's begin in how to Destroy Your Marriage and Relationship:
In this writing, I want to address what it means to be accountable to your partner.
Commitments are cheap. Keeping commitments is expensive. How often have you made a commitment, only to forget it within a few weeks? What about that decision you made to have a Time Alone with God every day? What about your promise to witness every week? Or, how about your promise to lose 15 pounds? Do you still remember that time you made a commitment to spend more time with your kids? To date your mate? To quit wasting so much time watching TV? To make restitution for something in your past? To become a man or woman of prayer?
See what I mean? Commitments come easy...a raised hand, a short walk down the aisle, or a written promise on a card -- you've made scores, perhaps hundreds in your life.
But how many have you kept? All? Most? Many? Some? None? Unfortunately, most Christians are lucky to have kept half their commitments. This sets up a dreadful cycle of commitment, then failure, then repentance, then a repeat commitment. Have you experienced this painful cycle? Have you made a promise to God, trusting Him to change you? But within weeks, or even days, you have fallen flat on your face. Then you repent promising the Lord you'd obey all over again.
You see, if you don't get victory in this constant cycle of commitment and failure, eventually you'll simply quit making commitments. You will learn that every time you promise God something, you only fail Him. Your mind and spirit can't handle constant failure. Thus you'll simply quit trying...and you'll quit making commitments to God.
I've seen entire churches who had quit making commitments. They are absolutely impervious to the Holy Spirit's conviction. Powerful specific convicting preaching doesn't rouse them a bit from their spiritual naps. They snooze on, completely oblivious to God's spiritual alarm clock. They have programmed themselves to ignore conviction. Hearing no conviction, they won't need to make a commitment, which they have learned they cannot keep.
So the question is, "How can we learn to keep our commitments to God and others?" When it comes to being reliable in our word, many of us do poorly with our families too. How about that job you've been promising your wife you'd do around the house? What about that promise you made to your husband to lose weight? Do you remember that trip to the amusement park you promised your kids last summer? What ever happened to your commitment to get out of debt? How about your goal of starting a systematic savings plan? The truth is you can't be trusted. You often are simply not a "man of your word" or a "woman of your word." Your word is untrustworthy -- to God or your loved ones.
The answer is accountability.
I certainly don't believe that when you are involved with someone that you give up your identity and start to merge into a puppet situation in order to ratify the other's need of control. Rather, I feel strongly that it is important to maintain your individuality. God created you as an individual with your own uniqueness. And it's important to honor each person's uniqueness and support their growth. But also, when two people make a commitment to one another, it requires that you are accountable to one another. In doing so, you also have a wonderful way to learn and expand yourself.
To help clarify this issue: commitment means a dedication, promise, or obligation. Being accountable is defined as being held responsible or answerable. Finally, obligation is a responsibility. So, I am seeing commitment as including an obligation to be held responsible or answerable.
I'm not suggesting that every behavior come under scrutiny. Here are some concrete examples of the kinds of actions I'm referring to: tell your partner if you're leaving the house, letting your partner know where you are, or calling when you're going to be late.
Lots of guys say that they don't want to feel like they're a child reporting into their mother. Understood! But this isn't really about reporting in - it's about being respectful to one another. One of the reasons you get into a relationship is to know that you matter to someone. Well, when you say you'll be home at 9:00PM and its 10:30PM and your partner hasn't heard from you, it's likely that she is going to be worried because you do matter. The respectful thing to do is call.
A truly committed relationship requires the same care and concern, and yes, accountability. If you think about it, rather than just react as if you are being told what to do, you will see that it's an aspect of relationships that really does matter!
Holding our loved ones accountable for their behaviors is vital for both women and men; it's a necessary component in any relationship. Many people, however, struggle with holding others accountable. This struggle intensifies if the other person is at all volatile, controlling or intense. Some people just wish others would act better and in the mean time they settle for what they're given.
Not holding others accountable, however, does not help your relationship-nor does it help your partner, child, friend or whoever it is that you're not holding accountable. Saying nothing about poor behavior sends the message that the behavior is fine. It also sends the message that you will take whatever kind of treatment they give you.
When people don't stand up for themselves, it results in a loss of respect - a loss of respect by others and for themselves. The bottom line is you cannot have healthy relationships without accountability.
Equally as vital to relationships, however, is cherishing. If a relationship is all about accountability, but has little cherishing in it, it won't last. Sometimes women, especially, will go from being kind at all costs to the extreme opposite end of only sharing about what they don't like. They become the relationship police. They don't ever want to be taken advantage of again so they are constantly on their partner about what they are doing wrong. This will not work.
We need to remember that relationships are meant to build us. They are meant to add to our lives, not zap us of energy. We need to have the strength to call others out on the actions they do that hurt us while also appreciating the kind acts they do that builds us. Too much in one direction or the other will hurt our relationships. We need to find the balance. Be loving and strong at the same time. You will feel better for it and your partner will respect you more. Pay attention to the balance of accountability and cherishing. Too much of one without the other will wreak havoc in your relationship. The best relationships are ones in which there is an ongoing process of mutual accountability and transformation. We are called, in our marriage, to form lasting commitments because only those who know us really well will be able to push us to become all whom we are called to be in God.
Marriage is the single best vehicle for personal growth that I know. I'll accept that there are some who are capable of radical transformation without a life partner to push them. But I am convinced that one of the reasons why so many of the rest of us are hungry for romantic relationship is because we want a partner with whom we can build a better life for ourselves and for our spouse also. When the initial chemistry starts to fade, what keeps the commitment going is often hard work. That hard work has a tremendous potential payoff: extraordinary intimacy between two people, sure, but it also produces a couple whose ability to be of service to God is often much greater than it would have been had they both stayed single.
The issues that make us a disappointment and a frustration to our spouses are usually the same as the issues that keep us from being as effective as we might be in doing our work for God and one another. If our issue is selfishness, or narcissism, or unresolved childhood rage - those issues will come up in a lasting relationship. And our anger, our self-absorption, our insecurities don't just hurt us and our loved ones; they hold us back from so much good we might do in the broader world. In most cases, no one is as well-positioned as a spouse to point out where it is we are still falling short. And in a good relationship, our partners will push us lovingly, more with encouragement than with anger, reminding us both that we are loved for who we are but also that we can be so much more.
What's the worst thing you can ever say to a partner? I don't know what your answer is, but I know what mine would be: "This is the way I am! It's my nature, stop trying to change me!"
You and your spouse are partners in process, you both, trying to become more like the Light that God calls you to be. And if you jealously guard selfish habits that hold you back, you're not growing and not being accountable. The Essential Element of Trust:
In order to establish relationship accountability, there needs to be trust. Developing trust is a slow process and it takes time to develop and grow. Active listening is essential to developing trust. James 1:19 says, "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." A non-judgmental attitude is another essential element. Remember, we can be accepting of an individual while being discerning of the situation. Matthew 7:1-2 says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Caring for each other is also essential. 1 John 4:21 says, "And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."
Accountability involves a willingness to open yourself up and share sensitive or personal information. This is why trust is so imperative. If you sense trust, you are more open to share your innermost thoughts without concern of betrayal. The Essential Element of Relating:
Relating is an important factor in relationship accountability. It is helpful when the couples shares a common bond or has been through similar experiences. Couples who relate to one another can empathize and share with an understanding heart. Couples can feel comfortable in sharing their circumstances, and can be totally accepted without fear of rejection.
Does the Bible speak of relationship accountability? First of all, the Bible says that God holds us accountable. Romans 14:12 says, "So then each of us shall give account of himself to God." This is personal accountability. Believers are also accountable to one another. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, we read that Christians are all part of the same body - the body of Christ - and each member needs or belongs to the other. This Scripture suggests the importance of strong accountability between Believers. It is important for every Believer to have at least one other person in which to confide, pray with, listen to, and encourage.
Galatians 6:1-2 gives a helpful principle, "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." If your accountability partner has done something contrary to the Bible, you are called to confront him/her gently, forgive him/her, and comfort him/her. It also admonishes you to consider yourself because no one is above temptation.
Another aspect of relationship accountability is encouraging each other to grow in their spiritual maturity. Hebrews 10:24 says, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says to, "...encourage one another and build each other up..."
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up..." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 - (your friend is your spouse).
Grasping the Heart of your relationship
The practical steps of your relationship with your spouse are absolutely vital that you get the heart behind your spouse and your marriage. When you have the right heart, then the practical steps will be a lifeline to honoring God and honoring each other. When you do not have the right heart they will seem like legalistic rules that you will ultimately resent.
So what is the heart behind your spouse and marriage?
I. It is a heart to honor and please God
Conflict is generated through an attitude of who is "right or wrong". This means that both husband and wife are in this mind-set at the time of conflict and neither one will compromise. And when one does compromise through unconditional love then eventually resentment builds up for giving up; because the conflict was not really settled. And built up resentment destroys all hope for a healthy, happy relationship. So, if you see the signs of control issues or a controlling spouse in your relationship then read on and discover how you can turn the tide of resentment by building the trust you need to uncover outcomes that everyone will be satisfied with.
Maybe you have what seems to be a very controlling husband or controlling wife. Do you try to hold your own for a while, but then get tired of all the fighting and just give up? Does all this giving up and giving in leave you feeling angry and resentful?
Fortunately, there is a way to maintain your own personal endearment without all the fighting anger and resentment, and at the same time find solutions that are satisfying for both you and your spouse without anyone giving up or giving in. The Mindset of an Explorer:
If you alter your belief about what it takes to be powerful, and master the skill of negotiation, you will experience your relationship in a whole new level. In order to experience this new level, I suggest you begin by adopting the mindset of an explorer.
Two things are necessary to be an explorer: you first have to believe there is something worth discovering, and then you must be committed to discovering it.
what do I mean by an exploring mindset: that you are committed to making discoveries intended to create satisfying results for both you and your spouse. You start with the belief that you can create results that are satisfying for both of you. This can give you the courage to explore different solutions whenever you're faced with a disagreement.
The first step in doing this is to focus on values! The only way to achieve a solution that is satisfying for both you and your spouse is to discover what you both value. But your values are often hidden behind the mask of your opinions and complaints. So you navigate through your conversation while keeping your focus on mutually satisfying solutions, and your commitment to exploring both of your values.
Negotiation vs. Compromise:
Compromise results from a "You Against her/him" mindset. Compromise begins by identifying what both of you want. Then you see who's willing to give up parts of what he/she want until he/she can live with what's left. This is caused by having your attention focused on lack, limitation, and fear. It's based in the belief that there isn't enough to go around, so you have to settle for whatever you can get. This is why people don't want to compromise - they resent giving up on what's important to them.
Negotiation, on the other hand, is only possible when you have an explorer's mindset. Negotiation begins by identifying what you both value and what is missing for you both in the situation. Then, with your attention focused on both of your values, strategies will emerge that make it possible for both of you to be satisfied, without any compromise needed.
Steps for Satisfying Outcomes:
Here are steps for negotiating outcomes that can be satisfying for everyone.
Step 1: Stay focused on what are most important to you and your spouse - what you each value in the situation.
Step 2: Then come up with specific actions you each can take that will help you each experience your values - offer your opinion about what you want to see happen and the steps that need to be taken to get there.
Step 3: Review your new strategies and make sure they are completely agreeable for both of you. Identify what works and what doesn't work for each of you - see if there's anything missing in your plans. Remember, stay committed to finding strategies that will be mutually satisfying, and keep exploring until you find them.
Step 4: Make agreements about the actions you each will take to implement your plans. Make sure your agreements are very specific about who will do what, and when they will do it. Make sure these agreements will work for both of you before you move on to step five.
Step 5: Create accountability for your agreements. You do this by discussing how your agreements are going and the things that might be missing from the strategies you created. Without accountability, you can't know if the plan you put in place is actually working. If it's not working, resentment may have already built up by the time you haphazardly figure this out.
Of course, the accountability presents another opportunity to practice being an explorer and negotiating outcomes that will be satisfying for you both.
Developing an explorer's mindset and mastering the skill of negotiation doesn't happen overnight. It takes a commitment to the process and a lot of practice. The more you practice, the better you will become, and the sooner you will experience true personal involvement with your spouse. And the arguments, anger, and resentment will melt away.
It is God's word not to let the sun go down without settling your conflict first. It is also His word that you can be angry but do not sin in your angriness. So do all you can to settle your conflict before going to bed or else, in the morning, your resentment will be even greater.
It is written in scriptures that we are accountable to God which means we are accountable to one another; especially in marriage. There are specific commands that God holds us each accountable for in a marriage and we are now going to explore those commandments.
Wives, honor your husbands....
(Husbands - do not jump and start pointing your finder at your wife. Your wife is lacking understanding and it is your responsibility to bring this understanding to her with a tender-heart, compassion, and with love.)
Wives; As a daughter of God, being blessed with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, you should be more than qualified to be able to make your own decisions in life and pretty much do what you want, after all, you have a pretty good resume.
BUT.....that's just not the case because of one little detail....You are not Miss anymore. You are a wife, and even though God blessed you with a mind of your own, you have pretty plain instructions in the Bible of how you are to train that mind and will being married and let me tell you, it involves a lot more of a woman's life than you thought at first.
HONOR....five letters, 2 syllables, nothing that seems very jam packed. As you will discover, that little word must become your entire attitude if you are going to do your duty as the wife of a happy man. Woman's Frau's are clearly instructed in the Bible to "honor your husbands", and you will learned how that mind frame of honoring weaves it's way into literally EVERY situation your find yourself in. Honoring your man means ALWAYS considering his wants and needs as top priority, even when you are quite sure that you know better; taking his word for things, even if you "know" that you are more of an expert on that topic. You must make yourselves a new life plan: to live to serve your husbands. You are to put away your selfish desires and adopt his ideals and interests. I'll be the first to admit that that sounds like kind of a rip off. I mean, why would God bless woman with these stellar ideas and killer I.Q. if He wanted woman to put them on the back shelf and begin to rely on someone else's opinions and judgments to get her through life? It gets a little more disturbing than that yet; you must do all of that with a happy heart! Can you believe it??? Did you actually sign up for this? How can you be expected to be happy about giving up all of your authority and freedom to someone who thinks you're losing your mind when you can go from crying like you lost your best friend to laughing like there is a gas leak in the basement within 5 minutes?
Because God made you to be the most fulfilled and at our fullest potential when you are doing just that! When you honor your husband, even if he doesn't seem to deserve it, you will be blessed more than you will ever imagine. God created you to be servants to your male counterparts, and to dedicate your lives to meeting all of his needs and desires, with a genuinely good attitude. You are to put yourselves under his authority and accept his decision making about your lives as the wisest.
So, there's got to be a bonus around here somewhere; surely you aren't supposed to loose your last name and your bossy ways all for nothing. Try this benefit's package on for size:
1. Physical protection
3. Lover at your disposal
4. Father for your children
6. Spiritual guide and shield
7. Your mediator with the outside world
8. God-given, personal advisor with wisdom to spare
I'll be the first to step out and say that it actually seems like you're getting the better deal here. You can honor an honorable man for the return listed above. Now I know that not all women are blessed with the kind of man that you should have, but the command is the same to all women. You'd be amazed what a little genuine respect and honor will do to even the most harsh, unloving man. Even if he doesn't respond the way he should, and love you the way God commanded him to, God will bless the honoring wife just the same, and you will reap rewards for your obedience.
Reverence is only used 13 times in the entire Bible. That is not very many when you look at the Word in its entirety. At least two are directly related to how a wife should act towards her husband.
Considering how few times the word is mentioned, it must be a very important character trait for wives to seek.
However, let each man of you without exception love his wife as his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly. - Ephesians 5:33
When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him-to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband. - I Peter 3:2
I looked up reverence in the original Greek and the Webster's dictionary and this is what I found...
Reverence - awe of, revere, a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe, the outward manifestation of this feeling. The thesaurus gave some more insight; honor, admiration, adoration, devotion, show honor and devotion to, look up to, respectfully cherish.
On the flip side; disrespect, dishonor, despise, and scorn, mock, snap one's fingers at, disregard, hatred.
Yikes! You certainly do not want to show hatred to your husband. Unfortunately, when you do not show him reverence that is exactly what you are doing! Honor is a word that your husband understands - he may not ever articulate it with words, however, he does know it and he does NEED it.
How Wives Can Show Honor to their Husbands...
Submit your mind to the authority of Jesus Christ when dishonoring thoughts cloud your mind. (2 Corinthians 10:5, Hebrews 3:1)
This culture encourages and teaches the polar opposite of the UNCHANGING Word of the Living God. It's all about self and your needs in the world. However, God's Word is all about others and selfLESS. The world teaches woman power. The Word teaches submit to your husband. Satan is the ruler of this world. God is the only Truth. WHO are YOU going to choose to obey??? Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. - Proverbs 16:18
Honor with your Words:
Tell him that he is wonderful, awesome, more than you dreamed - even if by faith the words must come. SPEAK life to your husband. Life and death are in the power of your tongue. You can build him up and bring life to him and your marriages... or you can bring death and destruction to your husband and eventually destroy your marriage.
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it." - Proverbs 18:21
"The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you." - Matthew 12:37
Speak positive, loving, honoring and life giving words to him in public and private. When you are with him and when you are not. Be a life giver in your marriage!
As Christian wives, you need to submit to God's authority and His Word. Period. Forget you and focus on God and your husband.
Let go of wrong thinking and renew your mind with the Word.
Honor with Actions:
Listen to your husband and honor the things that matter to him. If he wants you to clean your house, respect his request and DO it. If he wants you to spend less, begin to honor him with your finances. If your husband needs you to do something for him, DO it without complaining.
Include him in decisions. Be an encouragement for him to be a PART of your life and the life of your family. You are NOT the one who should be in charge. If you are the dominate force in the marriage you are out of alignment and NOT in God's Will for your marriage. Period. Honestly, women who dominate their husbands MUST submit to God's Word and prayerfully seek Him and pray for God to help them. It is a terrible thing - especially to teach your children.
Children who see this behavior will not grow up with the proper mind set. If a dominating woman has a son, her son will most likely marry a dominating woman and the vicious unbalanced seed will continue to prosper. If she has daughters, they will dominate their husbands and also continue on this horrible tradition.
Seriously ladies, seek God about this. He created you to be submitted to your husband and to HELP HIM be the leader of the home. THAT is the only healthy way for a Christian, Bible believing marriage to be...
A wise and good Mother will submit to the Lord and allow Him to teach her to be a wife that pleases HIM!
"A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands." - Proverbs 14:1
I want you to remember something... God's Word is NOT politically correct. God is not a feminist. He does not bend to the ways, cultures and ideas of man. Renew your mind with the WORD not the world. It may mean turning off that unhealthy soap opera, and reading your Bible... hmmm - something to think and pray about don't you think?
Honor your husband. Dig deeper and seek God as to how you may lack in this area and ways that you can improve. Below are some verses you should meditate on...
Proverbs 12:4; 14:1; 16:18
2 Corinthians 10:5
Honor and respect your husband with your thoughts, words, and actions. These are God's commandment for wives which means you are responsible and accountable to your husband.
Husbands, love your wives...
The position of the husband in the home and his related responsibilities are quite clearly defined in principle in Ephesians 5:22, 28-31. "Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church; and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wife as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it . . . So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church . . . For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shal.1 be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh".
It is impossible to completely deal with the responsibilities of the husband in such a short article. I am going to ask you to make some notations of scriptures and then read them at a later time. Let us start with some scriptures that deal with the husband as head of the house. Genesis 3:16, says in part "her desire shall be to man". Then Eph. 5:23, "husband is head of the wife"; then I Tim. 2:11-12, "She shall have no dominion over a man". Now don't stop at these verses and think that the only responsibility of the husband is to be HEAD of the house. By the way, head does not mean master as in a master-slave relationship, nor does it mean a relationship like a general to a private in the army. It is more like a partnership where one is the leader, guide, director. Now consider this. Can you think of any decision that a husband should make WITHOUT consulting or considering his wife and her wishes? I cannot!
Now let us consider some other responsibilities. The husband is to love his wife above all other human beings. Consider Eph. 5:25 and 28; and Col. 3:19. These passages teach that the husband is to be considerate and tender. The verses in Ephesians 5 teach that the husband is to cherish his wife. This means that she is to be treated with tenderness and affection. This would mean that since love must be fed, there is to be a warm demonstrative love relationship. The husband has the responsibility of not only demonstrating his love and concern, but telling her. He should not sit in such self-absorption that he does not talk with her and communicate with her socially, mentally, verbally and physically. The husband will demonstrate his love for his wife in other ways, rather than just at the time of sexual relationship. If this is the only time that affection and consideration is shown, then a wife will get the idea that all a husband is interested in is her body and that she is merely a sex object.
I Peter 3:7, teaches that the husband is to honor his wife. She gave up her name to take yours. Honor means that you should show her respect and this involves courtesy, consideration and emotional support. Be sure that as her husband that you do not hold her up to ridicule in public by the cutting remarks that you make. She wears YOUR name and is to viewed as part of your body. She is not perfect and you are aware of this. Do not expect perfection, but as Ephesians 4:32 teaches, "Forbear one another". This means to be gentle toward her. Control of temper, abstaining from physical violence and restraining a sharp tongue that makes one feel so inferior - are ways by which you can exhibit forbearance.
Paul presents another responsibility of husbands in I Timothy 5:8 - "But if any provide not for his own, especially for those of his own household, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel". Marriage is a financial venture and the husband has a responsibility to finance or support or provide for his family. This is talking about money. As a husband, your earnings are not your own but belong to your wife as well and your children.
Another responsibility of the husband is to be active in the area of the discipline and rearing of the children. When the Apostle Paul was giving the qualifications for elders and deacons, he included this statement that is certainly applicable to all men: I Timothy 3:3-5, and he speaks of ruling your own house. Now this discipline should be with love. Many times discipline is administered without love. The Book says in Ephesians 6:4, "Fathers provoke not your children to wrath", and again in Colossians 3:21, "Fathers provoke not your children to anger lest they be discouraged". The husband therefore does not leave all the discipline up to his wife, but shares in the molding and direction of your children. It is not a proper division of responsibility to say that as the husband I will provide the living and the wife is to take care of the house and children. The husband has duties even after his days work is done by which lie is earning a living to support his family.
The Christian father should set an example for his family as he earns a living, directs the household with concern for each member, and as he fulfills his role as head of the house. He should see to their spiritual development by the life he lives and the direction in which he leads his family.
Your wife is a part of your body - you are a part of each other. For this reason Paul said, "Love your wife". He didn't say, if you want to. As you love her, you love yourself and are fulfilling the role that the Lord wanted you to have. WHICH MEANS YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE AND RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR WIFE AND YOUR MARRIAGE.