Understanding Your Spouse? Can It Be Done?

My wife, Barbara and I  have been married for over 38 years, and have learned to appreciate each other as well as enjoy each other's qualities. However, after all these years she still surprises me from time to time. I can remember an instance when she reacted to a news report in an unusual manner, which was not as I expected her to react. I told her how shocked I was to see her react as she did. She replied, "your  job is to figure me out, and my job is to keep you guessing!" The responsibility to understand your spouse is what keeps married life interesting and alive.

This an ancient challenge, Peter wrote: "Husbands, like wise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the  weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered" (1Peter 3:7). Peter saw it as a priority for the husband to become a student of his wife - to know and understand her. Without that total commitment to understanding his spouse, a husband does not possess the ability of doing what comes  next - honoring her.

As a husband, if I am to love my wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25), it should begin with the intentional effort to grow in my understanding of her. Marriage grows in a climate of love and respect.

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