The “Business” of Marriage – Marriage Message #131
Topic(s): Marriage Messages
WARNING: What you are about to read is intended primarily for the guys (husbands) this week. That’s because what I (Steve) have to share comes from a man’s perspective and I’ll be using illustrations and language that most men can relate to. I may even throw in words like, “spit,” “scratch,” or “Giant Screen Plasma TV,” just to hold their attention.
So ladies, if you want to read on, do so at your own risk as I make no guarantees that you’ll appreciate what I have to share, though I trust that you’ll be the ultimate beneficiary if your husband truly relates to the message.
MEN: My wife Cindy, has been extremely busy this week helping our son prepare to make major changes to our web site and preparing for a class she’s going to be teaching women on marriage, so she asked if I would take full responsibility for putting together the Marriage Messages for this week and next. Normally, I would have thought up a valid “reason” why I couldn’t do it.
But because I’d already cleaned the lint out of my navel (that’s my favorite excuse for getting out of doing things) and had sorted my sock drawer (my second favorite excuse), I couldn’t think of any real reason for not being able to write it. Besides, I know that if I’m going to truly be a “Servant Leader,” I need to place the needs of my wife above my own desires.
Servant Leader is a term you’ve probably heard …maybe even been hit over the head with. To me, that term sounds very “spiritual” and I have no problems saying it, but it’s far more difficult to actually do it.
Of course, we know we have the biblical model for being a Servant Leader, but it can still be pretty hard to be able to put a description of what this “looks like” in a way we (men) can really understand. That’s why I was really encouraged this week to read in the book, Upside Down Marriage, by Jeff Hendley, a wonderful word picture that I believe there may be an “a-ha!” moment in it for you. Following is Hendley’s illustration:
Let’s compare marriage to business. In a given business we are out to develop a product or service that we hope to sell to others at a profit. Our employees are important. Our product control is important. Our customers are important.
What would happen if we were to think of our wives in business terms? What would happen to our planning if we considered our wives our number one customers? The old adage comes to play here, “Take care of your customers, or someone else will.”
This is not a far-fetched analogy. In order for a business to survive and thrive, we have to keep our customers happy. Our wives are our number one customers. So, what would a typical business (and husband) do?
1. Customers would be our number one priority. We would know what our customers like and dislike. We would know our customers’ needs and wants.
2. We would create plenty of time to spend with our customers. We would take care of our customers. There would be a well-worn path between our door and theirs.
3. We would entertain our customers frequently and spend money and energy on them.
4. We would always be at our best with our customers.
5. We would try to understand what our customers want in our products or services and make changes to improve.
6. We would set up a customer service department that focuses on the customer and we would be available to meet their needs.
7. We would communicate frequently with our customers and listen to what they’re saying and try to stay one step ahead of their needs.
8. We would create a partnership with our customers and establish a long lasting relationship based on mutual trust, loyalty, fairness and honesty.
9. We would take care of our business so we could take better care of our customers.
10. We would take nothing for granted nor assume all is well. We would seek our customers’ opinions and spend time exploring ways to improve our services and products based on our customers’ input.
Well, have there been any “A-ha!” moments yet?
Hendley concluded his thoughts by saying: “If our wives are our number one customers and if our marriages depended on the service we are providing our customers, what would we be doing differently?”
“I happen to have the mindset that we as Christians are to take God’s word seriously and apply it daily. This means that what is true in the Kingdom is to be true in our lives today. Kingdom principles are the principles by which we are to live. The Kingdom principle for me as a husband is to love my wife as Christ loved the church. Sacrifice and service are to be a part of my daily life.”
I hope this analogy that Jeff Hendley provided was something you could relate to. I know there were several points that reminded me of I Peter 3:7. I like the way the Living Bible renders the verse: “You husbands must be careful of your wives, being thoughtful of their needs and honoring them as the weaker sex. Remember that you and your wife are partners in receiving God’s blessings, and if you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not get ready answers.”
This coming week why don’t we (men) commit to praying together that God will reveal to us any truth in this message that we need to apply so that we will become the Servant Leaders God wants us to be.
Because of Christ,
Steve and Cindy Wright
Steve and Cindy Wright