If you are a parent, you know what it is to love your children. You know what it is to protect your children. I donâ€™t know that I get any angrier than when I believe my children are not being treated right. I recall a time when a man was bullying one of my children. I was very angry!
Do you realize you are married to Godâ€™s â€œlittle girlâ€? She is Godâ€™s daughter. How do you think he feels when he sees you mistreating his child? Perhaps you are a woman married to one of Godâ€™s â€œlittle boys.â€ How does God see that when you are mistreating his son?
One day in prayer, I sensed that God was telling me very directly that Lisa wasnâ€™t just my wife; sheâ€™s also his daughter, and I was to treat her accordingly.
This was a moment of revelation for me, and the force of this insight grew once I had kids of my own. If you want to get on my â€œgood side,â€ just be good to one of my kids. A wonderful young woman at our church became Allisonâ€™s â€œbig sister,â€ taking her out to Starbucks or for ice cream and being a positive influence. And my wife and I will love Amy for the rest of our lives. Why? She was generous and kind to one of our children.
Conversely, if you really want to make me angry, pick on my kids. Be mean to them. Bully them. Youâ€™ll fire up my righteous anger faster than anything you could possibly do to me.
So when I realized I am married to Godâ€™s daughter â€“ that you, women, are married to Godâ€™s sons â€“ everything about how I view marriage changed overnight. It was no longer about just me and one other person; it was very much a relationship with a passionately interested third partner. We have been encouraged to contemplate the Fatherhood of God, a wonderful and true doctrine. But if you want to change your marriage, extend this analogy and spend some time thinking about God as Father-in-Law. Because he is!
When I fail to respect my wife â€“ when I demean her or trouble her, when Iâ€™m condescending toward her or mistreat her in any way â€“ I am courting trouble with the heavenly Father, who feels passionately about my spouseâ€™s welfare.
Gary Thomas, Devotions for a Sacred Marriage, pp. 21-22
I suspect our marriages and homes would be radically different if we treated one another as Godâ€™s children. I suspect we would treat our spouses with more grace and cherish them more if we saw them as daughters and sons of the most high God.
What does your "father-in-law" think about the way you are treating his daughter/son? Why not choose today to do something to commuinicate to your spouse or another family member that you cherish that person?