Closing Our Eyes in Marriage

In his Messages for Building Up New Believers Watchman Nee provides a secret to a successful marriage–closing our eyes. He writes, “After a person is married, he should learn to close his eyes so that he does not see.”

What does he mean by this?

He explains that when two people are married and begin to live together day by day and year by year, it is very easy for each one to find the other person’s weaknesses and faults. When this happens, the temptation for the husband might be to try to teach his wife, and the temptation for the wife might be to disciple her husband. This, however, is not God’s will.

In the chapter “Husband and Wife” from Messages for Building Up New Believers, Brother Nee writes the following:

“The purpose of a marriage is not to discover the weaknesses in the other party; it is not to discover the other party’s flaws. Your wife is not your student, and your husband is not your disciple. There is no need for you to seek out his faults in order to ‘help’ him…. When God puts two persons together as husband and wife, His intention is that there be submission and love between the two. He has no intention for them to discover each other’s faults or to correct each other. God has not made you a teacher or a master. None of the husbands are the teachers of their wives, and none of the wives are the masters of their husbands. No one needs to correct her husband, and no one needs to correct his wife. Whatever type of person you have married, you should expect them to continue in the same way. There is no need to look at the faults and weaknesses of others and try to change them. A motive of trying to change the other party is basically wrong. Those who are married must learn to close their eyes. Learn to love the other party. Do not try to help or correct them.”

“Never look for weaknesses and never try to correct. If you take heed to this warning, your family will be on a firm foundation.”

In an earlier post on marriage, we quoted excerpts from the ministry of Witness Lee about taking God as our center for a balanced marriage life. Several saints added helpful comments to that post that support the quote above by Watchman Nee. A brother named Kevin commented, “I have found that pulling a spouse forward is actually destructive to both your marriage and her personal walk with the Lord. Just walk with her in her season of life she has with the Lord.” And a sister wrote, “Any demands I have placed on my husband, whether implicit or explicit, have only served to damage him. Any time I take the Lord as my contentment and peace and even submission to His arrangement, my husband is watered and cherished.” (Click here to read these comments in full.)

May the Lord shine on us and gain us in our marriages. May we enjoy the Lord and allow Him to live Himself through us to the extent that we would “close our eyes.” And may our marriages be filled with submission and love, contentment and peace, that the Lord would be expressed in us and would use us for His purpose.

Please use the comments section below to share any responses to this post.

13 thoughts on “Closing Our Eyes in Marriage

  1. when we enjoy christ in our married life we see christ submiting 2 christ the head and christ loving chris the body. we are one body,soul,spirit. without enjoying christ, our eyes are open 2 darkness and closed 2 light. lord close our eyes and open our inward eyes 2 see u only.

    1. 1. Marriage is “human” in that spouses are human beings. That might seem obvious, but it’s not—especially in today’s world. They are not angels. They are beings with souls and bodies . . . and what they do with those bodies is relevant. Their bodies are essential to who they are; their bodies are not sub-personal tools.

      2. Marriage is “total”—i.e., given completely to another. That totality demands exclusivity, because exclusivity is what love requires. Adam can pick Eve or Mary, not both simultaneously.

      3. Marriage is permanent—i.e., indissoluble. Love is permanent. Adam cannot say “I love you, Eve, for ten years, with an option on another ten and a six-month cancelation clause.” Sounds laughable, right? Visit an American divorce court.

      4. Marriage is fruitful—i.e., connected to life. I cannot love the other without loving the other totally, which is to say as a potential parent. Otherwise, I say, “I love you, but not your fertility (at least not right now)—let’s change that about you.” The connection between marriage and fruitfulness is most under stress in modern society, as some people want to cut an absolute line between the two. This is never how the early Christians understood marriage and, frankly, is not how any group of Christians understood marriage for the first 1,900 years of Christianity. If, despite all the other things that divided Christians through twenty centuries, they could all agree that marriage and parenthood go together, it says a lot about what is the true Christian understanding.

  2. We just continue to look away unto the Lord that we may see Him only. Only by seeing Christ in glory do we not see any flaws or defects from one another. On the contrary, we can love, respect,and honor one another for the building up of His Body.

  3. I enjoyed this from the excerpt: “Learn to love the other party.” and also the portion from the sister: “Any time I take the Lord as my contentment and peace and even submission to His arrangement, my husband is watered and cherished.” O Lord Jesus, amen.

  4. To love is not to look at one another, but to look together in the same direction. Take Christ as our center, focus and goal.

  5. Hi saints,
    I have been divorce for 5 years and I have seen The Lords love after those years.My heart still shaking for the absent husband.I do not know what it will happen.But I know that I must trust and obey because there is not other way.
    I hope the Lord can show me His way in this matter.Just please saints I need shepherding and prayers.

    1. With my first marriage, the man refused anything related to God, except Christmas. I divorced him as he was very abusive. I started going again to church meetings and looked for God for all my needs in my heart. I suffered greatly and then all of a sudden things changed…my faithfulness to Him brought me a wonderful brother who after 25 years of marriage has given me nothing but hope for a marriage to Jesus one day. This brother was not in the church life but after our marriage we still go faithfully. I told him my first love was Jesus and always will be. Take very good care of your health, let no negative thing enter your mind about you…all positive things come from God. God bless you.

    2. Gianni
      I am divorced for so many years, I cannot even begin to count. I Love the Lord, trust Him fully, took HIM as my Life & person and I am ever happy, we all would probably want happy, healthy marriages but too us who has been there one needs to learn to appreciate the Lord, take HIM as your husband the best ever! Until HE allows otherwise.

      Thank you precious Lord Jesus, our true husband.

  6. Thank You lord for showing us and unveiling us of how to live in Your life by closing our eyes and to just look unto You. I used to have a husband, I don’t any more, but I have You Lord Jesus. Just be real in me.
    Thank You for this post, May the Lord shine in all of us,
    G M

  7. I haven’t been married more than 10 years, but I have found that to truly love, is to lay down your life for your brother.
    To prefer one over oneself…agape love.
    For me to try to correct my husband, and to pick on his faults is saying that I am better than he.
    Even to be annoyed…where does that come from? A result of being annoyed is small bursts of anger.
    Why does that occur? I can only conclude, for myself that it stems from the thinking that I am better than the one who is annoying me.
    Lord God, I thought that at one time I saw that it was not about me, but about others…
    Being married has showed me that I do think it’s all about me at times.
    I ask for your grace and mercy, and continue to draw me closer to you, for it is only then that I see.

  8. I feel like I am always wrong and I was immature when I select my husband,and I feel always guilty that I rushed to marry .because my husband responds to me negatively and I realy can not forget his words.I am not happy in my marriage….

    1. Do not be dissatisfied with your married life, for your husband or wife is the best one for you. Out of a hundred married people, probably not one husband would say that he is satisfied with his wife, and probably not one wife would say that she is satisfied with her husband. Before we were married, we all had a dream about married life. Eventually, our marriage turned out to be the opposite of our dream. But whatever our husband or wife is like, he or she is God’s gift to us and is exactly what we need. Throughout my whole life I have never seen a person whose second marriage, after remarrying following a divorce, was better than the first. I know of some who were married four times and who have said that each marriage was worse than the preceding one. The marriage of those who have been chosen by God is under His sovereignty.

  9. Surely, the only place that a marriage can last is only in the church life. Once in a complete union with Christ, He is ready to protect that marriage for His typification. May the Lord give each an everyone a proper guidance according to His purpose in our marriages and may we close our eyes of every weakness and faults for the glorification of His wonderful purpose.

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