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.
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