“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Prov. 14:1).
I’ve been counseling hurting, confused wives for years, and have found emotional motivation to be a major issue in marriages.
Because our brains are wired differently, women are far more attuned to emotions and feelings than men are. Normally this is an advantage. It benefits them as mothers, as friends, and even in the workplace.
But sometimes the powerful pull that emotions have on women can cause problems in a marriage. They let their fears and feelings have too much control over their behavior. They may read and hear what the Bible says they should do, but they struggle to obey because those truths conflict with the internal guidance of their emotions.
And it’s not just women. Men let their feelings get the best of them, too.
Think back to the Garden of Eden. God forbade Adam and Eve from eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Because they didn’t cling to the truth God had commanded.
Satan convinced them God’s words were untrue.
Eve heard the soothing, self-exalting words of the devil and saw the beauty of the fruit. She desired it. Adam did, too. Both Adam and Eve trusted their feelings more than God’s instruction.
They made a terrible mistake. The result brought destruction to their lives, marriage, and the lives of their children and descendants. That’s a high price to pay for following your feelings!
Many of the people locked away in prison are there because they did what they felt like doing rather than following the law. And many people in destructive marriages today are living in misery, too. Not because there’s no way out, but because they refuse to take action contrary to their feelings.
Don’t get me wrong. God designed us to experience emotions. Feelings are good and helpful. But they are unreliable. They’re a bad source of permanent direction.
When we allow our feelings to dictate the way we behave, we live on a roller coaster of ups and downs. We live in a constant state of insecurity and confusion.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Have I ever let my feelings keep me from forgiving my spouse?
Have I ever let my feelings keep me from serving my spouse or showing love?
Have I ever said something deliberately hurtful to my spouse because of my feelings?
Have I ever let the emotions of anger, resentment, or bitterness cause me to take revenge on my spouse or harm my marriage?
Feelings are a necessary part of being a human, and they are God-given. But don’t let them keep you from doing the right thing in your marriage.
Feelings make a great caboose, but a terrible engine. Make God’s Word the engine to motivate your actions now, and you will find that proper feelings will follow.