In judging our lives, we need sometimes to step out of our current cultural ideas and consider how things were in earlier times. As husbands and wives, we believe there are eternal truths that we can rely on in our marriages. We do not look to modern writers for all of our wisdom. 

One of the most interesting steps is to look at what people used to think about marriage and compare it to our ways of thought. I recently watched a documentary on the drive of Horatio Nelson Jackson, the first man to drive across the United States in an automobile. His drive was in 1903 and the documentary used photos he took along the way and readings from his unpublished letters sent to his wife. He deeply loved his wife, as is evident on every page, and she loved him. Their life story is fascinating, even apart from his famous drive. 

On the drive, he wrote her a letter on their anniversary, in which he recalled the four years of their marriage. In describing how wonderful those years had been, he said something very simple. He said that she had done "everything to make [him] happy." 

I wonder how many young husbands of today could say that about their marriage after four years, or after any time at all. I find almost no woman who manifests this attitude when talking about marriage today. Too many women today think the purpose of marriage is to make the wife happy, not the husband. 

There are several reasons for this idea, but one of the major reasons is that we have ceased to think of marriage in those terms at all. Women are taught to expect that their husband will "make them happy." He should "just be happy to be married to me," women will say. He should "appreciate what I've given up for him." He should "be happy to do what I want to do," they will say.

The old joke continues to arise. You know, where the husband wants to go to Movie A and the wife wants to go to Movie B, so they "compromise" and go to Movie B. It is a joke that gets a laugh from any group of men because they believe that is how things are today.

It should not be this way. Yes, it is true that he has taken the job of husband and is, therefore, to be very focused on your welfare, but you are also to be focused on his. You are to do everything to make him happy, not just sit and let him make you happy. You are to be his wife. 

Remember the word in Proverbs 31 about the excellent wife:
      The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
      She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

In other words, she does "everything to make him happy." 

If your husband wrote a letter today, describing his last four years with you, would his letter be as filled with love as the letters of Mr. Jackson? Love, ultimately, is not about how you feel in your heart, but how you act in your life. 

How much do you love him?

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