I wanted to ask myself these questions in regards to my marriage. I am not quite at the year mark and it acts as a good reminder to ask myself if I am ready and if I am am being faithful. There has been much grace and growth already in our marriage; but, the Scriptures are so good at getting at an ever-deeper layer to point to our need for more grace.
Since the greatest need for grace in my marriage is to help me learn to respect and revere my husband, taking on a perspective of grace towards our sanctification process, I thought I would list this quote my mom sent me. If we truly do want to emulate Christ, then we would act in a manner towards our husbands as Christ did to His Father. We would wait upon their return and be malleable to doing things that please and honor them.
John Chrysostom ("golden-mouthed"), bishop of Constantinople (from 398) and "Spurgeon" of the late fourth and early fifth century, known for his deep respect for Christian women (as witnessed, for instance, in his beautiful letter to Olympias) has this to say about Christian wives both loving and respecting their husbands in Ephesians 5:33 -
"How, one may say, is there to be love when there is respect? Love is most powerfully present when accompanied by respect. For what she loves she also reveres, and what she reveres she also loves. She reveres him as the head and loves him as a member of the whole body. God’s purpose in ordering marriage is peace. One takes the husband’s role, one takes the wife’s role, one in guiding, one in supporting. If both had the very same roles, there would be no peace. The house is not rightly governed when all have precisely the same roles. There must be a differentiation of roles under a single head." (Homily on Ephesians 20:5.33)
It is good for my soul to answer the question: "Am I ready to serve another master besides myself, being ready and faithful to serve and honor the Lord by serving my husband?"
Jon reminded us that this evaluation doesn't start with comparison to others. He also warned us to be wary of a proud response in either self-righteousness towards others or a self-pitying response that lacks hope that anyone can change. We have to start with the gospel truth-- Jesus Christ died for sinners like me and empowers them to be like Christ through his grace. We can do all things through Christ who strengthen us. There is always more grace than we can arrange or find in ourselves.