Your Marriage Should Be A Joyful Witness
In taking a Biblical look at marriage there are three truths that must be the foundation of our examination. 1.) Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and do not be harsh with them. (Colossians 3:19; Ephesians 5:25; ) 2.) Wives are to honor their husbands and be a blessing to them. (Proverbs 31: 1 Timothy 2:10; 5:10; 3:11) 3.) Marriage is not an eternal institution. (Mark 12:25; Luke 20:35) Do not waste your blessed opportunities!
The Bible teaches that Christians are living letters to be read by everyone and their call is to live lives which indicates Christ is written upon their hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3) This especially true of Christians who have entered into the marriage covenant agreement with God. Marriage is God’s idea and couples can choose to enjoy relationships which are thriving not just surviving.The Book of Song of Songs hold the writings of wise old Solomon, which expresses the heart of friends who appreciate a couple who truly love one another, “We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine.” (Song of Songs 1:4b)
Everyone has been encouraged by Paul Harvey’s “Champion Lovers,” segments which recognized couples who have been married for many years. High respect and recognition is to be given to couples who have sought God to get them through the trials of life, the temptations of the world and especially for those who have held the hand of a beloved spouse who was being cast into the river of physical death.
Song of Songs, chapter 1-3 teaches about courtship and the passions which are to be enjoyed. A wise couple place their relationship under God’s hand so they may enjoy His favors. Proverbs 18:22 has a truth for men, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” The Bible holds this truth, “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones” (Proverbs 12:4) A truth for women, “An excellent wife who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:10)
God finds delight in men and women who uphold their spouses by speaking well of them and finding delight in one another. The Lord’s heart is blessed by couples who reject the common world view which believes only new or forbidden relationships are exciting, passionate and envisioned. Searching for and living out God’s plan for marriage enables couples to minister to one another joyfully. Couples who grasp God’s view on marriage see common every day shores and living as an opportunity to meet each other’s needs, not as a burden.
Couples who desire to embrace their God given gift of passion and intimacy are not influenced by the jaded world view of lust which has twisted God’s purpose of sexuality. No where in Scripture is passion and intimacy with your spouse to be approached as two ships passing in the night, only if you have extra time or if you haven’t exhausted your strength and energies on something else. Again, several places in Scripture, sexual passion is a gift from God, (Proverbs 5:15; 5:18) which is only to be enjoyed under the Biblical marriage covenant and enjoyed often enough so neither one in a relationship may be tempted by the devil to commit adultery. (1 Corinthians 7:2-7)
The most accurate Bible translations exhort couples with, “Let your fountain be blessed…” (Proverbs 5:18) Many who have loved the Lord enough to do a healthy Biblical exegeses on sexuality in the marriage covenant relationship are asking the obvious question, “What is the hold up?” Proverbs 5:19 tells men they are to be intoxicated with the love of their wives and captivated with what she has to offer. Women are to be enjoying her husband’s gift of passion for her. (Proverbs 5:15-20; Song of Songs 7:6-10)
The marriage God ordains, Christ is ahead of and enjoys the enablement of the Holy Spirit expresses a relationship for all to see by:
1.) Following The Example of Jesus: He said “Greater love has no one than this, than he lay down his life for his friends. You are My friend if you do what I command.” (John 15:13) Too often, we set our focus on ourselves not seeking the Lord on how to sacrificially use our Spiritual gifts for first serving Him, then second, our spouse. Couples who are growing apart, cold and inattentive need to lay down their lives, to please the Lord and please their spouse.
2.) Men It Starts With You: Our first instruction regarding marriage, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19) Husbands are told, “…be good to your wives, honor them, delight in them…. Treat your wives as equals so your prayers [are not hindered.]” (1 Peter 3:7) The Bible says your are not your own, but you belong to Christ and your wife – you cannot give your body to someone else without offending and hurting God. Your adoration, attention and focus is to be first for the Lord and then your wife. Your eyes belong to your wife, this includes all your desires, affections and passions. A husband who loves his wife does not make her jealous in any way, he makes women jealous that he belongs only to his wife. Other woman should be saying, “Your wife is blessed.” Your life should express to your wife, “How beautiful your are and how pleasing are your delights.” (Song of Songs 7:6) Can your wife say, “I belong to my [husband] and his desire is for me.” (Song of Songs 7:10)
3.) Agape Love Is Your Guide: The Bible says, “Love is patient.” (1 Corinthians 13:4) Couples who love each other are patient and seek God’s help to express patience to their spouse. “Love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4) Your spouse should be enjoying kindness from you. Love does not dishonor – Spouses never speak or live in a way that dishonors the person God gave them. They see each other as a treasure, thus they do not flirt, enter into emotional or sexual affairs. They wear their wedding rings with honor and a sign to others that they are taken. Loving each other never fails, it first protects. They learn each others weaknesses, then protect each other from falling into anything which breaks the heart of the Lord. “Love always trust.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)
The two people you should be able to trust with your heart, life and welfare is the Lord and your spouse. Spouses live in a way that never causes distrust, discontentment or uncertainty. “Love always hopes.” (1 Corinthians 13:7) Spouses give each other hope, they support one another, they encourage one anther. They work together and urge each other to seek the Lord’s help, guidance, provision and protection. “Love always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)
One translation says, “endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:8) In this world there is no greater joy than the marriage covenant. It can only be enjoyed on this earth. It is a covenant agreement that Satan longs to attack, disrupt and destroy. Let God’s love be your guide.
4.) Return To Our First Love: Many people find themselves dissatisfied, uninterested in their partners lives and discontented in their relationships. Now a days, statistics indicate, in the evening more time is spent on computer games, face-book, and other social media. Too often, husbands and wives seldom cuddle, talk about shared visions, hopes and dreams. Amazingly, husbands spend more time in their man cave’s than they do speaking to their wives about their day, accomplishments or disappointments. Often wives are seen being more intrigued in conversation with others – than they do with their husbands. Before long, they are just two ships occasionally passing in the night.
The Biblical solution, see the one you made vows to as God’s treasured gift. Many have discovered God’s gift can be taken from them in a moment, or watch their lives be slowly taken through a prolonged illness. By then it is to late. God’s call, return to your first love – it is hard work. A good love relationship is like keeping yourself healthy and in shape. By the way, your love relationship is taken notice of, just like your effort in keeping yourself in good health and shape.
5.) Valentines Day – Deeper Than Candy and Cards: Valentines Day, goes beyond the card, the candy, and the social event. Tell your spouse you love them, then show them by your actions. The world view has cheapened what Valentines Day is really about. Like Santa Clause, there is a real Christian who is the foundation for the heart beat of what Valentines Day really is. There is just as much written material about St. Valentine as there is material written that has caused people to call his story, “Just a legend.”
According to Father Frank O’Gara and others. St. Valentine was a Christian martyr who was killed by Claudias II for his Biblical stance on marriage. In the Third Century, the Roman Empire made an edict prohibiting young people from getting married. St. Valentine officiated wedding ceremonies which landed him in prison. In his last days, St. Valentine, through his faith in Christ and God saw the miraculous healing of the blind daughter of the jailer. On the eve of his execution, St Valentine wrote a farewell message to the girl and signed it “From your Valentine.” The day of his execution, February 14. Now, how deep is your view of Valentine Love? St. Valentine had the same heart about marriage as God and Christ does.
In closing: Every one who has enjoyed marriage and relationships has tasted the great pleasures that come with being a couple and partner in life, they also have since or suffered the attacks of Satan who despises the gift of marriage. The world view creeps in, business and exhaustion overshadows hunger for passion, intimacy, and romance. Jesus used the phrase, “Return to your first love” in the Book of Revelations, calling the church back to their first love. The people attending were going through the right motion, attendance, singing and praying, but they had lost their first love excitement. He uses the comparison because the church is the Bride of Christ – just as the people of God need the Holy Spirit to rekindle a passion and intimacy with the Lord. Couples must constantly seek God, Christ and the Holy Spirit to rekindle their first love pleasures they enjoyed when the relationship was new and fresh. Except it or not – your marriage is a living letter, is it spoken of like the friends of Solomon’s time? “We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine.” (Song of Songs 1:4b)