Honoring Marriage, Part 3
Proverbs 5:15-20 Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love. For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress?
Luke 9:23 Then [Jesus] said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
Galatians 5:24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Matthew 22:29-30 Jesus answered and said to [the Sadducees], “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.”
Because marriage was created by God, we cannot redefine it, reshape it, or drain it of its meaning. It will stand against every onslaught the enemy throws against it, no matter how man tries to bend, break or distort it. There won’t be marriage in heaven, but until then, we need to honor it as God’s creation.
If you are married, it’s worth every effort to make it work. If doing it “for the children” gets you refocused on making it work, then start there; at least that is a goal outside of yourself. But if you know Christ, then let’s make our marriages work for His sake. For all He’s done for us, it’s the least we can do to do everything we can to make our marriages work, even if we must “die daily” (Luke 9, above).
If friends come to you with marital challenges, the best way to show love is to pray for them earnestly, lead them to the scriptures that pertain to them (e.g., “Husbands, love your wives,” etc.), and to help them find the internal and external resources to make their marriage work. Encourage them in God and what He can do. Statistics show that those that weather even severe marital storms end up happier in the long run. It’s worth working things through.
If there is abuse, or rampant infidelity, these are other matters. But for the most part, marital problems arise when we stop obeying God, get selfish, and/or were improperly prepared for the realities of marriage. It’s in everyone’s best interest to support marriage, especially the Lord’s.
We also need to respect the marital status of everyone we know. If someone acts inappropriately toward you, and one (or both) of you is married, respect marriage in your response. Being at peace with being married, and acting accordingly, gives us a place of wisdom to respond to those who act inappropriately. In fact, it actually works as a deterrent to those thinking about having us compromise our own marriage vows.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for all the many things that marriage is. Help me to honor You and Your heart in my life, in my marriage, and in the marriages of others.