Monday, April 15, 2019
Are You Taking Your Marriage for Granted?
A marriage from the Lord is something to be preciously guarded and upheld. It can be destroyed if husband and wife do not take care to maintain the sweetness and uniqueness of the marriage bond.
Husband and wife should be best friends. There should be nothing they cannot or do not want to share together. Intimacy is not just a physical union. If you have left becoming "one flesh" at just physical intimacy, you are really missing out on what one flesh means. It is a joining of spirits and sharing thoughts and dreams, being vulnerable to one another, in a way that is not done with any other human being in the world. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
Hearken back to the time of your courtship and engagement, and remember how there was nothing you liked better than to spend time with your husband- or wife-to-be. You talked together, shared your feelings with one another, made plans together. You included each other in whatever you could because you loved to be together. You couldn't wait to tell them what was going on in your life and to share news with them. You shared about what happened in the time you'd been apart. There was no one that could replace this person, because you had eyes and heart only for them. These feelings of love and oneness should only increase during marriage, not decrease!
Husbands and wives would do well to involve each other with extended family relationships. Once a man and woman are married, they should endeavor to keep each other involved in the news of each other's families. Sometimes, husbands and wives maintain separate relationships with parents or siblings that have absolutely no involvement with their spouse. When we marry, we are told to leave our families we grew up with and to cleave to one another (Genesis 2:24). This does not mean that we cut off ties and communication and visits with our parents, siblings, etc. But it means that we have begun a new family wherein we always put our spouse first, and keep each other involved with our family. Too often, wives go with complaints to their mothers about their husbands, or wives have long, deep conversations with their mothers or sisters about things that they will not share with their husbands. I daresay this happens with husbands too. Sometimes extended family members will try to pry into the couple's private relationship and make suggestions or inquiries into what should be private domestic life. This is not conducive to the "cleaving" we are supposed to be doing in marriage. I knew a couple who kept each other involved with their extended family by having "catch-up" calls with each other's family when they were both on the phone. This way, they each knew about what was going on and were part of the conversation, and the husband and wife maintained a united front.
We should not keep secrets from our spouse or hold back information. We should be upfront about things that have happened during the day and struggles we are having. Wives would do well to share with their husbands what has happened in the home during the day. Husbands would do well to share with their wives about the goings on at his place of employment. Our modern era has us spending much of our time apart, so to keep our relationships strong, we must make the effort to speak to one another.
Wives are mainly protected in the home, which is a wonderful place of shelter. She may go out to do the shopping, but shouldn't she share with her husband if another man was showing interest in her? In the same way, husbands must carefully guard their hearts in the workplace. Because of our upside-down society, men often spend their working days with other women. They are having conversations with these women and often spend more time with them than they do their own wives. Husbands may come home from work having talked all day to other people, and may hardly have a word for their wives. This will not lead to a fruitful marriage, nor strengthen the marriage bond. Husbands would be wise to tell their wives about the people they work with, keeping an honest and open account with their one-flesh partner. This will bring a great element of trust into the relationship, and also build accountability. There are many adulterous relationships that begin in the workplace that never were intentional, but a bond was built between two people who spent much time together in the day-to-day. Remember that adultery begins in the heart, and often starts with seemingly harmless conversation. Wives, though they may be tired by the end of day, should take an interest in their husband's work and happenings at his place of employment. After all, he has been at work all day to provide for her and the children.
We must remember, that though the Lord has first place in our hearts, we are to very much be about pleasing our husbands (and husbands to please their wives) once we are married (1 Corinthians 7:32-34). Let us not take our marriages for granted.
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