Monthly Archives: June 2013

Some Thoughts on Marriage From a Biblical Viewpoint

Some Thoughts on Marriage From a Biblical Viewpoint

The two become oneOver the last few years, as the number of readers on our Daily Bible Verse mailing list has grown, we have received a lot of emails from people who need advice and/or counsel for their situations. Far and away, the most frequent topic for these questions is marriage.

We also get a fair number of questions about financial matters and relationships that are leading up to marriage (engagements, dating, etc.), but maintaining a healthy marriage is clearly the biggest hurdle facing most couples these days.

Now, within the bigger picture of a couple’s marital relationship, there can be many, many other factors that might help to make or break their marriage, including financial difficulties, trust issues, problems related to a couple’s sex life, interference from either person’s family and many more, but keeping the marriage alive and healthy is a HUGE problem.

God established the institution and the sanctity of marriage way back in Genesis when He said (Genesis 2:24 NKJV)  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

A man and a woman (yes… one man and one woman, not two men or two women or multiple partners), are to leave their parents and join together to become “one flesh”. This is how God intended it to be… a life-long commitment between the two people.

And, as man always seems to do, we figured out a way to mess it up pretty quickly. Human nature being what it is, greed, idolatry, envy, lust and so many other sinful factors stepped in and caused husbands and wives to hurt each other and leave their love for each other behind, trading it, instead, for a cheap thrill or a new partner.

Many times a spouse may even get “traded in” for an inanimate object such as money, a hobby (golf, fishing, other sports, a car, etc.). Sadly, ministry work may even become an obsession for someone and come between them and their spouse. Either way, the guilty party is forsaking their life partner for something that they have become obsessed with or place more value in than their own spouse.

All of these scenarios are very sad and very much avoidable if only both people in the marriage wanted to make it work. Marriage is a two-way relationship that requires hard work on the part of the husband and the wife… not just one or the other.

Take note that I said making a marriage last is “hard work”. Because it is! A healthy, long-lasting marriage requires work from both people to make it happy and lasting.

100 percentOh, and let’s clear something up right away. Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition. It requires 100% on the part of both people! 100% effort, 100% of the time. Any time either person in a marriage decides to give less than their 100% effort, the relationship will start to go backwards. It might not always be noticeable right away, but it happens even on tiny levels.

So, want to know “the secret” to a happy, healthy, lasting marriage? Here it is in all of its simplicity: When you get married, take your vows seriously when you say “till death do us part”. Say it and mean it. It’s that simple.

Marriage is not a “try and buy” item. It isn’t about “seeing if we can make it work”. Marriages entered into with that attitude are doomed before they ever start. But people in a marriage need to enter into the marriage relationship knowing that it will work and it will last as long as they both shall live.

Doing this removes the “what if” factor right from the start. Attitude is everything and if you go into your marriage with the right attitude, you’re already half way to being successful.

As a married couple, the husband and wife will both need to respect each other and love each other in spite of their faults. Both people will occasionally irritate the other person with habits, mannerisms, etc. This is just part of learning to love that person for who they are, instead of trying to make them be more like you.

Compromise is a HUGE part of a healthy marriage. Both people need to learn to compromise and not always want to have their own way in everything. Compromise should be something that allows the husband and wife to meet half way on things that they just can’t seem to agree on.

LoveBut most of all, LOVE is what helps to make all of these other things happen. I’m not talking just about that “googly-eyed, mushy” kind of love. I’m talking about the kind of love that will cause a person to lay their life down for someone else. Love that will put another person first without even having to think about it.

(Ephesians 5:25 NKJV)  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her

(Titus 2:3-4 NKJV)  the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; {4} that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children…

(1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV) And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

We could dive into the various types of love, such as agape, eros, etc., but that would take us down a different path entirely, so let’s save that for another time 🙂

Suffice it to say that we need to love our spouse with a deep love that causes us to want to please them, nurture them and grow with them, no matter what comes our way. It is the couples who grasp this concept that will live their lives together and never even consider giving up, regardless of what life throws at them.

So remember… giving up is not an option for you if you truly want to make your marriage work. This goes for both people in the marriage. If one gives up, the other person can try to hang on and make it work, but it will be a one-way street, at best.

Does this mean they should give up in this situation? Absolutely not… especially not quickly. Sometimes hanging on and continuing to love the other person will cause them to see their mistakes and it can rekindle the fire in their heart.

Marriages in trouble can be restored as long as the husband and wife both want to see it repaired. When both people are determined to make it work out, there is absolutely nothing that can come against them that can tear them apart.

Let me show you a little something that we’ve shared with couples while doing pre-marital counseling and with couples who have asked for marriage advice over the last several years. We like to call it “The Marriage Triangle”. It illustrates something very simple, yet very powerful, once it’s understood.

The key to a strong marriage

The key to a strong marriage – author unknown

What this image demonstrates is how a couple’s relationship with God will effect their relationship with each other.

See God at the top of that triangle? Now look at the bottom corners. There you see the husband and the wife. They are very far apart! Now follow the red arrows toward the top, toward God.

As the husband and the wife both grow closer to God, they also draw closer to each other. This is such a basic, yet profound concept that gets missed so often. Loving and honoring God is a critical element that will strengthen every part of any marriage.

So there you have some great information to help you build a strong marriage relationship! None of this is fancy or flashy, but it doesn’t take glitz and glamor to make a marriage work.

So if you’re married or planning on getting married, don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves, get your hands right in there and get dirty. It ‘ll be worth every bit of the effort you put into it. And besides, dirt washes off.

Remember… marriage is for life 😉

Pastor Curt & Pastor Ellie