THE MARRIAGE COVENANT
“For those who are married, I have a command that comes…from the Lord.” 1Co 7:10 NLT
Having God’s blessing on your marriage is contingent upon you operating according to His rules. To enjoy His protection, peace, and prosperity you must follow His instructions. For example, you can spend hours arguing and still not resolve the issue. If you’d just followed God’s rules, the argument could have been over in a matter of minutes, and both parties would have been satisfied at the end of the process. When your car breaks down, you take it back to the dealership. Why? Because they sold it to you and they know how to fix it! God performed the first marriage. So when your relationship gets into trouble, if you’re wise you’ll talk to Him about it before talking to each other. Furthermore, when you get married with the attitude, “If this doesn’t work out I can always get a divorce,” you’re running in the opposite direction from the truth of God’s Word. Paul writes: “For those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife” (vv. 10-11 NLT). Yes, there are some acceptable reasons for divorce, but they are the exception and not the rule! Recently a Hollywood celebrity spent millions of dollars on her wedding and then divorced her husband two months later on the grounds of “incompatibility.” When you say, “Till death us do part,” you say it before God and you’re supposed to mean it.
We throw the word “love” around loosely, leaving it to be defined in many different ways. People say things like, “I love chocolate cake,” or “I love football,” or “I love that television show.” What they really mean is they “like” and “enjoy” these things. The Bible definition of love goes much deeper than what entertains and excites us, and what makes us feel emotionally attached to one another. To love someone is to pursue their well-being and make it a priority. Love’s first concern is always: “How does this action contribute to my partner’s well-being?” If it doesn’t—or if it does the opposite—then it isn’t love. The Bible says, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her…In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but…cares for it” (vv. 25, 28-29 NLT). As a husband, you can learn two things from these Scriptures: (1) We are all innately selfish. So your greatest challenge will always be to put your wife’s interests ahead of your own, and be willing to sacrifice your own agenda to do it. (2) We must practice being sensitive. Think how sensitive you are to the aches and needs of your own body, and apply that same principle to caring for your wife. You say, “That’s a tall order!” Yes, and the God who commands you to do it will give you the grace to do it day by day. So draw on His grace!
“A good marriage is built on mutual sacrifice. Adam had to sacrifice something near and dear to him in order to get Eve—a rib. And your wife will know you love her when you’re willing to give up things that are important to you in order to meet her needs and promote her well-being. Too many men want to be married but still function as singles. They don’t want to sacrifice any time, attention, or resources for the benefit of their wives. They don’t want a wife; they want a maid. They want to marry someone so they can be served. No—it’s the opposite! The Bible says you and your wife are “heirs together.” That means she is an equal partner. So her opinions, thoughts, and perspectives matter. Yes, as the leader of your home you may make the final decision, but when you don’t get your wife’s input and consider her viewpoint, holy wedlock can turn into unholy deadlock. Your wife will respond to you when she feels cherished and valued (See Eph 5:29). You say, “But my wife’s as cold as ice.” How did she get that way? Ice only stays icy in a cold environment. So instead of complaining, work at changing your environment. Husbands are thermostats and wives are thermometers. Husbands determine the climate and wives thrive or shrivel accordingly. There’s a reason your wife is cold—and there’s a solution. When you begin to love, nurture, cherish, and protect her as Christ did the church, you’ll have a whole new woman in your arms. Try it and see.
Paul writes, “The wife must respect her husband.” Pay close attention to the word “must.” This is a command from the Lord, not a suggestion or a topic that’s open to debate. Notice, the Bible doesn’t say a woman must “love” her husband, but it does say that she must “respect” him. And guys, before you take the throne and start handing out decrees, that means you must prove yourself worthy of respect! To respect your husband is to hold him in esteem and honor. What a woman needs from a man is located in her heart, and what a man needs from a woman is located in his head. It’s called his ego. You say, “I’m not going to feed his ego!” That would be like your husband saying, “I’m not going to feed your heart.” Men long to have their egos fed. When you fail to feed your husband’s ego, he may end up vulnerable to somebody else who feeds it for him! As a wife, you were created by God with the ability to feed your husband’s ego in a healthy manner, by respecting and honoring him. There’s nothing more dangerous in a marriage relationship than disrespect. When a man doesn’t feel respected, he will either rebel against you, remove himself, or become passive. God has given two simple rules for building a successful marriage. The first is for husbands to love their wives, and the second is for wives to respect their husbands. And when you operate by God’s rules you get God’s results. So if you want God’s best, and His blessing at home—start doing things His way.
Devotion// Word For You Today. Have a blessed day 🙂