GODLY MARRIAGE IN AN UNGODLY WORLD

"And Adam [man] said, This is now bone of my bones,

and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother,

and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

(Genesis 2:23-24)


"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also

loved the church, and gave himself for it. Nevertheless let

every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself;

and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

(Ephesians 5:21, 22, 25, 33)


A godly marriage takes three to really work!

Ruth Bell’s parents were missionaries to China. When Ruth was a teenager, they sent her to school in Korea. She intended to become a missionary like her parents and minister to the people of Tibet.


When Ruth was at school, she gave some serious thought to the kind of husband she must consider. As she tells in her book "A Time for Remembering," she listed these particulars: "If I marry: He must be so tall that when he is on his knees, as one has said, he reaches all the way to heaven. His shoulders must be broad enough to bear the burden of a family. His lips must be strong enough to smile, firm enough to say no, and tender enough to kiss. Love must be so deep that it takes its stand in Christ and so wide that it takes the whole lost world in. He must be active enough to save souls. He must be big enough to be gentle and great enough to be thoughtful. His arms must be strong enough to carry a little child." From what we know, Ruth Bell never became a full-time missionary in Tibet, but she found a man worth marrying: the well-known evangelist Billy Graham, and as his wife, she became a missionary to the whole world. For many years, they had a beautiful, happy, Christ-centered marriage which became an excellent example to many others. God always honors the ones who put Him in the middle of their marriage.


Today, many marriages fall apart. Most couples yearn for greener pastures. They think a new home, car, and other material things and worldly affairs will make their marriage better and happier. Do not be fooled. Circumstances do not bring happiness; commitment does. Take some valuable time today and let your spouse know that you love him or her, and you are glad God brought you together. Marriage is the most satisfying, most strengthening, and most lasting human relationship on this earth. Marriage is the most intimate, humbling, loving, and self-sacrificial relationship between human beings.


Marriages struggle to survive when the Lord is missing from their marriage. Marriage takes three to work. You can have a good marriage when Christ's spirit controls your life, and you practice His teachings. Numerous times I say to my wife, "Thank you for being a good wife." Her response is usually, "Thank you for helping me to be a good wife." Yes! Learn to obey the Lord's commandments if you want your marriage to be blessed, "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered" (1 Peter 3:7). Learn to love your wife like Jesus loved His church. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it" (Ephesians 5:25). When a husband practices these verses, and the wife practices verses like this: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord" (Ephesians 5:22), both will experience a fruitful and blessed marriage.


If you are a young Christian man or young Christian lady, and you are looking for a lifetime partner to have a happy and blessed marriage, you have to choose a person who loves and serves the Lord. The most important thing in marriage is for both to have faith in God and Jesus Christ. When you have faith, everything is possible. If your mate loves you and loves the Lord, then he or she also loves others and wants to help them. Commit to one another and ask God for His love for each other. Put Christ in the center of your marriage. A successful marriage takes three to really work...two people plus the Lord. This is wonderfully described by Perry Tanksley in his poem:


                                                                                                MARRIAGE TAKES THREE

​                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                         I once thought marriage took

                                                                                                                         Just two to make a go,

                                                                                                                         But now I am convinced

                                                                                                                         It takes the Lord also.


                                                                                                                         And not one marriage fails

                                                                                                                         Where Christ is asked to enter.

                                                                                                                         As lovers come together

                                                                                                                         With Jesus at the center.


                                                                                                                         But marriage seldom thrives,

                                                                                                                         And homes are incomplete,

                                                                                                                         Till He is welcomed there

                                                                                                                         To help avoid defeat.


                                                                                                                         In homes where Christ is first,

                                                                                                                         It's obvious to see,

                                                                                                                         Those unions really work,

                                                                                                                         For marriage still takes three



     M​ARR​IAGE

             GOD'S WAY



BIBLE VE​RSES



"And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." (Genesis 2:18)


"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. And if one prevail against him, one shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

(Ecclesiastes 4:9,12)


In the building business they say: Two men can do three times as much work as one man. God's principle is that two can do ten times as much as one! "One can chase a thousand, but two can put ten thousand to flight!" (Deuteronomy 32:30)


"And Adam (man) said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." (Genesis 2:23-24)


"Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it." (Psalm 127:1)


"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions." (Proverbs 10:12)


"Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." (Romans 13:10)


"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:31-32)


"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart." (1 Peter 1:22)


HOW TO HAVE A GODLY MARRIAGE:

"And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,because we are members of His body. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband." (Ephesians 5:21-33)

"In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external -- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered." (1 Peter 3:1-7)


"To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT." (1 Peter 3:8-11)

In A GOOD MARRIAGE

are two imperfect people

who never give up

on each other.



QUOTES


"Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can't live without." — Dr. James Dobson


"Marriage: Trust is the start of it, joy is a part of it & love is the heart of it." — Hallmark Cards


"Love requires a willingness to die; marriage, a willingness to live."

"A perfect marriage is one in which "I'm sorry" is said just often enough." — Quotes by Author, Mignon McLaughlin


"A good marriage is the union of two forgivers." — Ruth Bell Graham


"To keep your marriage cup overflowing with love. Whenever you're wrong admit it and whenever you're right, shut up."— Poet, Ogden Nash


"A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband." — Philosopher, Michel de Montaigne


"A marriage is a witness, like a baptism. The circle of the ring is a symbol of eternal verity & the gold a symbol of lasting value. A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."— Journalist and Author, Mignon McLaughlin


“Marriage is that relation between man and woman in which the independence is equal, the dependence mutual, and the obligation reciprocal.” — Poet, Louis K. Anspacher


"In marriage, each partner is to be an encourager rather than a critic, a forgiver rather than a collector of hurts, an enabler rather than a reformer."— Authors, H. Norman Wright and Gary J. Oliver


"The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together." — Novelist, Tom Mullen


"It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages."— Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche


"What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility."— Professor of Psychology, George Levinger


"To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides." — Psychiatrist, David Viscott


"You cannot have happiness without restraint."— Politician and Author, Anne Widdecomb


"Except Thou build it, Father, The house is built in vain; Except Thou, Saviour, bless it, The joy will turn to pain; But none can break the marriage Of hearts in Thee made one, And the Love Thy Spirit hallows Is endless love begun." — Theologian, Kevin T. Bauder


"There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends."Greek Author, Homer






A Marriage Is


A marriage is a series of friendships.

Love serves as its underlying theme.

Friendships provide it with the new challenges

around which the relationship further develops.

Each type of friendship with ones partner

comes into being, rises to a peak of enthusiasm,

and then wanes away in our cedar chest of sentimental values.

Every once in a while we go to the

chest and draw out a friendship item to

give us a shot in the arm.

Then we put it away till another day.

Unknown



What A Wife Is


A wife is someone cherished in a very special way,

Who puts the joy in living with her sweetness day by day.

A wife is someone close enough to really understand,

To inspire & to encourage & to lend a helping hand.

A wife is one who makes a home a happy place for all.

Who shows her special thoughtfulness in ways both big & small.

A wife is someone wonderful who always has a smile,

Who keeps her husband happy & makes his life worthwhile.


Behind every great man, there's a great little woman who helps make him that way, his helpmeet.

Behind every great man there's a great woman. A woman can make or break a man.

Man may be the head, but the woman is often the neck that turns it.

Some women work so hard to make good husbands that they never quite manage to make good wives.



Ten Commandments For Husbands


1. Remember that thy wife is thy partner, not thy property.

2. Do not expect thy wife to be wife and wage earner at the same time.

3. Think not that thy business is none of thy wife's business.

4. Thou shalt hold thy wife's love by the same means that thou won it.

5. Thou shalt make the building of thy home thy first business.

6. Thou shalt cooperate with thy wife In establishing family discipline.

7. Thou shalt enter into thy home with cheerfulness.

8. Thou shalt not let anyone criticize thy wife to thy face and get away with it,

neither thy father nor thy mother nor thy brethren nor thy sisters nor any of thy relatives.

9. Thou shalt not take thy wife for granted.

10. Remember thy home and keep it holy.

— Roy L. Smith


The husband is really the boss when it comes to the natural family, & God's Word clearly says that women should obey their husbands.

Of all the home remedies, a good wife is the best.

Adam had the whole World to himself & God in the Garden of Eden, & yet he wasn't truly happy or satisfied without a woman.

Only a woman's bosom can satisfy us men.


"A man without a wife is like a vase without flowers."

—African Proverb



A Good Marriage


A good marriage must be created.

In the art of marriage, the little things are big things....

It's never being too old to hold hands.

It's remembering to say "I love you" at least once each day.

It's never going to sleep angry.

It's having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

It is standing together, facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is speaking words of appreciation and

demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is, not only, marrying the right partner,

It is being the right partner.

—Wilfred A. Peterson



Dear Friend,

Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they succeed when we love the ones we marry.

The great secret of successful marriage is to treat all disasters as circumstance, & none of the circumstance as disasters.

Remind yourself of all the good qualities of your mate & try not to think about the bad ones.

One of the greatest assets to a good marriage is honesty, along with a sense of humor!

If you want to learn something about unselfishness, humility and sharing, just get married!

It's hard to love someone you don't respect or admire for something.

People who can't get along with their present mate, frequently can't get along with any mate!

The absolutely perfect mate simply does not exist or they wouldn't be human.



Why Marriage?


Because God instituted it. When He created Adam, He placed him in the beautiful garden of Eden. Endowed with superior intelligence God commissioned him to name all cattle, the fowl of the air and every beast of the field (Genesis 2:20). One thing was lacking, however. Adam had no companion to love and communicate with. "The Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone. I will make an help meet for him" (Genesis 2:18).


To provide such a companion, "God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he [or, builded] a woman, and brought he; unto the man" (Genesis 2:21,22). Imagine the surprise and joy to awaken and behold a beautiful woman! Adam called her Woman because she was taken out of him. It was then that God stated the purpose of marriage, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).


She was bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh. This began the institution of marriage in a relationship of oneness. Indeed, a blessed union for one man and one woman which typifies the spiritual and eternal relationship of Christ and His bride--the Church. God didn't provide a male companion for Adam, but a very special complement to him. To promote the alarming increase of homosexuals as an "alternative lifestyle" is to actually disobey God and invite His judgment on such a perversion of His planned relationship for man and woman (Romans 1:24-32).


Likewise, the increasing number of "live-in" couples without marriage is bitter bondage to the sin of fornication. This, too, God will judge (1 Corinthians 6:13-20). What devastation results! A recent news report points out the alarming cases of abuse among "live-in" couples stating that a cohabiting woman is 56 times more likely than a wife to be assaulted! Also, marriages preceded by living together have 50% higher divorce or separation rates than marriages without premarital cohabitation. Which lifestyle is better--God's or man's?


Adam being put to sleep that Eve might be builded for him is a beautiful picture of Christ suffering death on the cross that the church which is His bride might be formed. The love He showed in dying is set forth as the example for marriage. " Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it" (Ephesians 5:25). Then, as to the woman: "Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing" (Ephesians 5:24). Maintaining this balance in marriage will result in the blessing of true happiness.


Why marriage? Because God's way is best, and is proven so by millions of couples who have entered into this divine plan for man. The "oneness" is based upon mutual relationship to Christ and obedience to His Word. The resulting commitment to each other, in dependence upon Christ, assures a true love working to cement the marriage and to bring glory to Christ in every aspect of it.— MWTB



Premarital Considerations


Other than believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and then yielding one's life to Him as Lord, perhaps the most important decision in life is choosing a marriage partner. Just as we cannot save ourself, neither can we find the mate of God's special provision without His help. He is just as interested in this part of our lives as He was in saving our souls, for He knows that a wrong choice here could ruin one's life--both in testimony and service to Him, and cause much sorrow, difficulty and many bitter heartaches.


To help us in the selection of a husband or wife, God has given certain guidelines in His Word. Obedience to these divine principles will spare the Christian much trouble after marriage. The following are some things to consider when looking for a mate.


1. Never marry, nor even contemplate marrying, an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Amos 3:3).


2. Don't be fooled by promises or professions of faith in Christ. Allow plenty of time before marriage for the reality of faith to be manifest.


3. Marry only "in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 7:39). This means one who is not only a Christian, but is plainly living for Christ and seeking to please Him as the Lord of their life.


4. Though not an unequal yoke, it is not conducive to a healthy marriage to marry a Christian associated with a group of Christians differing from your own (Numbers 27:1-11; 36:1-13).


5. Love is not blind. One must keep his eyes open wide when thinking of marriage so as not to miss the Lord's leading and any danger signs of future problems of incompatibility.


6. Haste does make waste when marriage is concerned. Your own life could be wasted. Love takes time to grow. It takes time to discern God's will and really get to know your partner.


7. Continual prayer for the Lord's guidance and intervention in the selection of a mate is of utmost importance.


8. Does the Lord want me to get married at all? 1 Corinthians 7 shows that some are chosen for a service that is best rendered by a single person.


9. Am l looking in the right places? Functions and hangouts of the world are not going to bring me in touch with one seeking to please the Lord.


10. Do I read the Bible and pray together with my friend before marriage? Do we enjoy spiritual things?


11. Don't forget that the good looks and slim figure may someday give way to balding and middle-age spread. Since marriage is a lifetime proposition would I still be happy with my mate if such changes occur?


12. Habits don't usually change after marriage. Can I comfortably live with the habits of my friend?


13. Is my friend kind and courteous to parents, friends, to me?


14. Is he/she interested in helping others, or is he/she selfish?


15. Is he/she my best friend? Can we communicate about everything?


16. Is he/she industrious, or lazy?


17. Is he/she a virgin? Fornication is clearly forbidden by God (1 Corinthians 6:13-20) and has inescapable spiritual and physical consequences. Also, surveys show that those who remain virgins until marriage have a divorce rate 60% lower than non-virgins.


18. Is he/she always truthful?


19. Do we have similar goals in life as to vocations, finances, standard of living, place of residence, children?


20. Do my parents and friends approve of him/her? — T.D.J.



Should premarital counseling be mandatory?


Q. I am considering getting married. Do you think that premarital counseling should be mandatory?


A. Premarital counseling is receiving tremendous attention these days. Unfortunately, what some couples are seeking is legal counsel for a prenuptial agreement. While God’s instruction book has the guidelines for sustaining your marriage, man’s instruction books only have the guidelines for dissolving it.


Young, starry-eyed couples think their love boat will be smooth sailing, but they abandon ship at the first sign of rough weather. Please acknowledge that rough weather is part of the marriage journey and seek the advice of one or more people who have been there before.


In his letter to Titus Paul emphasizes the need for older men to instruct and guide young men. Like wise, older women are to show young women how to grow into godliness (Titus 2:1-7). Furthermore, God’s Word in replete with instructions to seek wisdom, both from the Bible and from godly counselors (Proverbs chapters 1-4). Wisdom will sustain not only your marriage, but also your life.


Should premarital counseling be mandatory? From your minister’s perspective, yes. He should condition his services upon your successful completion of premarital counseling. Moreover, your potential spouse should love the Lord, too, and insist on wise biblical counsel prior to exchanging vows. If your intended does not meet these two criteria, you should keep looking, because it’s better to wish you were married than to wish you weren’t —Taken from Dr. Adrian Rogers' weekly newspaper column.



Your Own Kind


Two women sat across a table from each other, open Bibles before them. One was in deep trouble over her marriage. This trouble had led her to a hunger for the Lord and His Word.


Wistfully she said to her friend, "You were smart, you married your own kind."

Swift pictures of the contrast in their lives flashed across her friend's mind. She reviewed her own girlhood in a quiet little assembly of the Lord's people. There were a few other young people but none to be considered seriously as a life companion. She had the normal youthful longing for good times and more exciting companions.


The scene changed and she remembered being alone on her knees in her bedroom. Having studied God's Word, and investigated the principles upon which the little assembly met, she was convinced it was the Lord's path for His people. Now consequences were His responsibility, not hers. If He wanted her to marry, He would provide one thoroughly suitable. Seeking a bride for Isaac, Abraham's servant could say, "I being in the way, the Lord led me" (Genesis 24:27). Would He do less today?


A scene flashed a few years later when a clean, sweet, Christian young man, who had grown up in a home and an assembly like her own, was stammering out a proposal of marriage. Half-scared, she had gulped, "We'd better pray about it." Later, clear it was the Lord's will, she gave her consent.


Now swift pictures flashed before her mind: their happy children, all confessing Christ at an early age; the joy of common interests, laughter together, agreement about raising children; family worship, with even the youngest child taking his turn at reading God's Word aloud, and joining in prayer; the Lord's people welcome and congenial guests in the home; courtesy and tender consideration between husband and wife; the husband coming home to tell with joy of presenting Christ to someone they had been burdened for and saying, "I knew you must have been praying for me."


Darker moments flashed by: unemployment, illness, rough spots along the road. And always the comfort of kneeling together seeking the lessons from these things, knowing that: "All things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28).


She looked across the table at her troubled friend who had known a sheltered, gentle girlhood and had gone to Sunday school and had the Word of God placed in her hands as a child. Against her parents' wishes, she had married an unbeliever and had consented to having her lovely children raised in his religion. Finally, she had followed the rest of her family into the same church. Now, the man she had loved so dearly and for whom she had given up so much was a heavy drinker, selfish and inconsiderate. The children were learning unhappy memories of an intoxicated father. She had reaped all this heartache because of self-will (Galatians 6:7,8). Now her own heart was hungry for the reality of faith and peace in Christ and liberty from the hard bondage she felt in her family and spiritual life.


Dear young folks, the companion the Lord has for you is worth waiting for! "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass" (Psalm 37:5). MARRY YOUR OWN KIND! — Selected




How to Have an Intimate Marriage


An intimate marriage is one in which the husband and wife are close to each other, not only physically but emotionally, socially and spiritually. It is a marriage where the husband and wife are best friends. They would say, "I would rather be with my partner than with anyone else."


An intimate marriage will truly complement the husband and bring real joy and satisfaction into every area of his life. The wife will also find fulfillment and satisfaction as she enjoys the close companionship of her husband. An intimate marriage glorifies the Lord Jesus. It is clear from the Bible that this is what God intended in the marriage relationship.


In Genesis 2:24 we read, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." The literal meaning of the word, "cleave" is to join fast together, to glue, or cement. If you think of a husband and wife being glued together like two pieces of paper you get the idea of closeness and intimacy. What happens if you try to separate two pieces of paper that are glued together? You tear both pieces. This is what takes place when a husband and wife get divorced or are separated-- both are torn apart, both are hurt.


How important then that a husband and wife develop this intimacy in their marriage. When this intimacy is there, the wife will be closer to the husband than anyone else, except the Lord. She will be closer to him than his friends, his work, his hobbies, his children, his car or anything else. In the same way, the husband will be closer to the wife than her work (at home or elsewhere), her children, her friends, or anything else.


Intimacy has been described as "we " experiences--"we did this," "we did that." In some marriages this "we" relationship does not develop. The result is a parallel marriage. Each one goes his own way and does his own thing without regard for the desires, wishes or needs of the other.


Listed below are five things that will help to build an intimate marriage.


1. The first thing that will help build an intimate marriage is to "keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude 21). This means to keep yourselves in the consciousness of God's love. In order to do that, a husband and wife must keep a close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. This must be the number one priority in the marriage. A married couple needs to take time to read the Bible daily, both separately and together. This won't be easy. There are a lot of pressures on families today and everyone seems to be so busy. "But one thing is needful" and when married couples choose that good part, they will grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus and will learn to love the Lord more and more. And this knowledge of His love for them will lead them to allow His love to be demonstrated in their own love for one another. "We love, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).


2. The second thing that will help build an intimate marriage is, "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). Be willing to be open and accessible to share your life with your partner. This means sharing your feelings, fears, desires and thoughts. When partners share their feelings, it is important that the recipient does not criticize the sharer. Criticism effectually shuts off any further sharing of one's inner self. After listening to your partner share his or her feelings, you could say, "Thank you for sharing your feelings about... Now, I know why you want to..." When the truth has thus been spoken in a loving way, both partners are encouraged to grow in intimacy.


3. The third thing that will help build an intimate marriage is when a husband and wife seek to "edify one another" (1 Thessalonians 5:11). This means that we are to build up one another. In marriage each partner should strive to be an encourager and a good listener. Husband and wife need to focus on the positive qualities in each other rather than the faults of one another. Take time to talk with each other and to do some fun things together. A quiet walk together or an evening out can help to build and maintain that closeness in marriage. Never take each other for granted. Married couples need to tell each other often, "I love you" both in words and actions. Do not forget to be courteous and thankful in the everyday things of life. It is often in the small things that you can build up your partner.


4."Love seeketh not her own [things]" (1 Corinthians 13:3). Selfishness in marriage has often been the reason behind conflict and separation. True love--agape love-puts the needs of others first. If a husband is to put the needs of his wife first, then he must nourish and cherish her even as Christ does the church (Ephesians 5:29). Nourish has the thought of tender care in providing for the physical needs of a person. Clothing, food and shelter are included in this. Cherish means to "make warm." This would mean providing for a wife's emotional and spiritual needs. A wife needs to know that she is first in her husband's life. The wife, too, must put her husband's needs first. As a helpmate she needs to show an interest in him and his work, giving her emotional and spiritual support in times of stress and difficulty. She is commanded to submit herself to her husband, to reverence him, and to desire the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which in the sight of God is of great price (Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Peter 3:1-6).


5. This brings us to the final piece that helps build an intimate marriage. Pray one for another (James 5:16). Build a prayer life together. If our lines of communication are open to God they will be open to each other. They cannot be honestly open to God and closed to our partner. It is good to remember that the great goal in marriage is to glorify the Lord Jesus. This requires the husband and wife to exercise complete openness and total intimacy of soul and spirit. This will not happen immediately. First, a husband and wife need to desire this for their marriage; secondly, they need to pray about it together; and, thirdly, they need to start working on it together. Little by little as they start to share with each other, they will begin to grow in Christian love and grace. Their home will reflect that love to their family and friends and the Lord Jesus will be glorified. Author, John D. McNeil




Love for a Lifetime


In this day of disintegrating families on every side, Dr. Dobson offers three tried and tested recommendations to make your marriage last for a lifetime:


A Christ-Centered Home


A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of marriage, giving meaning and purpose to every dimension of living. Being able to bow in prayer as the day begins or ends gives expression to the frustrations and concerns that might not otherwise be ventilated. On the other end of that prayer line is a loving heavenly Father who has promised to hear and answer our petitions.


By reading Scripture, we are given a “window” into the mind of the Father. Marriage and parenthood were His ideas, and He tells us in His Word how to live together in peace and harmony. Everything from handling money to sexual attitudes is discussed in Scripture, with each prescription bearing the personal endorsement of the King of the Universe.


Finally, the Christian way of life lends stability to marriage because its principles and values naturally produce harmony. When put into action, Christian teaching emphasizes giving to others, self-discipline, love, and fidelity between a husband and wife. It is a shield against addictions to alcohol, pornography, gambling, materialism, and other behaviors which could be damaging to the relationship.


Committed Love


There are very few certainties that touch us all in this mortal existence, but one of the absolutes is that we will experience hardship and stress at some point. Nobody remains unscathed. All too commonly, marital relationships are shattered by new stresses that invade their lives. Instead of clinging to each other in love and reassurance, they add to their sorrows by attacking their partners and blaming one another. A basic ingredient is missing in these relationships which remains unrecognized until hardship comes—commitment.


The importance of committed love refers not only to the great tragedies of life but also to the daily frustrations that wear and tear on a relationship. These minor irritants, when accumulated over time, may even be more threatening to a marriage than the catastrophic events that crash into our lives. And yes, there are times in every good marriage when a husband and wife don’t like each other very much. There are occasions when they feel as though they will never love their partners again. Emotions are like that. They flatten out occasionally like an automobile tire with a nail in the tread. Riding on the rim is a pretty bumpy experience for everyone on board.


What will you do, then, when unexpected tornadoes blow through your home, or when the doldrums leave your sails sagging and silent? Will you pack it in and go home to Mama? Will you pout and cry and seek ways to strike back? Or will your commitment hold you steady? These questions must be addressed now, before Satan has an opportunity to put his noose of discouragement around your neck. Set your jaw and clench your fists. Nothing short of death must ever be permitted to come between the two of you. Nothing!


Communication


Research makes it clear that little girls are blessed with greater linguistic ability than little boys, and it remains a lifelong talent. Simply stated, she talks more than he. As an adult, she typically expresses her feelings and thoughts far better than her husband and is often irritated by his reticence. God may have given her 50,000 words per day and her husband only 25,000. He comes home from work with 24,975 used up and merely grunts his way through the evening. He may descend into Monday night football while his wife is dying to expend her remaining 25,000 words.


The complexity of the human personality guarantees exceptions to every generalization. Yet every knowledgeable marriage counselor knows that the inability or unwillingness of husbands to reveal their feelings to their wives is one of the common complaints of women. She wants to know what he’s thinking and what happened at his office and how he sees the children, and especially, how he feels about her. The husband, by contrast, finds some things better left unsaid. It is a classic struggle.

What is the solution to such communication problems at home? As always, it involves compromise. A man has a clear responsibility to “cheer up his wife which he hath taken” (Deut. 24:5). He must press himself to open his heart and share his deeper feelings with his wife. Time must be reserved for meaningful conversations. Taking walks and going out to breakfast and riding bicycles on Saturday mornings are conversation inducers that keep love alive.


A Final Word


Married people must understand and accept the fact that some spouses cannot be what they want them to be. Their emotional structure makes it impossible for them to comprehend the feelings and frustrations of another—particularly those occurring in the opposite sex. What, then, is to be the reaction of their husbands and wives?

My advice is that you change that which can be altered, explain that which can be understood, resolve that which can be settled, and negotiate that which is open to compromise. Create the best marriage possible from the raw materials brought by two imperfect human beings with two distinctly unique personalities. But for all the rough edges which can never be smoothed and the faults which can never be eradicated, try to develop the best possible perspective and determine in your mind to accept reality exactly as it is.


Seldom does one human being satisfy every longing and hope in the breast of another. Both partners have to settle for human foibles and faults and irritability and fatigue. A good marriage is not one where perfection reigns: It is a relationship where a healthy perspective overlooks a multitude of "unresolvables." Thank goodness my wife, Shirley, has adopted this attitude toward me. — Adapted from Love for a Lifetime by Dr. James Dobson




Dating and Marriage


Never date for the sake of dating. Only two things can happen when you date. You either get married, or you break up. No one dates just to break up, so obviously we date people with the possibility that we might one day marry them. Never date someone you wouldn't want to be stuck with! A date is the first step down the aisle to marriage. — Youth Communicator


Marriage Submission


The scripture says that a woman's desire shall be to her husband and that he is to have the rule over her. It also says a woman is to be subject to her husband in all things. Does this mean that he is to have control over her every thought and action? The model for husband and wife relationships is found in Ephesians 5:25. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and be willing to lay down their lives for them. So, it is a self-sacrificial love, and the husband should put the wife first and look out for her and protect her. In Ephesians 5:22, it says that wives are to be in submission to their husband, that does not mean that she is a doormat; it means that a woman is submitting to a man who is fulfilling his God-given role.— Love Worth Finding Ministries



Stop Kidding Ourselves


Americans have been conducting an experiment in family life. Results coming in clearly show this is the first generation in the nation's history to do worse psychologically, socially and economically than its parents. Children in single-parent families are two to three times as likely as children in two-parent families to have emotional and behavioral problems. They are also more likely to drop out of high school, to get pregnant as teenagers, to abuse drugs, and to be in trouble with the law...


It's time to stop kidding ourselves. The experiment of no-fault divorce has failed. New forms of "family" are not working. It's time for parents...to own up to the failure and get on with the rewarding business of preserving our marriages and caring for our children.Bedford Gazette




Marriage Is Honourable In All


Law enforcement agents in Pinellas County, Florida, better think twice about cheating on their spouses. Officers who commit adultery will face suspension. County Sheriff Dennis Fowler explains the policy as an issue of morale: "It goes beyond just your individual relationship with someone else. It affects other people in the workplace, people's ability to do their job, and I think that is relevant." "Marriage is honourable in all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." Hebrews 13:4


Dear Friend, does the grass look greener on the other side? Don't even consider the thought of infidelity. A moment's fling will ruin many lives. No one wins the game when you cheat!


"You cannot have happiness without restraint."— Politician and Author, Anne Widdecomb




Advice on how to be a better husband?


Q. I know it’s asking a lot for you to answer this question briefly, but if you could give me some advice about being a better husband, I’d appreciate it.


A. I guess my reputation for being a little on the verbose side, precedes me! Well, that’s okay. I think I can offer you a little advice that will go a long way. First, let me tell you that everything I’m going to say comes straight out of God’s Word. So, look up 1 Peter 3:7-10 and read on.


Do you know what the human heart craves for more than anything else? Intimacy. Seek to be intimate with your wife verbally, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. That means you’re going to have to sacrifice a little bit of your self, or at least your self-protection. Let down those barriers and let your wife in your life.


And while you’re doing that, don’t forget to understand her side of things. Seek to put on her shoes when you get into a misunderstanding. Men and women talk and think differently. Don’t disintegrate because of the differences, celebrate and work through those differences by trying to see her side of things and talk her talk. Most of all, show honor to your wife. View her as a priceless gift, and grant her a position worthy of great respect. If she’s not honored by you, while she is being honored by others, you’ve got the making of divorce. Do you know that most marriages are not wrecked by a blow-out but a slow leak when husbands fail to honor their wives. Put her up on a pedestal and keep her there. My wife says she doesn’t want to be equal with me. She’s not coming down for anything!


Now for some action... Praise her in front of your children, your friends, your business associates. Tell her how precious she is to you. Then, tell her why. Women love specifics. They’re not bottom-line thinkers like us. Thank her for her character. Thank her for her patience with the children. Thank her for the way that she handles the family budget. Thank her for her godliness.


If you seek to do these few things, it will go a long way in making you a better husband.—Taken from Dr.Adrian Rogers' weekly newspaper column.



How should my spouse and I handle disagreements?


Q. How should my spouse and I handle disagreements in our marriage?


A. To answer this, let me give you three tips on what NOT to do.


First, do not avoid the situation. When you stuff or repress unresolved conflict, your stomach keeps the score. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6).

Second, don’t practice appeasement. When one person gives in all the time, his or her heart becomes like a smoldering rag – ready to be ignited by self-pity.

Third, don’t practice aggression – at least not against your spouse. Attack the problem rather than one another.


At the same time that you are putting off these bad habits, there are three good habits to put on.

Number one, practice the art of accommodation. Let change begin with you and watch the effect it has on your partner.

Number two, practice the art of acceptance. Some things simply won’t change, and we have to accept that in others. Getting married is like buying a CD. You buy it because of what you want and accept what else comes along.

Number three, practice the art of adjustment. This is the best of the three. By accommodating, I change. By accepting, I resign myself to the fact that my spouse might never change. But by adjusting, we both change.—Taken from Dr.Adrian Rogers' weekly newspaper column.



Do I have fighting with my spouse to look forward to?


Q. I have been married a very short time. I'm discouraged about how some people talk about fighting with their spouses. Maybe I'm still in the "honeymoon" stage, but I don't ever want to fight with my spouse. Is that what I have to look forward to?


A. I hope you knew this before you got married, but if you didn’t, it is still important to remember. Your spouse, no matter how wonderful they seemed during your courtship, is not perfect. Here’s some more news, neither are you. Young couples often go into marriage with unrealistic expectations. You will have disagreements and disappointments. But you can do some things to avoid serious problems.


When you have problems, don’t ignore them, hoping they will go away. When you repress anger, your stomach keeps the score (Acts 8:23). Also, don’t simply appease one another. When a person gives in all the time, his or her heart becomes like a smoldering rag–ready to be ignited by self-pity (Ephesians 4:26). Finally, don’t lash out at each other. Though you may apologize later, thoughtless personal attacks endure far beyond the disagreement (James 3:5-6). Address the problem, not your spouse’s imperfections.


That’s what to avoid during a conflict, but it’s much better to avoid the conflict. It’s much easier when you both have the same objective, honoring God with your marriage (Joshua 24:15, Matthew 22:37-38). If you are both heading in the same direction, toward Christ, you won’t bump into each other very much.Taken from Dr. Adrian Rogers' weekly newspaper column.


Question & Answer


QUESTION: What does the Bible mean when it tells the wife to submit herself to her husband?


ANSWER: The word "submit" comes from the Greek word hupotasso. This Greek word has been translated in our King James version into several different English words as follows: submit, subject, obedience, hath put under. We can get a good idea of the meaning of submit from these different words. It is helpful to notice that this Greek word, hupotasso is used forty times in the New Testament. Four of those times it is used for the wives' relationship to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:5 and 1 Peter 3:1). It is used twice for Christians to submit themselves to one another (Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5). Several times it is used of the Christian's relationship to authorities, twice of the Christian's relationship to God and once of Christ in relationship to the Father (Romans 13:1; James 4:7 and 1 Corinthians 15:28).


Hupotasso according to Vine's Expository Dictionary is primarily a military term and means "to rank under." The Christian is to place himself or herself willingly under the leadership of the Lord. In the same way, the wife is to willingly place herself under the leadership of her husband.


This does not mean that the wife is of lesser value than the husband or that the husband is to be the boss of the wife. Nor does it mean that the husband demands this of his wife. It simply means that the wife recognizes that her husband is the head and is to place herself under his leadership as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).


What if he is disobedient to the Bible and she disagrees with his leadership? Directions for this situation are given in 1 Peter 3:1-6. It makes it much easier for the wife when her husband seeks her counsel (and a wise husband will do so). Even when he does not, the wife is not released from her responsibility, but should try to win him by her behavior.


The section on husband and wives in Ephesians begins with mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21). Perhaps the husband's submission would be shown by putting his wife's interests first. This involves loving his wife even as Christ loved the church. What a blessing in the marriage when it is so. — Author, John D. McNeil


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Live, Love, Laugh!

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine"

-Proverbs 17:22



There are two periods in a man's life when he doesn't understand women--before marriage & after marriage.


How do most men define marriage? A very expensive way to get your laundry done free.


You never realize how much a person's voice can change, until your wife stops yelling at you & answers the phone.


If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say, talk in your sleep.


Young Son: Is it true Dad, that in some parts of Africa a man doesn't know his wife until he marries her? Dad: That happens in every country, son.


A little boy asked his father, "Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?" And the father replied, "I don't know son, I'm still paying."


Remember what the guy asked his wife? He said, "How come God made you women so beautiful & yet so dumb?"

Remember her wise answer? "Beautiful enough so you'll want to marry us, & dumb enough for us to marry you!"



With Agape Love tell your spouse that you are glad God brought you together!




Marriage stands

on the pillars of Love,

Trust, Loyalty, Honesty

and Understanding.




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MARRIAGE CAN'T BE YOUR EVERYTHING


{FINDING YOUR SECURITY IN CHRIST ALONE!}




Have a Blessed Day!


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