Tag: marriage

Marriage – God’s Great Mystery

IMG_1852

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:31-33 NLT)

Paul wrote that the marriage between one man and one woman illustrates how Christ and his church are one.

The flip side is also true. The manner in which Christ relates to his people, and his people relate to him, should be the way a husband and wife interact with each other.

No, I don’t mean the wife worships her husband; but it’s similar in meaning. Respect is the word Paul uses. Respect or reverence. To be in awe of. In awe of what? The husband’s physique? Hardly. No, the wife should be in awe of her husband’s love and sacrifice – the essence of marriage.

Just as the church is in awe of Jesus’ love and sacrifice – the very act which brought us into oneness with God.

I’ll explain it this way. Since the husband is supposed to love his wife as Christ loves the church, he should express that love in similar ways. And as he does, the wife should respond to his love in a way akin to how the church responds to Jesus’ demonstrated love.

For instance, a number of things Jesus says to his church would be appropriate for a husband to declare to his wife. Phrases like:

“My banner over you is love.”

“I’ll never leave you or forsake you.”

“No one can pluck you out of my hand (protective covering).”

“Ask in my name.” (Everything the husband can do, so can the wife with her husband’s name.)

“For your sake I lay down my life.”

“You are my glorious, spotless bride. Where I am, you shall be also.”

Get the idea? And, in response to the husband’s love, the wife would say…

“You’ve told me you’d never leave me or forsake me. Therefore, I will not fear. I will not be afraid.”

“You are my savior (protector, provider, and pursuer).”

Notice this verse:

“For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.” (Ephesians 5:23 NLT) Christ is the Savior of his body, therefore the husband is to be the “savior” of his wife.

I realize it’s hard to comprehend. But getting just a glimpse of the truth Paul referred to as a “great mystery” could help the relationship between a husband and wife; and just may help the church understand the Lord’s great love for his body.

After all, Jesus says to his own, “I’m your protector, provider, and pursuer. I’ll never leave you or forsake you. And no one shall tear you from my hand.”

It’s no wonder God hates divorce.

“For I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” (Malachi 2:16 NLT)

Marriage is God’s example of his extravagant, inexhaustible love for his people. Jesus took it a step farther by demonstrating Father’s love for man, and how a husband and wife should treat each other.

A great mystery, but one the Lord greatly wants us to understand.

The mystery of love and sacrifice – the essence of marriage.

2 Keys For A Long, Enjoyable Marriage

20140803-160210-57730217.jpgHere are two keys for a long and enjoyable marriage:

1) remember marriage is a journey
2) remember you aren’t traveling alone

My wife and I stop a lot when traveling a long distance. We need to stretch, relax, use the facilities, and grab a snack.

We have a habit of asking each other, as we approach a rest area, “Would you like to stop?”

You may feel everything’s fine on your marriage journey. You may not need to stop and stretch. But you aren’t traveling alone. Keep an eye on the needs of your spouse.

It makes for a much nicer trip.

20140803-160834-58114376.jpg

Please visit: http://Facebook.com/hopeforyourmarriage

A Married Apostle’s Advice

20140717-221727-80247663.jpg

Not only was Peter an apostle, he was also MARRIED. Here’s a little bit of marriage advice from Peter, the married apostle.

“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.” (1 Peter 3:8-9 NLT)

All of you” refers to those whom Peter had just addressed: husbands and wives. Here are his instructions to “all of you.”

Be of one mind – make sure you walk in agreement. In order for that to happen someone has to yield to the other.

Sympathize with each other – feel what the other feels. Never exploit or trample on your mate’s feelings.

Love as brothers and sisters – just because your spouse loves you unconditionally does not give you the right to treat them like dirt. Remember, your mate is God’s son or daughter.

Be tenderhearted – let yourself cry. Weeping is a good thing, at times. Don’t let the evil in the world make you hard hearted.

Keep a humble attitude – be honest with and about yourself. Always remember: you are nothing without the Lord.

Drop any “get even” kind of thinking. It takes too much effort in keeping an accurate score.

Bless. Whether it’s your turn or your mate’s turn; bless, and bless some more. If you’ll make blessing others a habit, you’ll find God’s favor surrounding you like a shield.

Remember: it is always wise to listen to the wisdom of godly men and women. Peter, God’s man of faith and power, is also a man who knew how to have a marriage blessed by God.

Do you have any good tips for husbands and wives? Please share them…

PPE for Marriages

20140714-230008-82808797.jpg

Personal Protective Equipment for Marriages


“Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”” (1 Peter 5:5 ESV)

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony…Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3:12-19 ESV)

Many times, too many times, it’s the little offenses that cause a marriage, or any relationship for that matter, to grow sour.

Have you ever been offended? What was it that got under your skin? An unkind word? A forgotten anniversary? A lack of attention?

Within every marriage there’s an opportunity for misunderstandings and offenses.

But God has a solution. He has a way for us to get past such things. And it’s as simple as dressing for the day.

Tomorrow morning, as you walk to your closet to choose your day’s attire, try this:

Tell yourself, “Today, before I put on anything else, I’m going to put on humility. Humility before God, my spouse, and my world. God is my protection, my promotion, and my purpose for living. I will also put on compassion, kindness, meekness; and with the Lord’s help I can bear anyone and anything I will face today. I do not walk alone, for God is with me.”

You see, humility and compassion are like undergarments; they are worn under the Armor of God to ensure a perfect fit.

Sometimes offenses occur which require extra grace, along with intervention and counsel. But many times we become wounded because we’ve failed to dress properly.

God’s answer for “thin skin” is proper clothing. It’s know as our “Personal Protective Equipment”.

Don’t leave home, or attempt to sustain a relationship, without it.

My Friend

20140214-192438.jpg

Like you, God has blessed me with a lot of friends. Yes, I enjoy our Facebook friends and the comments we share with each other, but the friends I’m referring to are more than social acquaintances. The friends I’m talking about are people I’m comfortable being with, regardless of whether I’m having a good day or a bad one; or whether their day is good or bad. There’s just something about a good friend.

Of course, there are different degrees of friendship; long time friends, and friends you’ve just met. Then, there are those you just met but seem to have known forever.

Fishing friends, game playing friends, musician friends, work friends, church friends, and friends of the family. Military friends, neighborhood friends, going out to eat friends, and odd friends.

High school friends, trouble making friends, and best friends for ever and ever.

I’m blessed to have friends in every category I mentioned; friends who have been at my side when I needed them most. Friends who, in one way or another, came to my aid when I’ve been down for the count.

Friends don’t always know what to say; but that’s when their actions speak what words can never say.

“You’re important to me. I care what happens to you because I care about you. Nothing is more important to me at this moment, than you.” The unspoken love of a friend speaks volumes with just their presence.

But there’s a friendship like no other. And really, I’m not preaching about God’s friendship. To me, that’s a given; and I try to not take it lightly.

I’m referring to the bond of friendship between a husband and wife. Sure, marriage isn’t always bliss; it’s sometimes messy and frustrating. But aren’t most relationships like that? The reason other friendships don’t have the amount of tough moments like marriage is because you don’t spend the amount of time with normal friends like you do with your spouse.

My wife sees me in my “holy and spiritual moments.” When I’m God’s man of faith and power! But she also knows the other side of me; when I’m frightened and doubting, hurting and envious. Those are intimate times, where knowledge, care, and loyalty are mobilized to carry the day.

She sees me before I wash what hair I have left, and loves me any way. When I’m not sure what to do with the rest of my life, or even on a particular day, she’s at my side encouraging and loving; just like a friend.

My best friend!

We’ve grown up together, and still have some growing to do. Together.

We’ve had 42 years together. Some rotten times, mostly good times. Uncertain times, times with little and times with more. 42 years of history. History which includes funny moments, tearful, heart wrenching experiences, and a lot of time sitting in the living room watching Andy Griffith and Barney Fife.

42 years of knowing each other, not just physically, but intimately. And the thing which blows me away… she’s still my best friend.

Marriage is much more than romance. It’s about a commitment to, not just the marriage vows, but to a deep, lasting, and ever growing friendship.

At least it is to me.

Sexual Sin

20140108-223210.jpg

Sexual sin isn’t a new thing or an isolated incident that happens just now and then. It isn’t only a teen problem or an adult sin. It doesn’t automatically occur with one gender more than the other.

Sin? What’s that? Sin is an offense against God, His statutes and laws. In short, it’s doing the wrong thing. An offense against somebody is an offense against God. Living solely for one’s selfish pleasure, regardless of its effect on themselves or others, is an offense against God.

It is sin.

Sexual sin is no respecter of people’s upbringing, faith, lack of faith, social status, color, or even political ideology. It isn’t a liberal or conservative issue.

Until Death Do Us Part

20131120-185555.jpg

Do you mind if I stir up the proverbial pot for a moment? I’ve been thinking about the “until death do us part” line used in most wedding ceremonies. What does it mean, “until death do us part”?

At this point, I have mostly questions to share. And, as always, I’d enjoy reading your responses; whether you are answering my questions or asking some of your own.

Does death end a marriage? Jesus said, “what God has joined together, let no man separate.” So, would death separate a husband and wife?

Of course, physically they’re separated. But are they still connected spiritually?

Paul wrote that “two joined together are one flesh”. Immediately following he wrote, “he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with the Lord.” Then, in Ephesians 5 he wrote, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

So marriage reflects the church and the church reflects the marriage relationship. And since that is the case, does that mean death does NOT end a marriage? Death sure doesn’t separate the Lord and the believer! Actually, it’s quite the opposite.

Covenant Wife

20130411-215620.jpg

Covenant Wife

My wife and I have been married over 40 years. Married when we were 18, we have gone through a lot of storms, and a lot of great times. There was a time, 20 years ago, that we were separated and almost split up for good. Why? I had violated my covenant with the wife of my youth!

“…the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.” (Malachi 2:14-15 ESV)

“Wife by covenant…” Covenant Wife.

Covenant. A bond stronger than any contract or civil union. It signifies the complete giving and yielding of everything in a person’s life to someone who does the same with them.

Covenant. The most vulnerable, yet strongest place one can be. My greatest fears can be completely overcome with the love of my covenant partner, my wife.

Covenant. Not a trial run; not a convenience. Joined forever.

Covenant. She trusted me with her innocence, I gave her my rib. We are one with each other.

Covenant. Even before we knew God, He knew us and allowed us to find each other, and then find Him. The three-fold cord that cannot be broken – God, my wife, myself. In covenant.

Covenant? Always happy? No. Always easy? No. Always understood? No!

Covenant. An eternal trust, an eternal commitment. The basis, the foundation, for everything good and godly. The open door welcoming and allowing God to work in jars of clay.

Covenant. As sure as the sun will rise in the morning, so certain is the strength of our covenant.

Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman. A man and woman who give everything they are, were, or ever will be to the other. Until they melt into one.

Covenant. I am grateful, eternally grateful, for the wife of my youth, middle age, and…

Though we both grow old and don’t look like we did those many years ago, that will not affect our covenant.

Our covenant is forever.

Covenant husband.

Covenant wife.

%d bloggers like this: