Seeking Jesus First - July 11, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - July 11, 2023
Photo by Dylan Sauerwein / Unsplash

Marriage - Part Three

What is Christian marriage? Christian marriage is a voluntary lifelong covenant between a Christian man and a Christian woman who have recognized their own desire to love and honor each other above all others.

I am not trying to define marriage for people who are not submitted to Christ Jesus. Why should unbelievers want to testify of Christ and the church? Non-believers do not think of marriage in the same way that The Scripture does. The world sees a married couple as two individuals with their own dreams and purposes. With this mindset, they will never come into true unity.

There was a time when almost every culture viewed marriage in a very similar way. It was a life commitment. Adultery was scorned and punished. But the world makes temporary agreements. As long as those agreements are mutually beneficial, they will stay together. The world doesn’t reserve sex to marriage. The world doesn’t reserve marriage to a man and a woman.

So, if you want to have a worldly marriage, don’t say that you are representing Christ.

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.” (1 Peter 3:1–2, NKJV)

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7, NKJV)

Scriptures do tell wives to submit to their husbands, even if the husband is an unbeliever. It says that the faith and faithfulness of the wife may win the husband to Christ. On the other hand, Scripture tells a Christian husband to honor his wife and treat her very special, as a treasured person. The Christian husband understands his wife and lives with her in intimacy, using spiritual discernment and loving-kindness to know her completely. He is to honor his wife as a joint-heir in the grace of life. This type of loving unity and agreement makes prayer way more powerful! A Christian husband does not “lord” over his wife. She submits by an act of her own will. She is not a slave.

In the workplace, when someone is given authority, that person has a greater responsibility to know and understand the people they lead. A boss who lacks understanding hurts the people he leads. If the boss just says, “My way or the highway.”, he may accomplish a lot, but he will face a lot of turnover and resistance in his staff until enough “men-pleasers” and “yes men” show up with the right skills. The understanding boss works with, grows and develops his employees over time. In the end, he will have a team that honors him and wants to work for him.

A family is vastly different from a work place. A spouse does not go sifting through spouses like employees. So our “interview” process should be better. It is not just about attraction.

Are we compatible in faith? Are we both believing Christians with similar beliefs?

What is their family like? Do they need healing from a bad family experience?

How do they handle money? Do they need to get out of debt and learn to budget?

Do they have integrity? Do they keep their word? Are they on time to things?

How many sexual partners have they had? Are they healed and delivered from previous soul ties?

What is their work history like? Can they hold a job?

Doo they have self control? Are they kind? When pressed, do they use violent speech or action?

Do they have a bad temper? Are they controlling or manipulative?

What does their pastor know about them? Do they serve others without reluctance?

Marriage is for a lifetime. If it is based on physical attraction, what will happen when they gain wait or get old or become attracted to someone else?

Marriage needs a foundation of mutual faith, hope and love in God and in each other. Be the kind of spouse that you desire to have. You will reap what you sow. Be harmless like a dove but be cautious like a snake. Know that your good heart will attract many “bad apples”. Take your time. Make sure your foundation of faith, hope and love toward God is strong. Stay relationally intimate with The Father. When someone is attracted to you, keep your eyes on Jesus. He will guide you with His eyes. He will lead you by His Spirit.

Physical attraction is at best a distraction and at worst a lying spirit. Marriage is not to be based upon the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes or the pride of life. It must be founded in God. The more time you spend up front getting it right, the less time you will spend dealing with the bad side of things later.

If your marriage started out as a love story and has turned into a soap opera, go ahead and reestablish your foundation on God. Find that secret place of intimacy with Jesus and abide in Him; and then begin forgiving, loving and honoring your spouse on a whole new level. It may be difficult, but it will be worth it.