Marriage was God’s idea. He had a plan for a man and a woman to be united as one since the moment he created them. (Genesis 2:24) Over time, human beings have come up with many of their own versions of “marriage”; but no matter how people or society or laws decide to define it – it was never theirs to define. And ultimately, the only marriage that matters to God is the marriage between one man and one woman that is guided by the Biblical principles he provided.
And since the Bible says that marriage is an illustration of the relationship between Christ and his church (Ephesians 5:32) it makes sense that it has always been and will continue to be a target for Satan. And the further we move as a society away from the original definition of marriage, the harder it will be for Christian men and women to know what it’s supposed to look it. It makes me sad for future generations.
So what do we do about it? Obviously complacency is never suggested in the Bible! We must stand up and be different! We must seek the word of God to learn and be constantly reminded of what our marriage should look like – whether we’re currently married or seeking to find a husband or a wife. He didn’t leave us on our own with this one. He gave some very clear instructions for husbands and wives. And they’re not always easy!
For starters – if you’re still “shopping” – do not marry an unbeliever! (2 Corinthians 6:14) Imagine the strife of spending the rest of your life with someone that doesn’t share your faith in God. Imagine how hard it will be to make important life decisions from raising children to finances, etc. if the person by your side doesn’t see the importance of prayer and dependence on God. But if you’re already married to a non-believer, hang in there. Pray. Be a godly spouse. Your spouse might be saved because of you. (1 Corinthians 7:16)
What about those of us that are married? How should we be treating our spouses? There’s so many passages that give guidance on this, and I encourage you to read them on your own. But here’s some highlights:
Be a trusted and productive manager of your home. Make sure that your family has what they need; speak carefully with wise words, instructing with kindness; be wise with your earnings; be joyful, trusting in God for your future. (Proverbs 31) (Wives and moms usually set the tone for the household – so as a godly woman, it goes a long way when you keep things moving smoothly.)
Do not be a quarrelsome wife. It’s as annoying as a leaky faucet. (Proverbs 27:15 & 16) (Put another way – Don’t be a nag!)
Submit to your husbands. (Colossians 3:18) (This is a tough one, especially these days, but if you have a godly husband that is following God’s instructions for him – it’s not as hard as you might think.)
Respect your husband. (Ephesians 5:33) (Another tough one. You might be saying: “My husband doesn’t deserve respect.” – But a lot of times, being respectable will come easier for him if he feels respected. Try it.)
Live this way out loud – and let your actions as a wife and mother be an example to other women. (Titus 2:3-5)
Leave your father and mother and join to your wife. (Genesis 2:24) (It’s time to start a new family – your family.)
Find other men that can build you up in your faith and hold you accountable as a man of God and as a husband and father. (Proverbs 27:17) (You’re not going to find godly accountability in worldly circles.)
Live happily with your wife. She is your reward from God. (Ecclesiastes 9:9) (It’s amazing how a happy husband can make a happy home. And if you’re unhappy, your wife probably thinks it’s because of her.)
Treat your wives with understanding. (1 Peter 3:7) (Women have a totally different perspective than men, and sometimes the things that upset your wife or even the things that bring her joy might make no sense to you. But she’ll feel more secure if you respond with understanding.)
Share your love only with your wife and let her be the blessing God intended her to be. (Proverbs 5:15-18) (The grass is not greener on the other side – it only looks that way from a distance.)
Never treat your wife harshly. (Colossians 3:19) (And don’t aggravate your children so that they become discouraged (v.20) because your wife – the mother cub – will take this personally.)
Love your wife as Christ loved the church. (Ephesians 5:25) (That’s a big love! And much like the respect thing for women, you may sometimes feel your wife is unlovable – but usually when someone feels loved, they’ll become more lovable.)
Having a Godly marriage is a daily challenge – but it has eternal rewards for you, your spouse, your children and for generations to come. The battle against it is getting tougher and tougher, but the payoff is worth the fight!