Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Secrets of a Godly Marriage 1

Christian Marriages are under a severe onslaught as our enemy, Satan, knows that the successful family unit defeats his evil attempts to destroy the individual members.  The old adage: ‘the family that prays together, stays together’ still applies today, and those families who enjoy family devotions with prayer and Bible study are greatly blessed by the Lord Jesus Christ.  He helps them to avoid pitfalls; to have open discussions; to minister to one another and to grow strong together.  Sadly, not too many families are practicing this needful daily worship, and this gives Satan many victims.

 The high rate of divorce, and marital infidelity, portrays a serious lack of knowledge and wisdom in many marriages.

Amos 3 v 3 says: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”  Before you embark on marriage you should each   make a list of your priorities concerning the direction you understand your lives to take.  Important issues and decisions concerning religion, finances, children, wills, where you will live, dreams and visions of the future, goals as individuals, business arrangements must be fully discussed, understood and agreed upon before the marriage is entered into.  So many people have foolishly said, “Our love is strong enough to overcome any problem!”  The divorce courts are full of statistics that give the lie to that premise.

 Christian couples are no exception, although they have the advantage of Jesus as the Lord and centre of their marriage, where He must be, and of pastor, church and fellowship to help when things go wrong.  Ecclesiastes 4 v 12 says:  “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”   The three-fold cord is when Jesus is in the centre of your marriage with the couple in submission to His authority, and the wife in submission to her husband’s authority.  A marriage built on this Rock will stand.

 The husband is the high priest of his home and his duties are extremely important.  He represents his family and himself before the Lord.  He brings the needs of his wife and children to the throne of God and receives help from the sanctuary of God in dealing with their needs.  Any family unit under this grace is blessed indeed.  It takes a humble man to be a priest of Almighty God, and those who achieve this are rewarded with a little bit of heaven on earth.  When a husband is correctly submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ, his wife will have no trouble submitting to him.  If there is conflict in this area, it is the husband’s responsibility as leader of the home, to seek the Lord in prayer regarding this problem.

 1 Peter 3 v 7 – 8 says:  “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”

 a)      Dwell with them according to knowledge.  Husbands KNOW your wives.  It is very important that you understand how she functions mentally and emotionally, as well as spiritually.  She has a monthly cycle that causes some mood swings, and these should be anticipated and handled prayerfully.  You should know what your wife’s needs are, and through the power of the Holy Spirit seek to meet those needs.  This will give you a contented and grateful wife.  You should never abdicate your authority and responsibility in the home, as, whenever the Godly line of authority is confused, serious problems will arise.

The correct line of authority is:















Use the above list to assess where the problems may lie, and gradually correct your priorities.  Do not attempt to do it all at once, as this will lead to arguments and division in the home.  Take one area at a time and pray for guidance, and for the family to co-operate with you.

If you are a workaholic and your boss is more important that your relationship with Jesus, then Jesus is not the Lord of your life!  Your boss is the lord of your life – you cannot serve God and Mammon.  Perhaps the television set rules in your home.  Or the computer/internet holds central place.  Or the dogs dominate.  You may be very active in the church and be substituting this for a real, vibrant relationship with the Lord.  Does Sunday golf stop you from being in the church meetings?  Does your pastor manipulate you into church activities that break your togetherness as a family?  Whenever this line of authority is broken, serious problems will occur.

b)      Giving honour.  It is very important for a wife to be appreciated and praised regularly.  Your wife will only feel secure when you are letting her know that you honour her above all others.  Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that if a man even looks upon a woman with lust in his heart he has already committed adultery with her.  This includes fantasies, TV advertisements, movies and videos, secretaries and business women, your neighbour’s wife or daughter.  Before you reject what I am saying as impossible to achieve, remember with God all things are possible.  It takes faith, discipline, prayer and determination.  As Don Francisco sang so beautifully:  “Do you love your wife, for her and for your children are you laying down your life?”  Jesus said, “Come, follow me.”  He wants you to be as He was and is.  If it were not possible, it would not be written in the Word of God.

c)      The wife is the weaker vessel.  A woman is usually physically smaller and weaker than a man and should be handled very delicately and gently.  When she knows that she is precious to you, her response will amaze you.  She needs you to be her spiritual leader, to guide her in her growth and maturity as a Christian.  Spend time in prayer and fellowship with the Lord together to reap many blessings.  The strongest prayers are those prayed by a man and wife in harmony with Jesus.  You are both joint heirs of God’s grace.  She may be the weaker vessel but she has the same spiritual inheritance as you do.  The closer you are to Jesus, the closer you will be to one another.

d)     Be ye all of one mind.  This is another way of saying ‘be in agreement with one another’.  Be agreed upon which church you will be married in, and where you will fellowship after your marriage.  If you are from different church backgrounds you need to find some common ground or your submission will be futile, both to the Lord and to the marriage.  Many marriages flounder on this point.  Do not be fooled into thinking it will sort itself out after you are married.  It won’t!  It will become an issue that will whip and destroy the very fabric of your lives.  If you cannot agree, it is better not to marry than to make vows before the Lord that will one day be broken.  If you are in a marriage that is going wrong because of spiritual differences, please both get off your high horses and level the playing field.  Make sure that you are both born again and know Jesus in a personal relationship.  Check the list of submission and start putting it right.  Stop attending church!  Get down before the Lord and ask His direction for where to fellowship in a place where Jesus is exalted.  Be led of the Holy Spirit.  Give Satan the boot.  Get help from an independent pastor i.e. from a church where you are both unknown.  Listen to each other.  Be ye all of one mind!

e)      Having compassion.  Compassion is not pity it is an entering into the sufferings or troubles of another person and taking hold of that burden and sharing the load.  When you love one another, but problems arise and each wants to blame the other and hard words are about to be spoken, ask Jesus for His compassion to fill you both and help you to see the other person’s point of view.

f)       Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.  Another word for pitiful is to have mercy.  Jesus was most merciful to sinners and died in their place, our place, and we need to be like Him.  Husbands must show mercy to their wives, understanding the pressures that may be upon them, especially if they are working and making a home.  Husbands need to be there to assist in all aspects of the home, in domestic chores and with the children.  Wives have just as stressful a time at the office, but they do not have the luxury of playing golf with the boys when there is much to be done at home.  Be courteous to your wife, treat her with the manners you reserve for your boss and other dignitaries.  Do not take her for granted, and treat her as a doormat or your welcome might be suspended!  Marriage is a partnership where both parties are required to give 100% of who they are to achieve the blessing that God has promised to those who obey Him.
Prayer:  Heavenly Father many marriages are under stress and strain.  Thank You for the guidance You give through Your Word.  Help us to apply these words to our own situation and begin to see changes.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.