Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Love in Marriage

Somebody said, “Marriage is a journey toward an unknown destination -- the discovery that people must share not only what they don't know about each other, but what they don't know about themselves.” I believe that this speaks so much truth for any married couple to dwell on and think about. Having been married for almost 20 years now, I can attest that discoveries is still happening and I’m convinced that a lifetime is not enough to do so. Thus, marriage needs to be treated as a triathlon that God Himself can only sustain and by the mutual love of the husband and wife. It is indeed a journey of endurance “until death do you part.”

What does the Scripture says to warrant a successful marriage life? Colossians 3:18-19 states explicitly what needs to be applied: “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” What does this mean for the wife? Submission means respect as Ephesians 5:33b shows: “…let the wife see that she respects her husband.” The extent of this submission was also given“…as is fitting in the Lord.” On the other hand, the Scripture provided the specific role of the husband: “…love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” How would the husband love their wife? A level of measurement was specified in Ephesians 5:33a “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself…”

Chuck Swindoll in his book, “His Needs, Her Needs” gave important insights regarding the five major needs of women IN marriage, i.e., a) Affection; b) Conversation; c) Honesty and openness; d) Financial support; and e) Family commitment. Without forgetting regarding the five major needs of men IN marriage, i.e., a) Sexual fulfillment; b) Recreational companionship; c) An attractive spouse; d) Domestic support; e) Admiration. With these excellent observations, I would like to affirm that they undeniably speak so true to all husbands and wives. Thus, I would like to urge you to consider them carefully and to apply them seriously. I guarantee that you will never go wrong.

In addition, allow me to provide some important elements to remind all married couples and unmarried people how love in marriage must operate decisively:
1.     FOR THE UNMARRIED COUPLE: Love begins at courtship between a single man and a single woman as Proverbs 18:22 states, He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Next, love is manifested at the wedding day between a man and a woman. Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
2.     FOR THE MARRIED COUPLE: Love must be cultivated during marriage relationship between a husband and the wife as Ecclesiastes 9:9 states, Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.” Next, love must become the bond that holds the marriage vows between a husband and the wife until death. Colossians 3:14 “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Lastly, love must produce the legacy of the husband and the wife to their children. Ephesians 5:25-33 gave an excellent comparison that husband must imitate to what Christ did for His church, Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church…”

Let me end by saying that the key to a successful bond of love in marriage life is no other than the Lord Jesus Christ. It takes three that includes God to make a marriage long lasting and complete. Two people cannot do it but two people with the Lord Jesus can go a long way “until death do you part.”

Let’s talk again!