Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Marriage is beautiful if you make it that way!

Hebrews 13:4 says, "Let marriage be held in honor among all," we should hear the ring of preciousness. The Bible is telling us this morning: Let marriage always be thought of as precious. Let it be treasured like gold and silver and rare jewels. Let it be revered and respected like the noblest, most virtuous person you have ever known. Let it be esteemed and valued as something terribly costly like the long, black, marble Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. In other words, when you think of marriage, let yourself be gripped by emotions of tremendous respect and sanctity. In relation to marriage cultivate the feeling that this not to be touched quickly or handled casually or treated commonly. In God's eyes marriage is precious and therefore he says, "Let marriage be held in honor among all." John Piper

A couple meaningful verses on marriage....

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. 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, 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. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands, so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, when they see your reverent and chaste behavior. Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of fine clothing, but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. So once the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves and were submissive to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are now her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you. Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honor on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered.
I am often struck with extreme sadness when I watch television or hear conversations where marriage is made out to be a less sacred or something unimportant or even something as meaningless as a vehicle that when damaged or old can be replaced with a newer version. It's on these occasions that I want to scream: REMEMBER THE VOW!  Remember all of the witnesses!  Remember the sacred bond you have with that man or woman! 

The reality is, God compares our earthly marriage to the love/bond Christ has with the church.  He died for his people, made the ultimate sacrifice for them.  He prayed for them, wept over them, shared joyful and stressful moments with them.  

I must now reflect on my marriage and search my heart to ensure that my husband is held as a rare jewel, someone I would die for, daily.  What does is mean to die daily?  The first word that comes to my mind is humility. The second is mercy.  The third is joy.  Humility is a word that, in this context means I should place Josh's needs before my own.  I should seek to serve him.  I have spoken to many women who are offended by these words.  Here's the deal chicks, if you know me, you know I have a mind of my own and hold my own opinions apart from my husband.  I am not weak spirited... in fact... I'm straight up sassy!  But, when I married Josh I had to die to my desires and seek to serve him (like I should serve all of you).  He had to do the same thing... it's a two way street people! Placing others before yourself is an act of servitude.  After all, aren't we supposed to be like Christ -- and treat our spouses as he treated the church?  I also believe that I should be full of mercy for my husband. I should understand that he is not perfect and be forgiving and understanding.  Does that mean I cannot sharpen him lovingly when he does things that I believe are wrong?  Not at all.  That's why it's called a relationship.  Mutual respect brings about an open love, full of communication.  After all, the only person who ever lived on this earth perfectly was Christ.  I cannot put my husband in his place and have the same expectations.  Lastly, I must be joyful.  Joyful despite sorrow.  Joyful in the worst and best of times.  I must thank God for my husband daily... even when his socks smell...even when the dishes are piling up... even when my day has been less than perfect.  I want Josh to experience the joy of Christ through me.  I want to radiate it.  I feel like sometimes I can be joyful to everyone BUT my husband.  He's the one that gets to see "the real me".

Dear Lord, help me treat my spouse like a rare jewel. Help me love him as Christ loved the church.

P.S.  This was written for my soul.  Not to offend.  I am preaching to myself:) Marriage is hard, I know!

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