Wednesday, April 10, 2013
A marriage done right is an incredible blessing to both spouses. It can be like armor, serving to protect the couple from loneliness, frustration and temptation. It also serves as a picture to the world of the love God has for all creation. For that reason, whenever there is hardship (and there will be hardship; even loving, God centered unions are not exempt) Satan will whisper his lies, seeking to drive a wedge between you and your spouse. It is critical when times are tough that you cling to the one flesh you and your spouse have become (Genesis 2:24). Tough times have the capacity to drive a couple apart if their union does not have God at its core, but if they do, trouble can bring them even closer, make their bond stronger and their love deeper. Successes won together are sweeter, and with God they are nearly assured. Ecclesiastes 4:12b: A cord of three strands (husband, wife and god) is not easily broken. This world, however, doesn’t want your marriage to succeed; society in many ways sides with Satan. I’m not just talking about the cadres of divorce lawyers waiting to make a buck on failed marriages; think of advertising executives. Most advertising is based on one simple idea: if they can make you think you are unhappy without their product, you will be compelled to buy it. Commercials for men’s products almost exclusively imply “if you buy >insert product here< then chicks will dig you.” Read Proverbs 5:18-19: May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Does that husband care if a new car will turn the head of some random girl on the street? Think about how, um, happy those women are in the shower with that brand of shampoo; a woman who has a husband that regularly blows her mind with his attentiveness and efforts in love and romance can say “I have no need of that product.” How many books would the “Shades of Grey” author have sold if every wife was fulfilled in her own bedroom by the man she married? Song of Solomon 2:3-4 says: Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. Is that woman looking to fiction, or hygiene products, to satisfy her desires? When times are tough, it’s easy to stop trying to make marriage work.. Work demands more time, financial stress saps your energy and joy. Make the choice to love anyway. Keep communicating, even if it is just to let your spouse know that you’re struggling. Honesty and vulnerability when you are down leads to deeper understanding, which fosters greater intimacy and love. If both of you are struggling, cling tightly to each other. Shared struggle and pain can forge strong lasting, bonds; think of soldiers who fought together, or even a sports team making a push for a playoff spot. The key is to know you are in it together, no matter what happens. There is no quit, no out. Starting there, you can use the knowledge that it is “just you two against the world” to foster a sense of teamwork, of camaraderie, of oneness in mind, heart and spirit.