1/11/11 Psalm 121; Mark 9-10
S: Mark 10:6-9 “But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
O: In the Old Testament, God permitted the Jews to divorce, but Jesus explains that this was only as a concession to their hard hearts. Divorce is never ideal.
The traditional Christian wedding vows say, "to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part." This is a commitment. This kind of commitment is what is often lacking in marriages today, let alone "live together" situations.
Marriage is hard, but so is everything that is worthwhile. No pain, no gain. You have to work on it.
I am a firm believer in continuing to date your spouse after marriage. Too many couples settle in to the daily routine of life and lose that connection.
Another relevant passage is Ephesians 5:33: the husband must love his wife and the wife must respect her husband.
While men and women both need love and respect, men need respect more and women need love more. Separate research by Emerson Eggerichs and Shaunti Feldhan affirm this.
A: Husbands and wives must be committed to each other. Never consider divorce an option. As long as you hold it out to be an option, you will be tempted to take the "easy way out". Research shows that couples in trouble who "tough it out" are on average better off later than those who "throw in the towel" and get divorced. In a "study by the Institute for American Values chaired by sociologist Linda Waite of the University of Chicago, researchers asked, “Does divorce make people happy?” They found that those who ended their troubled marriage in divorce weren’t any happier than those who remained married. In fact, two-thirds of those who stayed married reported happy marriages five years later." [reference]
My wife and I have a good marriage, but that is partly due to the fact that we work on it. We have regular date nights. I listen to programmes like Focus on the Family, Family Talk, and Marriage & Family Life and Juliane reads books that help build up our marriage. (As you might guess, I'm more of an auditory learner while she's more of a visual learner.☺) We endeavour not to let the sun go down on our wrath. (Ephesians 4:26)
Yes, we still have our arguments and "not so good days". But we don't let them last. We seek and give forgiveness. We assume the best of each other.
P: Thank You, Father, for my wonderful wife. At the same time, "If you think you are strong, be careful lest you fall." (1 Corinthians 10:12) So I continue to ask for Your guidance and leading in our marriage. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)