If our marriage is in trouble the first place we should go is to the Words of Our Loving Father. We should seek Him with our heart and with our minds and with our soul. We should do NOTHING else, nor say NOTHING else without first asking our Father what it is we should do.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my father will love him, and will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me and not keepeth my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father which sent me. John 14: 23-24
Starting today, I will go to my Creator for the spiritual guidance and counsel that my marriage really needs! What did Jesus Christ say about marriage again? Let’s take a look at some very important principles for loving one another “in the LORD”.
Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of they vanity; for that is thy portion in life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. Ecclesiastes 9:9
I really love this principle because it reminds us that if we are married what our purpose is as married people. It is NOT always going to be easy, marriage is sometimes hard work but it is our portion in life and if we truly want to walk in the Lord we should heed this great principle and just learn to love the person we married. If you show faith in this area of your life, God will bless your marriage!! Remember: love is not something you feel but something you do.
Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Proverbs 5:15
When you get married, God blesses you with your own cistern to drink from. This cistern is given to you for your “portion” in life. If you drink water from another cistern you are trespassing on someone else, and your marriage will not have God’s blessings. Marriage has problems because couples are drinking from cisterns that do not belong to them.
When you married (first spouse) God “blessed” you with that man or woman; if your marriage is in trouble it is because you built your house on top of a sand castle and it is caving in. But the good news is, it’s never too late to rebuild; you can go back and rebuild your house on the Rock of Jesus Christ and it will stand when the storms come.
If you rebuild that means you are convicted in your heart and mind to follow the “ways” of the Lord for your marriage no matter how many winds and storms come and try and knock it down. If you are sincere in your walk with Jesus Christ your house will stand! You have to put faith in God’s counsel and guidance FOR YOUR MARRIAGE.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them , I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Matthew 7:24
Now let’s examine why a professed Christian person would NOT heed the above counsel, protection and guidance from Jesus Christ? Is it because they don’t think they need to? Is it because they don’t want to? The bottom line is both of these behaviors and ways of thinking is rebellious to God’s love and add up to having no faith in God’s guidance and protection over you.
How can so many people profess to be Christian when they don’t heed God’s guidance over their lives? We can read and study the word until we’re blue in the face, but without doing (faith) what we are hearing then our so called Christian walk is useless!
It’s all about faith and Trust in God through His Son Christ!
Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 1 Corinthians 7:3
What does that mean “due benevolence”? God takes marriage seriously and when couples unite as one flesh they have obligations, duties and responsibilities to one another; in scripture it is called SERVING one another. For an example when we have children, as parents, it is our responsibility to render due benevolence to them as well, and to do it in the “ways of God” through Jesus Christ.
Married couples are bound to each other in every which way, physically, emotionally, and spiritually; therefore should seek to promote happiness of each other through respect and loving kindness. It is our responsibility and duty as a marriage person; it is our “portion” in life!
As we said earlier, your spouse is the cistern you have been blessed with and you are your spouse’s cistern; therefore you both belong to each other. The vows and promise of marriage is what is “due” as obligatory in the one flesh marriage. Drink from your own cistern you have been blessed with. This is why God calls remarriage adultery, you do not owe another man or woman due benevolence because they do not actually belong to you, unless your spouse is dead, which is the only way a marriage can be broken.
The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 1 Corinthians 7:4-5
A wife does not have the power to deny her husband her body; she can do it, but it is not scriptural and there may be consequences if she does not provide “due benevolence”. It works both ways, the husband does not have the power to deny his wife his body; he can do it, but it is not scriptural and there may be consequences. In fact the consequences of such a thing is a troubled marriage.
Scripture uses a strong word here called “defraud”, which is exactly what denying your spouse your body is because men and women have needs and if we deprive one another of those needs, whether they are physical, emotional, or spiritual, we are in fact defrauding them and not providing them the “due benevolence” that marriage so much deserves. And then couples wonder why they have a failing marriage or an already failed marriage.
Then scripture goes on to say NOT to defraud one another except for a very short time because why? Because obviously in many instances the consequences will be unfaithfulness. It does not always lead to unfaithfulness in the sexual way, but it can be emotional unfaithfulness, which is just as harmful to the marriage.
But God’s perfect, loving counsel has the solution, which is for both husband and wife to fast and pray about it so they can “heed” and then “do” what God has counseled and guided for them to do for this situation in marriage. If they are sincere in their seeking they will come together and not give in to sexual or emotional temptations and desires that reside outside of marriage.
We have to protect our marriage, and husband and wives serving one another in due benevolence is the WAY TO DO IT!
(see Part 2)