What are your spouse’s marriage scriptures?
What are the marriage scriptures for men? And what are they for women? If you were asked, as a man let’s say, to recite the scriptures for women, which ones would you read?
I recently posted on Lightontherock.org two sermons about “man and woman”. By necessity we discussed marriage quite a bit in there as well. This blog’s point is this: If you asked me to read the “women scriptures”, I’d read you how husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and how I am to understand my wife and honor her, and so on. “But those are scriptures for the men”, you might protest. Well, true. But the point of the blog is this: I am responsible for the scriptures that apply to me. For me the “women scriptures” are the scriptures that are telling me how to treat one woman especially, my wife. My wife is responsible for the scriptures that apply to her. It is not up to her to remind me to love her, help her grow or nurture her. Neither is it up to me to remind her that she is supposed to submit to me. The scriptures are there for each of us to individually choose to do. Understanding this could make all the difference in our relationships. Keep reading and your life might even change from this simple blog.
The perfect example is our amazing one true God. He gave Israel a choice on Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Nebo. They could choose life or death. My point exactly: THEY could choose one or the other. He wasn’t making them do one or the other. Sure, there are consequences, but the choice was still theirs.
I think too many marriages suffer because we can plainly see what the other isn’t doing. Maybe she isn’t “submitting herself” or obeying the husband “as unto the Lord in all things”. Or maybe he isn’t giving himself for his wife, loving her as his own body. The point is, the wife is to submit herself. That’s not something her husband should be reminding her to do. And frankly, if we men were doing our assignments properly, it would be a lot easier for any wife to submit to a loving, good and gentle man. And if the wives were being respectful and honoring in their interactions with their husbands, it would be a lot easier to love a wife like that. And if both are doing their God-assigned parts, then even the conjugal dues passage of 1 Cor. 7:1-6 would be a lot, lot easier for both sides to fulfill. It’s hard to be intimate with someone we don’t like, or disrespect, or who has recently hurt our feelings and sense of self-worth.
So even if your spouse isn’t doing his or her part, we each are still being judged by whether or not we are doing our part. Marriage is 100%- 100%, not a 50-50 proposition. Even if the other is giving 0%, we are being judged on how well we are doing OUR role. So even if it’s 100-0, we are to give that 100%. . After all, Christ loved us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:7-9). He did more than His part when we weren’t giving anything back. That’s our model But if we’re giving 100%, truly, it would be a hardened spouse indeed who wouldn’t start to respond.
Back to our Savior: He did in fact love us while we were giving 0% back to him. But what was the end result: “we love him BECAUSE He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). And that’s hopefully what will begin to happen in all our relationships. As we follow Christ and walk in His footsteps, we will over time start to see the same results: people responding positively to the positive ways we treat them, regardless of what they are like. Regardless of how we’re treated, we are to treat everyone – even our enemies -- with patience, love, and honor. Tough to do sometimes, but that’s the goal.
I preach to myself. I obviously don’t have this all dialed in yet myself and have a ways to go too. But that’s what our Master says. Each one will be judged and rewarded based on HIS (or her) own works – NOT on whether or not the people we were interacting with were doing their part or not.
So don’t be using the scriptures as a sword over your loved ones. Just live the life you’re supposed to lead, and that is the best sermon anyway: the changing life that is evident to all.
With that in mind, please enjoy and benefit from the most recent shared studies. I’d love to hear back from you.