As I was discussing some futuristic plans with my brother, it seemed that God had placed my family in this new church we had been visiting at just the right moment. We began visiting another local church at the start of a series on the family. Personally, I absolutely love series on the family – as I feel I always have room for improvement and thrive from reminders of my roles from time to time. However, this time I had another reason to take notes and pay closer attention – my brother. So, I’m here to present to you our advice we had given to him and his fiance in hopes of it being beneficial to you.
4 Key Tips to Marriage:
- Before you commit – understand love
Throughout your relationship/marriage, you might not “feel” like showing love or compassion to the other person. But keep in mind love IS NOT an emotion. Love is an action that produces emotions. Love is a choice. In the English language we have one word for love – which we often overuse for food, cars, experiences, and people. However, in Greek there are 4 words for love (three of which are found in the original Greek text).
1) Agape love: ” selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love. It is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. Agápē, and variations of it are frequently found throughout the New Testament. Agape perfectly describes the kind of love Jesus Christ has for his Father and for his followers – God gives this love without condition, unreservedly to those who are undeserving and inferior to himself. ” Agape love is found throughout the New Testament in verses like John 3:16.
2) Eros love: physical form of love, lust, sexual emotions. This form of love will not sustain a relationship because it is based solely on emotion and based off appearances. The basic idea of this love is self satisfaction (ex: I love you because you make me happy – based off what the person can do for you). Eros love looks for what it can receive – a love most worldly relationships steam from. Eros love is not found in the Bible.
3) Philos love: brotherly love, friendship. This Love speaks of affection, fondness, and liking. Philos love is used in the New Testament (Romans 12:10).
4) Storage love: based off one ‘s own nature, a natural affection, love between husband and wife, and family members. In the New Testament storage love appears with the prefix “a” which shows the negative form and means without this love. It is translated in Romans 1:31 and 2 Timothy 3:3 as unloving ( “without natural affection” ).
- Go into marriage understanding divorce IS NOT an option.
Statistically speaking, about 50% of marriages end in divorce. 2 Timothy 3 sums up the reasoning for this. However, the Bible is clear – marriage is a life long commitment (Mark 10:2-12 [you can find these scriptures paralleled in the other gospels]). If you are both in agreement that divorce is not an option, when rough waters are taking you under, it should NEVER be mentioned (even out of anger).
Most people turn to self help books to define what a wife should be, or how to be a better husband, etc. However, the Bible clearly outlines all we need to know about marriage – and one of those things being outlined is roles. Each person has a role and if we do not fulfill our role or try to overstep and take on another person’s role we are not only being undoctrinal, but we aren’t allowing God’s intent of marriage to be fulfilled.
1) Wife – SUBMIT to your OWN husband (Ephesians 5:22-24; 33, 1 Peter 3, Colossians 3:18).
• Submit: rank under, obey. Recognize Husband is over her and RESPECT him (Genesis 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:12). A women is to be ruled over not to degrade her, but to protect her (1 Peter 3:7)
• A wife is to submit unto her husband because it is right, not because he deserves it. There is no qualifier for your submission (Epesians 5:22). Regardless of your husband’s spiritual level, the Bible says you are to submit
2) Husband -LOVE your OWN wife (Ephesians 5:25-33, 1Peter 3, Colossians 3:19)
• Love your wife even as Christ loved the church – selflessly (Acts 20, Romans 5:8)
• Love her into a better relationship with God – “tantrums, lectures, and arguing will never do what the Spirit of God can do. Allow God to make her into what she is to be by loving her.”
• Your job is to LOVE not to DICTATE
• Nothing we can do will ever separate us from God’s love, so NOTHING should ever separate your wife from your love.
Ways to love your wife:
1. Consideration: listen and learn, be understanding
2. Compassion: help your wife, share her workload
3. Communion: heirs together, one is not more spiritually important
- Marriage is between ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN
Let me say that again, marriage is between ONE man and ONE woman. NOT a man, a woman, his mama, her mama, siblings, aunts, best friends, etc (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Ephesians 5:31-33). When you marry, your obligations, time, heart, body, EVERYTHING belongs to your spouse. What father, mother, sister, brother, aunt, etc. feels/thinks you need, should do, or should go is completely irrelevant to your marriage. Don’t misunderstand this, you are still obligated to honor your parents – but that’s the extent of that. A terrible pit one can fall in is discussing marital issues with someone besides their spouse – this is a VERY dangerous thing to do. Yes, occasionally you’ll feel the need to vent, but do so very carefully as a husband is known by the things his wife says and does (Proverbs 31:23). Likewise, a wife is known by remarks and actions of her husband. If you have marital issues you feel cannot be worked out solely between the two of you – seek unbiased Godly counsel (1 Kings 2:6-19).
Marriage is a beautiful thing. It’s a lovely illustration of God’s relationship with the church (Ephesians 5:21-33). When we follow His plan for marriage, and ensure we keep to our carefully designed roles – your marriage can be more than a statistic.