Image by Leo-setä via Flickr
This weekend while I was recuperating from a bad cold, I spent a lot of time in bed watching religious programming on tv. I watched a show called Time of Grace with Pastor Mark Jeske that was really good and happened to be about marriage. Being the perpetual student, I took notes. Here are some of the things I learned.
Not only is doing God’s will the right thing to do, it will bring you happiness because it ties you into God’s blessing. If you approach life and marriage through serving yourself and not God, you will be miserable. Marriage is good for most people. We are social beings and it cuts down on loneliness and it is economically sensible as well. No wonder. Marriage is a creation of God. God invented marriage to build families and he started way back with Adam and Eve.
Because of human evil and sin, we need to learn how to treat each other properly. The Bible can be a great teacher. 1 Corinthians 13 in particular can be a very effective instruction manual on how to be a good spouse. 1 Corinthians 13 is a very popular Bible verse, often used at weddings. I bet you are familiar with it. It’s very beautiful. Verses 4 – 7 say:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
These verses instruct you on how to treat your partner. Unless you learn how to show love, real love not manipulative love, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, how beautiful, or how well you can cook. The first thing we need to do is recognize that we were born sinful and that we don’t know how to love. Next, put your own name in the Bible verses. Don’t just think about love, think about yourself. For example, “Karyl is patient, Karyl is kind.” Go through each verse and contemplate how you are doing. I know that Karyl is very impatient. Karyl can be kind but she can be pretty mean as well. I envy and boast. I can be rude. I can be easily angered and hold a grudge.
Jesus did all those things that Love does. Of course, Jesus is Love. As we let Jesus love us, we become aware of what he gives us and he gives us strentgh to love in that way. We have to decide to act in these ways. We need to say to ourselves: “I am going to be patient and kind and slow to anger.”
We should be Fan #1 and Encourager #1 of our spouse. Practice good thinking: think the best of your spouse and give him the benefit of the doubt. Afterall, you love him, right? Have hope. Truly believe that tomorrow will be better. God not only lives in the past but in the future. He will bless us.
Always perservere. Don’t talk to friends and peers about marriage, talk to that couple that’s been married 30 plus years! Look at the marriage survivors that not only tolerate each other but are happy! If you do these things you will have a happy home and your husband will want to be with you because you build him up. A husband who does this will have a wife that will brag about him to her friends.