Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Marriage...Keep God In It!

Over the next few days I am going to post some excerpts from a teaching on marriage by Richard Baxter. He was a Puritan preacher. I have been married for almost 17 years now and I can tell you that most of these things, for my husband and I are tried and true! God must be at the center of any marriage that is to be successful and full of life. We have went through some rough spots and it was putting God first that saw us through! After 17 years one thing I do know is that love is not ooey gooey and that tickly feeling in your stomach that you feel when you think you are first "in love". Love is an action word, not a feeling! Maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse requires work and self sacrifice. Worrying about yourself and not all of your spouses "problems" is another key for a successful marriage. God is much better at changing people than we are! He does it in His time and in His way.

Direct. I.
The first duty of husbands is to love their wives (and wives their husbands). Eph 5.25,28,29,33. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.­­So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies; he that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.­­Let every one of you in particular so love his wife, even as himself." See Gen 2.24.

Some directions for maintaining love are as follows:

1. Choose a good spouse in the first place. A spouse who is truly good and kind. Full of virtue and holiness to the Lord. (2)

2. Don't marry till you are sure that you can love entirely.

3. Be not too hasty, but know beforehand all the imperfections which may tempt you to despise your future mate. (3)

4. Remember that justice commands you to love one that has forsaken all the world for you. One who is contented to be the companion of your labours and sufferings, and be a sharer in all things with you, and that MUST be your companion until death. (4)

5. Remember that women are ordinarily affectionate, passionate creatures, and as they love much themselves, so they expect much love from you.

6. Remember that you are under God's command; and to deny marital love to your wives, is to deny a duty which God has urgently imposed on you. Obedience therefore should command your love.

7. Remember that you are "one flesh"; you have drawn her to forsake father and mother, and to cleave to you; (5)

8. Take more notice of the good, that is in your wives, than of her faults. Let not the observation of their faults make you forget or overlook their virtues. (6)

9. Don't magnify her imperfections until they drive you crazy.

Excuse them as far as is right in the Lord. Consider the frailty of the sex. Consider also your own infirmities, and how much your wives must bear with you. (7)

10. Don't stir up the evil of your spouse, but cause the best in them to be lived out. (8)

11. Overcome them with love; and then they will be loving to you, and consequently lovely. Love will cause love, as fire kindleth fire. A good husband is the best means to make a good and loving wife. (9)

12. Live before them the life of a prudent, lowly, loving, meek, self ­denying, patient, harmless, holy heavenly Christian. (10)

1 Luk 6:31­32; 1Cor 10:24; Gal 6:2; Phil 2:4; 2tim 3:2; Jam 2:15; 1Joh 3:17; Gen 4:9; 1 Sam 25:3­11; Esth 6:6; Isa 56:11; Joh 6:26
2 Pro 18:22; Pro 19:13­14
3 Pro 18:13
4 Mat 5:32; Mat 19:9; 1Cor 7:39; Col 3:19; Gen 2:24
5 Mat 19:5; Mar 10:7
6 1 Cor 13:7; Phil 2:3
7 Psa 103:14; 1Cor 13:7
8 Pro 10:12
9 Rom 12:21; 1Pet 3:9
10 Eph 4:1; Col 1:10; 1The 2:12; Pro 11:30; 1Tim 4:16; Jam 5:19­20; 1Pet 3:1­2

Direct. II. Husbands and wives must live together. 1 Cor 7:2­5

Direct III. Abhor not only adultery itself, but all that leads to unchasteness and the violation of your marriage­covenant. [Mat 5.31,32; 19:9; John 8,4­5, of adultery; Heb 13.4; Prov 22.14; Hos 4.2­3; Prov 2.17; 1 Cor 6.15,19; Mal. 2.15; Prov 6.32,35; Deu 23.2; Lev 21.9; 18:28; Num 25.9; Jer 5.7­9]

Direct. IV. Husband and wife must delight in the love and company, and lives of each other. When husband and wife take pleasure in each other, it unites them in duty, it helps them with ease to do their work, and bear their burdens; and is a major part of the comfort of marriage. [Prov 5.18,19]

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I sort of wrote on this in my own blog. People have screwed up marriage and the roles of men and women so much in our society. The issue of love when it comes to male/female relationships is one that I get to see messed up on a daily basis.

As a high school teacher, it is amazing how few students have married parents between their biological mother and father. Also, these teenagers are having sex, getting pregnant, and messing up their lives for their future spouses because they think love is a feeling. On top of that, most of the adults in their lives tell them that love is a feeling and to do whatever feels good.

They look at me as though I am the dumbest person on the planet when I tell them that they will be so much happier waiting. The only time I made them think about it was when I told them that nobody has ever looked into the eyes of their future spouse on their wedding day and thought, "Man, I wish I would have had sex with a lot more people." With a possible few exceptions, everyone would rather be think how they wished they would have waited for this one person because it is no longer the unique, special relationship that God intended for a husband and wife.

It really makes me sad for these teenagers.