Son 2:16 My Beloved is mine, and I am His;
Today, I celebrate the fourth anniversary of my second wedding to my wonderful hubby. That probably sounds a bit confusing but you see, I have been blessed to be able to marry the same wonderful man twice – once in a garden in June before God and once on a bluff at sunset in August before Man (to make it “legal”). For me, the first ceremony of our coming together before God was the more important of the two.
When I tell people it is our fourth anniversary, they often tell me, “Well, I guess the honeymoon is over now!” I would like to state categorically that the honeymoon is most definitely NOT over! How sad it is to think that most people believe that after only four years of marriage it is to be expected that the relationship has settled into some sort of hum-drum existence!
I remember an aunt who once announced that she had been married for 25 “blissful” years. Now that sounds good on paper but you would have had to have seen her facial expression when she said it. When she spoke the word “blissful” she rolled her eyes, gritted her teeth and grimaced rather than smiled.
It would seem that many people share her feelings about the state of marriage – that matrimony is something to be endured rather than enjoyed. And I must confess that marriage can be unholy deadlock rather than holy wedlock if both spouses are unwilling to submit to God’s plan for marriage. I speak from a previous unhappy experience!
God never meant for marriage to become such an “unholy union”. He never designed that special relationship between a man and a woman to become a selfish power struggle – the “my way or the highway” or “if you don’t like it you can just leave” attitude.
As I am writing about marriage in the Christian context and using God’s written word, the Bible, as my authority, I want to make it clear that when I am talking about marriage I am talking about the holy, sanctified union of one man to one woman. God created Mankind to be male and female and he created the female to be the partner of the male.
Gen 1:27 And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female.
Gen_5:2 He created them male and female, and blessed them. And He called their name man in the day when they were created.
God created the man, Adam, first. God noted that Adam did not have a suitable helper or mate so God created the perfect mate for Adam, a female whom Adam would name Eve.
Gen 2:20-22 And Adam gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field. But there was not found a suitable helper for Adam. And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh underneath. And Jehovah God made the rib (which He had taken from the man) into a woman. And He brought her to the man.
God formed Adam from the dust of the earth (Gen. 2:7) so God could have done the same thing to create a woman as Adam’s mate, yet God decided to do something very special by making the woman using a piece of Adam’s own body. This literal action held an important symbolic meaning – that a man and a woman joined together as husband and wife were to function together in unity as one body in their hearts, souls and minds.
In the beginning, Adam recognized this special relationship.
Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman because she was taken out of man.
Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh.
This is how God originally created the marriage partnership to be: the wife was to be the perfect kind of helping partner for her husband and the husband was to regard the woman as highly as he regarded his own body. They were both to acknowledge one another as being an inseparable part of each other.
A simple yet profound formula for a happy marriage. Oh how far we have fallen from that ideal!
Contrary to today’s culture and popular opinion, marriage is an honourable state.
Heb 13:4 Marriage is honorable in all,…
God’s Word gives us the simple recipe for a happy marriage:
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Yes wives, we are commanded by God to submit ourselves to our husbands. This can be VERY scary – especially if the husband is not walking rightly with God. However, if the husband is obedient to God’s command to love his wife with complete unselfishness and in total self-sacrifice, submitting to our husband is a blessing and not a chore to be feared. So hubbies – obey the following command:
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, …
Jesus gave up any self-interest. He was willing to do anything – including suffering persecution, shame, humiliation, torture and death – for the sake of his love for the church – God’s children. This is the kind of love that husbands are commanded to have for their wives.
Wives are called to be obedient and respectful towards their husbands. Husbands are called to put away all selfish desires, be willing to sacrifice all, and to love their wives with all their might.
This marital instruction is repeated again in Colossians:
Col 3:18 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as is becoming in the Lord.
Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be bitter against them.
God instructs husbands that they should give honour to their wives. He also states that a husband and wife should acknowledge and regard one another as both holding the wonderful position of being joint-heirs with Christ.
1Pe 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live together according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel, the female, as truly being co-heirs together of the grace of life, not cutting off your prayers.
Marriage is not about how much one spouse can get from the other; marriage is about how much each spouse can and should, be giving to each other. When each spouse is more interested in giving of them-self to the other, rather than in receiving, you are in a win-win situation. When both spouses live to bless one other, both are blessed. That is how the honeymoon continues. That is marital bliss.