In honor of Elevated Values' first wedding this weekend, I decided today's blog would be an excerpt of an article I wrote on marriage. As beautiful and flawless as Elevated Values will make the ceremony, marriage isn't about the wedding, it's about a commitment to God and spouse.
God tells us in Ephesians how to have successful relationships.
Ephesians 5:21-28 God’s Word on Relationships
21Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. 22-24Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. 25-28Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.
Wives are not told to love their husbands. God knows we are capable of doing that naturally as women, so he addresses a much deeper issue: submission. Treat the man like he’s the man, even when he makes mistakes, even when he makes big mistakes, even when he’s not doing it how you think it should be done. Remember when you were single and you could get a man to do whatever you wanted him to do, it was because you made him feel good, you made him feel like a man, you made him feel like there was no other man on earth who could take his place. Why is it that you forgot how to do that as soon as he puts the ring on your finger? Now, you want to be the boss. Well, guess what that’s not the natural order of things. And, I know, it’s not easy. Relationships are not meant to be easy, but fulfilling. It will be hard for me. I went to law school. I have my own house. I have taken care of myself since I’ve been by myself for eight years and counting and God and I are doing just fine in that area, with the help of my parents and my friends, but God forbid I ever make my husband feel like he’s not needed because he is what’s absent from my life. I say absent rather than missing because nothing is missing from my life, as God doesn’t make mistakes. I am complete right now and I will be complete if God blesses my with a husband because of God, not because of me or the human relationships I have. So, why do we make the man feel like less of a man?
Yeah, don’t think that the men are off the hook because God did have to tell you how to love your wife. Love like Christ loved the church. Christ gave the church a secure future. He endured moments that were more than uncomfortable for the church. His friends and family turned their backs on Him because of His love for the church. He died for the church. Does your wife feel like you would die for her? Does she feel like she comes before your job, your friends, your church family, your family, and your own issues that you haven’t dealt with? Are you willing to put those things aside to make her feel secure? Because I know I would do just about anything, cook, clean, give my attention to, and submit to a man who could make me feel that way. I would go out of my way for him when I was tired or had a “headache” or had a long day. All relationships are a two-way deal and because we are humans, there will be times when it seems you’re the only one giving or sacrificing, but God was the only one sacrificing in our relationship with Him and I don’t remember Him complaining, so suck it up, and make it work. God has given you the wisdom to make it work, if you can put aside your self-righteous, I shouldn’t have to deal with this attitude. You should have to deal with anything that comes your way, unless you lied when you stood before God and everyone and said you were willing to stick it out in sickness (and that includes mental illness) and health, for richer or poorer (and, oh by the way, there is no "your money" and "my money" after marriage), for better or worse (which includes when your spouse looks at you like you’re the most disgusting creature on earth). As far as I know, all of the couples I know are generally healthy, no cancer, no AIDS, no terminal illnesses, their children are healthy, they have jobs, they have a roof over their heads, so can someone tell me why the smallest, pettiest problems are threatening to tear Christian marriages apart. Call me when someone is beating on you or sleeping with your best friend. So, maybe the problem is that we don’t know how to love or what love is (this common excuse doesn’t hold any water either because it’s in the Book).
I Corinthians 13:4-13 All About Love
4-7Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. ...13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
I recently read an exercise regarding these verses that said to read them as is, then read verses 4-8 and replace the word love with God, and then read it a third time and replace the word love in 4-8 with your name. Are you living up to God’s standards? If you were, then you probably wouldn’t be looking for greener grass. And, a single girl like me wouldn’t have to listen to you whine about the one thing that is absent from her life right now. I love you, God loves you, and you love each other, so trust God, follow His Word, and set things right in your family. Ms. EV