This coming weekend will mark the conclusion of our When a Man Loves a Woman series from Song of Solomon. And while I’ve been blessed by the different things that I have read and studied over the past several weeks, some of my biggest blessings have come in the different comments, cards, and e-mails I have received from many of you.
The Bible teaches us that marriage was designed by God…that it was a part of His “very good” creation. And yet the truth is many marriage relationships, for Christians and non-Christians alike, are less than fulfilling. While Song of Solomon has given us some very good and very practical instructions for experiencing a lifetime of marital love, there are some other practical things we can do.
Make a commitment to spiritual growth. A successful marriage requires wisdom and maturity in the lives of both spouses. The kind of wisdom and maturity I’m talking about comes when you are growing in your faith. If I want to be the kind of husband God desires, then I need to overcome things like pride and selfishness, and I need to grow in humility and service. As I mature in Christ, I will mature as a husband.
- Make a commitment to pray. One of the best ways to bless your spouse and bless your marriage is to find the time to pray together. Every strong marriage has a deep well of intimacy, and intimacy happens when you pray together.
Make a commitment to be faithful. Unfaithfulness can be eliminated when you make a commitment to only think passionately about your husband or your wife. The world might say that sexual fantasies involving other people are okay, but Jesus doesn’t say that (Matthew 5:28). And making this commitment today can guard your every tomorrow.
Make a commitment to communicate. Proverbs 13:17, in The Living Bible says, Reliable communication permits progress. A few years ago Newsweek released a story that said, “The average couple talks to each other alone four minutes a day.” They also wrote, “The average couple spends 47 hours a week in front of the television.” It’s easy to slip into the pattern of only talking about who’s dropping off or picking up the kids or here’s my meeting schedule this week. That’s valuable information, but that’s not the kind of communication needed in a great marriage. A marriage relationship needs the kind of communication that is focused on the needs of each spouse.
- Make a commitment to trust and to forgive. The Bible teaches us in James1:13 that we can always trust that God is not associated with evil. We need to have that same trust with our husband or wife. I Corinthians 13:5 tells us one of the characteristics of love is that it “keeps no record of wrongs.” We need to have that kind of love for our husband and wife. I know that no one is perfect and that there are times, even in the best marriages, where you can be hurt and disappointed. But that doesn’t minimize our need to think, expect, and give the best.
In February of next year, Sandy and I will have been married for 27 years. Ours has not always been a perfect marriage, but it’s been a marriage where some fundamental commitments have always been present. And those commitments were made from the heart. As a result we have seen and experienced God’s blessing.
Thanks for all the kind words related to When a Man Loves a Woman. You are blessing me, and you are a blessing to serve.