The Beauty of Marriage

“But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:2 NLT)

Marriage can be difficult and is not for everyone. The Apostle Paul encourages believers not to marry if they can abstain from sexual immorality, but at the time of Paul’s writing and today, with so much immorality, it’s hard to not sin sexually if you’re not married. Even if you are married, lust is such a driving force, it can still be an issue.

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The picture used by Jesus to describe His relationship with His people, His Church universal, is that of a beautiful bride adorned for her husband. It was God’s idea in the beginning for one man to be married to one woman for life. For a man and woman to devote their whole lives to one another in faithful pursuit of oneness, the likes of which can be accomplished in no other relationship than Christ and His Bride.

No one hates divorce more than Jesus and those of us who have been divorced.

When I was pastoring, nothing amused me more than when a previously married couple would ask me to marry them and say: “We don’t need any counseling. We know the ‘ropes,’ we’ve both been married before.” It was as if they were saying: “We know all about marriage, that’s why we both failed so well with our first partner.”

Could that have anything to do with why statistically the likelihood of a successful second marriage is so much lower than a first-time marriage? Before my present wife and I were married, I read a statistic that said it takes about eight years for a previously married couple to work through all their baggage they drag into their second marriage. My wife and I have been married 28 years, and we’re still sorting baggage. 😊

Though we’ve had many issues, I believe we’ve finally found our “sweet spot.” We’ve finally come to a place where we genuinely value the treasure we’ve become to one another.

When the Apostle Paul was describing what he aspired his relationship with Jesus to look like he said: “I want to know Christ…” (Philippians 3:10a) The word Paul used that’s translated “know” is the same word that’s used in Genesis 4:4 when it says Adam “knew” Eve and they had a child. It’s a term of intimacy, closeness that can only be achieved between two people who are deeply committed to one another. Whose hearts beat with longing to be in the other’s presence, sharing life together come what may.

You can’t have a perfect marriage with two imperfect people, but when you begin to focus on what’s right in each other rather than on what’s wrong, it becomes a lot happier. Keeping a singular focus helps also. What does that mean? It means stop looking outside your relationship with your spouse to find what should only be found in and with your spouse. And I’m not speaking simply of sex; I’m speaking of delight.

It’s amazing how much pleasure I find in my wife when I accept her as God’s gift to me. God doesn’t make mistakes, we do. God creates oneness. We create division. God’s desire is holiness. We desire happiness.

What am I saying? The beauty of marriage will only surface when God is first in your heart and your spouse is a very close second. His plan has always been for the two to become one flesh – committed to living for His honor together!

Blessings, Ed 😊

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