Marriage and Family
There once was a young boy who was playing by the seashore. While playing he came across some seashells. He started playing with the shells when to his surprise a white, smooth, round, stone fell out of one of the shells. He began playing with it when he decided to see how far he could throw this white stone. As the white stone was in midflight, the little boy realized the true identity of the stone; it was a precious pearl. At that instant he yelled for his family to come and help him find this pearl that had landed in the water. As the family searched the water, they could not find the pearl. It was gone forever (Author unknown).
This story reminds me of how many people today treat the marriage covenant between a husband and wife. Many enter marriage not realizing the value of this precious institution and end up throwing it away. Hebrews 13:4 states, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” This verse tells us that marriage is an honorable thing before God and should be honored by human beings as well. The Bible tells us that marriage is honorable for at least six reasons. First, marriage provides companionship for man and woman, Genesis 2:18. Second, marriage helps a man and woman to be self-controlled, Hebrews 13:4. Third, marriage completes a man and woman, Genesis 2:23. Fourth, marriage between a husband and his wife is the best environment for raising children, Genesis 1:28, 9:1 and Malachi 2:15. Fifth, marriage provides protection for the family, Ephesians 5:25, Titus 2:4-5 and Malachi 2:15. Sixth, marriage is a visual object lesson of the relationship between Christ and his church, Ephesians 5:31-33 and Revelation 21:2.
Are you honoring your marriage?
Imagine for a moment your business is failing or a project you are working on is not going the way it is supposed to; what would you do? My guess is most of us would do everything we could to correct the problems. We might contact someone who has experience in the area you are working and ask them to help you. A person might even go and get more training or education to help them to improve the situation. The point is most of us would just not let our business or project fail without trying our very best to correct the problems and improve the situation.
Now what about our families? What if our family is falling apart, what are we going to do about it? I find it interesting how little thought; we often give our families and marriages today in light of scripture. Shouldn’t we put as much effort or even more than we would if it was our business or a project we might be working on?
The one thing that the Bible is clear on is that we should do what we can to help improve and strengthen our family relationships; after all family is a God designed institution as we see in Genesis 2:21-24.
In order to begin helping our families the first thing each family must do is to put God first. Matthew 6:33 teaches us to, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” No matter how bad things may be with one’s family the first step is always putting God first, start studying His Word, praying, and get involved with the worship and work of the church (Heb. 10:25).
Once God is in His proper place in our family the next thing to do is rekindle our relationship with our spouse. Again Genesis 2:21-24 reminds us that when a husband and wife come together, they are to leave their home of origin and cleave to each other. Adam in Genesis 2:23 also recognized that Eve was his lifelong love and mate. In Genesis 2:24 points out the couple become “one flesh” is only recognized in marriage and is pointing to sexual intimacy, the raising of children and the weaving together of two lives into one. All other forms of sexual intimacy, raising of children and the weaving of lives is either unlawful, ungodly, or made more difficult when God’s design is avoided or ignored. The wisdom and warning in Proverbs 5:1-23 compares the way of immorality and the way of God’s design for marriage and God’s way is always the best.
But last when God and one’s spouse are receiving the proper attention in the family, then children need to be helped. Malachi 2:15, instructs, “Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.” God desires godly offspring, and in this passage the implication is that the husband and wife play a major role in this.
Children need to be taught how to put God first in their lives, this does not come naturally. Children learn from observing, listening, and relating to their parents. Research tells us that, “parents are teaching their children about God’s plan in their lives around the clock.” If our children see us reading the Bible, praying, obeying the word of God in our daily life and wanting to be involved in the worship assemble, more than often our children will want to do these things as well.
If our families need help, will we put the effort into them to get them to be as God designed? Think about it. Written by Mark T. Tonkery
Remember when novels used to end with, “And they lived happily ever after”? I venture to guess that rarely, if ever, has a marriage been entered into with a desire for less than “happiness every after.” Charlie, a teenager, asked his uncle Ted, who had been married for more than 50years, what was the secret to a happy marriage. Uncle Ted answered, “You can be happy in your marriage if you choose to be happy.” Here are a few rules that will help marriages become happier:
1. Make a decision to be happy.
2. Think kind and happy thoughts about each other.
3. Choose to say positive things to each other.
4. Choose to have fun time together.
5. Always keep the forgiveness door open.
6. Choose to send out positive vibes to each other.
7. Choose to be optimistic even in tough times.
8. Choose to be kind and courteous to each other.
9. Keep conversations cheerful and open…listen.
10. Remember each day is the first day of the rest of your life.
11. Live with the end in view.
12. Get up on the “right side” of the bed.
Happiness in marriage is a choice that originates inside the heart. It doesn’t depend on external trappings or circumstances.