Marriage is so sacred to the Lord, that He created the first earthly relationship to be between husband and wife. I’m convinced, one of God’s greatest miracles is this holy union, for we witness God demonstrate how powerful He really is; He breaks the arithmetic rules of one plus one, equals two, when He said the two shall become one flesh. He goes against human philosophy that “blood (family) is thicker than water”, by instructing us to leave and cleave; He revealed His authority by placing His seal of approval, declaring “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (Mark 10:9 NASB)
In the beginning God designed the perfect complementary relationship of male and female, to enjoy life together, have dominion over the earth, be fruitful and multiply, and most importantly glorify God as a family. I think it’s safe to say, that before the fall of man, Adam and Eve had the perfect marriage. I can only imagine how Adam felt when he woke up from his deep sleep, in awe of Eve, flesh of his flesh standing before him, with an overly joyful heart that his loneliness had ceased with his helpmeet. I imagine Eve starring back at Adam, realizing that she was formed from his rib, with a grateful heart to be chosen to help him fulfill God’s divine plan for their lives. Sadly, their marital bliss was interrupted when Satan entered the Garden. Eve found herself alone, removed from her husband’s protection, having a conversation with the devil. Adam possibly distracted by an animal or working on the other side of the garden, left his wife alone for a moment too long. The temptation of Satan had Eve focused on the forbidden fruit, instead of the plethora of fruit that God permitted her to eat. Eve succumbed to the enemy’s tactics, and ate the fruit. Adam, being in love with his beautiful wife Eve, succumbed to the influence of his helpmeet, and disobeyed his Creator. Then sin crept in…separation and death soon followed.
Unfortunately thousands of years later, marriages are still suffering from the effects of the first Adam’s sin. Now wives seek to dominate and rule over her husband, husbands utilizing their headship in a domineering, unloving, abusive manner. Spouses are no longer the apple of each other’s eye, rather they both long to fulfill their lustful appetite and eat the forbidden fruit. Instead of us against the world, competition between one another has slithered in the marriage, now it’s me against you. Unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, and selfishness have now overtaken this Christian marriage.
So how does a hopeless marriage get back to that Garden of Eden type of love? We must destroy the root of the problem, sin. The only power that is able to destroy sin, is that of Jesus Christ. Practically speaking this means that each spouse must operate under the power of Jesus Christ, and live a spirit-filled life. Both husband and wife must submit to the authority of God, then they can resist the devil, then the devil flees.(James 4:7) They both must walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16), display the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), and both must die to self, pick up their crosses, and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24).
Prior to Eve entering Adam’s life, Adam walked and talked with God. He had an intimate relationship with God. I strongly believe that the key to having a healthy, loving, godly relationship, starts with each spouse’s personal relationship with the Lord. A personal revival, a renewed and restored relationship with God for both husband and wife, will produce a fruitful marriage. 12-years of marriage have taught me many things, but here are a few of the most important lessons I’ve learned:
#1- The way we treat our spouse, is a direct reflection on our relationship with Jesus, and how we treat Him. An un-submissive, disrespectful wife, is not submitting to the Lord and is disrespecting Him and His Word. (Ephesians 5:22,33). An unloving, non-sacrificing husband, is disobedient and rebellious to God. (Ephesians 5:25,33) A good measuring stick on how much we love the Lord and obey His Word, examine how you treat your spouse.
#2- Master the art of humility. Pride can destroy a marriage and must not have any space in the hearts of a spouse. Apologize and make peace quickly.
#3- Keep God first. This should be obvious to Christians, however, we can easily be distracted with trying to please our spouse, that we fail to keep God in His proper position, first place. We must remember that our relationship with the Lord is our first priority, and idol worship (of our spouse) will not be tolerated by God.
The marriage relationship has been under attacked since the beginning, and continues to be under attack today. Society tells us if we’re not happy to just get a divorce, extreme feminist proclaim men aren’t needed, and homosexuals have influenced the government to redefine the definition of marriage being between one man and woman. But as followers of Christ, may we remember that marriage was God’s idea. He ordained it. It is Him that we will all be accountable to. “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12 NASB)