In the last devotional, I shared about marriage/family government, its significance in the eyes of the Lord, and its influence in the health of a society. To build a strong marriage, it takes God’s wisdom, sacrifice, and time. Today, I am going to share a few key areas that allow marriages to have a greater chance of success.
Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life. “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:27-31
Fearing the Lord
The above passage tells us that the virtuous woman feared God. When we love the Lord and fear Him, it keeps us in a position of humility and submission to God’s instruction, correction, and direction. The person who does not consider God’s ways, builds their lives on their own ideas, and its eventual consequence is conflict, friction, and arguments in marriage. A wise woman builds her life with God’s instruction (Proverbs 14:1)
Every good marriage requires mutual trust where both individuals know that the other person is completely committed to the marriage and the family. The above passage tells us the husband completely trusted his wife. He knew that she would keep his needs and the needs of her family as her top earthly priority. The husband was confident that she would seek to do her best to bring her husband good not evil.
This is a very different message than what the world is telling wives and young women these days. We live in a culture of self-focus, and it is all about each person seeking their own personal dreams, goals, and careers. Women are told that they can be super moms and that they can do it all and do it well. Basically, the message is that a woman can juggle all the balls and still do a good job in all of them. The truth is that every person has only 24 hours in a day. Spouses and children are not designed to be juggling balls, and neither are they tasks to be accomplished. Marriage and family requires attention and time from both spouses. Generally, if a couple is overcommitted, the time with each other and the children is what gets sacrificed at the altar of career, education, or ministry.
Proverbs 31 is a legacy of a virtuous woman who lived her life well. The Proverbs 31 passage is not about a day in the life of a woman but an accumulation of her accomplishments in different seasons of her life. When you read this passage, you realize that her husband must have done his part to create a stable environment giving her the security she needs to accomplish all that she has done in her life. In addition, her children are respectful, thoughtful, and appreciative because they have seen the sacrifice of a mother who has spent her years working for the benefit of her family.
Common Vision and Mission
Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? Amos 3:3
Trust opens the door for a married couple to seek the Lord together and allow Him to set the right priorities in each season of their lives. Marriage requires agreement on the most important things in life such as raising children, church attendance, finances, etc. A couple needs to develop common mission and priorities that causes them to walk together in the right direction.
The covenant of marriage is about putting each other above our own desires. It is about complementing each other and helping each other with each other’s weaknesses. It is not about competing with each other or trying to prove who is better than the other. Marriage is teamwork- working for the benefit of the family. There will be ups and downs in marriage, but when both spouses are committed to the Lord and trust each other, couples are able to navigate through various challenges in life and continue to move forward in God’s purpose.
Gratitude and Godly Communication
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:17-21
The above passage tell us that we cannot be wasteful with our time nor should we be using our time to get involved in sin. Instead, we are to speak with one another using words of life and gratitude. Godly communication solicits love, empathy, understanding, and cooperation as opposed to nagging that the scripture warns us about. This atmosphere creates humble and peaceful environment where couples are willing to yield to one another because it is not about a person winning, but it is about the success of the marriage and the family.
The truth is that none of us are perfect, and we fail in various areas at various times. However, we can learn what not to do from Adam and Eve. When they sinned, instead of taking responsibility for their own sin, they began blaming each other and blaming the serpent. The faster we take responsibility for our part and ask forgiveness from the Lord and from each other, the better it is for our relationship. Similarly, both people need to be forgiving towards one another and not allow the sun to go down on their anger (Ephesians 4:26)!