Marriage is honorable in all,... (Hebrews 13:4)
“Oh, I remember it well.” This line from the movie “Gigi,” is played out in our lives regularly. Cathy and I have now been married 49 years and counting. How did that many get by us? We will tell stories of different events and she will remember things I don’t and I remember things she doesn’t.
I was commenting to Cathy that many people do not get to be married that long to their spouses. Her mother had two husbands pass away after being married to each one for fourteen years. My grandmothers probably did not see more than twenty five years with my grandfathers. Circumstances of life alter plans and sometimes sickness or tragedy will interrupt married life and leave one alone.
So, we consider it to be a blessing to be able to be married this long. Of course, my parents are twenty years ahead of us which is an amazing blessing. Maybe they will reach the 75 year mark, it is entirely possible since they still have good health.
God honors marriage. However, he never mentions in his word anything about “easy.” He did say something about leaving mother and father. He did say something about holding to one another. He did say something about being one flesh. He did say to be fruitful and multiply. He did say to love your wife. He did say to respect your husband. He did say to be faithful to one another. Those are all positive things. The converse of all those brings heartache to the marriage. A man who will not take his place in the marriage and still remains a “mama’s boy,” will dishonor and damage his wife. The other side is true too. A woman who will not hold to her husband and runs to daddy and mommy for everything disrespects her husband and tears her home apart. The idea that God has, is that the man and woman work together to form a family and a deep bond with one another.
Also, the one flesh thing is extremely important too. The bonding that takes place when there is love holds that unit together in times of difficulty. There is a spiritual bonding that takes place as God designed when the husband and wife come together. This area is one of the key areas of marital difficulty which continually needs addressed in struggling marriages. Men and women differ in their needs in this area and learning to serve one another is important to the marriage’s longevity and success.
He said be fruitful and multiply. Marriage is for building families. Children are a blessing and a huge responsibility, but they are part of the perfect plan of God. Those who marry and decide not to have children have missed part of the blessing God intended and part of the plan for marriage. Of course we know that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that do not allow a couple to have children.
The whole area of love and respect is a mountain of conscious responsibility. Men are commanded to love their wives. This means going way beyond the physical attraction to a place of being genuinely concerned for her in every aspect. She needs love when she has had a horrible day with little ones. She needs love on a bad hair day. Women are commanded to respect their husbands. Men, because of their leadership position and responsibility to provide will sometimes make mistakes which affect the wife and family negatively. The wife can then become critical and complaining. He then can be cast as never good enough which will defeat the marriage.
All long term negatives in a marriage will set up circumstances for moral failure. The guy at work pays attention to the woman who is struggling at home, the gal at work listens to the man struggling and the set up is made for unfaithfulness. It usually starts with the need for someone to listen and understand before it becomes sexual. Not dealing with problems at home allows the enemy to create situations for unfaithfulness. Learning to work through problems and do so quickly helps sustain a marriage long term. No one skates through life with a breeze and unchallenged. My dad said marriage is a “Feat.”