A Life with Relationships

Relationships help keep us from being lonely and give us worth, purpose and meaning in life. They also keep us balanced and accountable. We were made for relationships and yet many struggle with few meaningful relationships. Relationships teach us how to receive and give love and it is through relationships that the world is changed. Even if you missed out on certain relationships earlier in life it does not define your life or your ability to make relationships. Relationships must be built on the One who designed us to be in relationships.

Genesis 2:8 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

The Lord God made man and gave him life. Man became a living being because God gave him life and God is the source of all life. When God is absent in a person’s life then he only exists, rather than thrive and life life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

Everything that God had done up to this point He said that it was good. However, after He formed man then He said that it is not good for man to be alone. It was not good then and it is not good now for man to be alone. Man had God but man still needed to be in a relationship with another human being. Through another human being man would find companionship, help and love. The word “helper” means literally savior and is the only time in the Bible that it is used in reference to a person. Every other time it is used in reference to God. The word “suitable” means corresponding to. God made a helper who would respond to Adam’s heart and bring him companionship. Even though Adam lived in a perfect environment and had a job to do, which was to cultivate the earth and name the animals, he still needed a helper and companion, who would respond to his heart. God made man and woman because He wanted them but God made Eve for Adam because they needed each other. Man was not made to live alone. God loved man and woman from the beginning and gave them instructions on life because He wanted them to live life to the fullest.

Genesis 2:15-18 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

The Lord knew what man needed and as long as man listened to and obeyed God then man and woman would live happily ever after. As long as they lived in their relationship with their Creator then they would be safe from any grief and the pain of death.

Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

Woman did not listen to the one whom God had given to protect her and Adam chose also to not obey what he knew was right and so both chose to go their own way and do their own thing apart from what God had commanded. Their relationship with God was changed and they became estranged and separated. The Lord came and they hid.

Genesis 3:8-10 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

Separation, death and guilt came into the world and with it fear, grief, pain and blame. When trust is gone in relationships then the relationship is changed and not the same. With broken relationships come broken hearts. With broken hearts there comes blame. Someone is responsible for the brokenness. Often we want to transfer the blame.

Genesis 3:11-13 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

With broken relationships come consequences which bring more sadness.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

Woman sinned first and the Lord spoke to her first. The consequences of her sin was pain in childbirth and she would desire her husband but he would rule over her.

Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

Man sinned by doing what his wife wanted him to do rather than what God wanted him to do. He disobeyed God. His consequences were that the ground would be cursed because of him and there would be thorns and thistles that would make his work more difficult. He would now have to sweat things out in his work and it would not be as pleasant and enjoyable as God had designed. Man still struggles with the thorns and thistles in his occupation.

Genesis 3:22-24 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

It was God’s mercy that sent Adam and Eve out of the garden lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever in their now sinful state. Before God sent them out of the garden the Lord also gave Adam and Eve a promise of a Savior so that they might have hope and not despair.

Genesis 3:14a,15  The Lord God said to the serpent,
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

There would come from the seed of the woman a Savior who would destroy the tempter, Satan, who had brought grief to Adam and Eve. Mankind came into an awful cycle that only God could straighten out, a cycle of sin and death and with it a cycle of grief and despair. Man became brokenhearted with broken relationships.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;

The promised One who would destroy the works of the devil would also bind up the brokenhearted and heal them and heal their relationships.

 

 

 

A Life with a Thriving Marriage

The Lord wants your marriage to thrive as much as He wants you to thrive in life. Don’t get discouraged if you feel that your marriage is not where it should be or could be. The Lord is a restorer and there is no marriage beyond His restoring love and power. Where the Lord is, there is hope and where there is hope then things will get better.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord has given us a blueprint for marriage. Just as a builder must follow the architect’s blueprint for the building to stand strong so you must follow the Lord’s blueprint for marriage. Everyone strays from His blueprint and that is what it means to “miss the mark” at times. If you will turn to Him then He will help you and restore you. His blueprint is in His Word.

Psalm 19:7,8 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The Lord will restore you through His Spirit and His Word. He will give you wisdom and bring joy once again to your heart and marriage. He will open your eyes and give you enlightenment and insight. He is good and He is loving. He is all powerful but you must follow His instructions and do exactly as He tells you. You are not responsible for your spouse. The Lord is fully capable of changing your spouse. Do not focus on your spouse but ask the Lord what He wants you to do.

Ephesians 5:22-32 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

Marriage is a mystery and the mystery is great. Marriage is only between a man and a woman. All other unions are a perversion of God’s design and will ultimately bring grief. God’s design is based on the relationship of Christ and the church, which are all Christians. There is an order in marriage and that order is good. Submission of the wife does not minimize or negate her worth but elevates it. Jesus submitted to the Father even though He was equal to the Father. The church is to submit to Christ. The Father took responsibility for Jesus and Jesus takes responsibility for the church. The wife is to submit and the husband is to love and provide. The wife is to respect and the husband is to lead and protect. If one of the spouse fails to fulfill their responsibility it does not nullify the responsibility of the other spouse. In fact, the best thing for a wayward spouse is for the faithful spouse to continue to be responsible and faithful. If a spouse does not keep their marriage vow to the Lord then it does not negate the marriage vow of the other. Marriage vows can not be broken they can only be “not kept” because they are not vows made to each other but they are vows made to God in the presence of others. Other people are witnesses of the marriage vows that the couple makes to God. The Lord says to keep your vows. You will find that as you are faithful to the Lord then you will see His faithfulness to you.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.

Whatever you do, do not say that it was a mistake that you married your spouse. Pay your vows and let the Lord deal with your spouse. The Lord does not in fools. Get to work in your marriage and fear the Lord by doing what He has called you to do. You will find that the Lord will help you, guide you and strengthen you and you will become more like Him. Your life will be a light to others and a testimony of the Lord. There are many people who struggle in difficult marriages and want to quit but the Lord does not bless quitters but He does bless those who are faithful and honor Him.

 

 

 

 

A Life that Is Prepared for Marriage

The best time to prepare for marriage is before you get married. It is a God given desire to want to get married. However, the more you are prepared for marriage the easier it will be for you. The more mature you are as a person the happier you will be in your marriage and the easier your marriage will be. Marriage will never make anyone happy. If you are not happy before you are married then you will not be happy after you are married. No one can meet the needs in your life that God designed for God alone to meet. Marriage does give you meaning or purpose in life. A mate will never make you feel secure of fill any emptiness in your life. The less expectation that you have for your mate then the less disappointment you will feel. Expectations destroy relationships. The more you learn to look to the Lord for strength, security, love, joy, peace, self control, patience. kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness then the happier you will be and the you will also bring great joy to whomever you marry.

Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Do not use the flesh to attract a mate because then you will seek to use your flesh to keep him. This will bring great insecurity to you because a man’s eyes are never satisfied.

Proverbs 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

However, it is important to do your best to look your best because man does look on the outward appearance.

I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

However, you want the inner beauty of the Lord to be greater than any outward appearance. Your outward appearance is decaying but the inner man is being renewed day by day.

II Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

The Lord will strengthen you through His Spirit in the inner man to become a godly woman who fears the Lord. You must learn to walk in the Spirit on a daily moment by moment basis. This is the greatest preparation for marriage.

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

Again, a mate will never fulfill you or make you happy. The sooner you learn this lesson the happier you will be. Young ladies have a tendency to live in the “if” or “when ” world. “If I were …” or “if I had …” or “when I …” and the truth of the matter is that the “if” and “when” does not change the contentment of your soul. You must learn to be content in Jesus Christ. He must be your desire. The more you learn to be content in Him then the more content you will be in whatever state He has you, whether married or single.

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

Contentment, gratefulness and joy all go together. The greatest gift that you can give to yourself and to others and especially to the person you marry is an attitude of gratitude. No one likes to be around a complainer or someone who is never happy. Someone once said that an unhappy wife is a public rebuke to her husband. Cultivate a grateful spirit and begin now by expressing thanks to your parents and those who have helped you in life. Not only do you quench the Spirit when you do not give thanks but you will quench your husband’s spirit and what he once wanted to do for you he will no longer do because it isn’t “exactly the way you like it”.

Ephesians 5:16-19 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit;

Learn to compliment a man. A man longs for praise. The Lord made him this way and most men are starved for praise and they will gravitate to the people who praise them. This is crucial because the Lord made a man to conquer and he needs the praise of his wife to go out and conquer the world in his job. Also, if you do not praise him then other women will. Even if you do praise him other women will still do it. This is one of the ways that an immoral woman gets a man to commit adultery. She flatters him with her tongue. He does not know that it is flattery and the aim of flattery is to manipulate so you want to make sure that he is filled with your praises if you are his wife. Learn now to praise. You can begin by learning to praise your brothers and your brothers in Christ. Look for Christlikeness and then point it out to him how you see the Lord in him.

Proverbs 2:16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words;

Learn to dress in a modest manner so that a godly man will be attracted to you. If you dress in such a way that stimulates a man by stirring up desires that can not be fulfilled righteously then you are a stumbling block. Why should the Lord give you to a godly man who is seeking Him. No, rather, if you dress in a provocative manner then a man who is “all about himself” will be drawn to you and since you dressed in a deceptive manner you will be the one who will end up being deceived. He will deceive you into you believing that he actually cares for you when he does not care for you but loves himself.

Proverbs 23:6,7 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.

Finally, do dress in a modest manner, as is fitting for one who seeks to please the Lord. Learn to fear the Lord and obey Him. Honor you parents, as the Lord has commanded. If you do not honor your parents then you will struggle with honoring and respecting your husband. The Lord gives the woman to the man, not the man to the woman. You need to ask yourself if you want to serve, desire, submit to and respect a man and consider him more important than yourself. If you are not ready for that then ask the Lord to help you and go to older women who have a good marriage and ask them to teach you. Marriage can be a sweet fellowship and relationship between a man and a woman if it is done God’s way. It is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the church. Just as Christ died for the church, the husband is the love His wife in a sacrificial way and be willing to die for her. In the same way, a wife is to live for her husband (as the church is to live for Christ) and the way that she learns to serve and love Him in this Christlike manner is to die to herself. Marriage is a dying of two selves so that the Lord can raise up one (in body, soul and spirit) to glorify Him.

Ephesians 5:31-33 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

It is a mystery but it is a beautiful mystery and the most intimate relationship on earth when done God’s way. To love and be loved is what we all long for but it is only when we are surrendered to the Lord and learn His ways will we ever know what it means to live in intimate fellowship in marriage.

 

 

A Married Life Filled with Love

There are things that destroy love and there are requirements of love that are essential to lasting love. One of the roots of true love is moral excellence. There must be trust and respect to have true love in a marriage and the prerequisite to love, trust and respect is moral excellence. If you want true love within the marriage then you need to have moral excellence before marriage. Moral excellence is not compromising morally. If someone has moral excellence before marriage then they will almost always have moral excellence after marriage. Immorality is taking something that is not yours to take. A man has no right to any physical affection that he would not have with his sister. Any kind of physical affection has meaning to a female. Until a man takes a woman to be his wife he is to treat her with the same respect that he would treat his sister or mother.

II Peter 1:5-7 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

A good measure of how to treat another one of the opposite sex is if this person married your best friend would there be any awkwardness. You do not know who you will marry so do not speculate or presume. Through presumption comes strife.

Proverbs 13:10a Through pride and presumption come nothing but strife,

A great marriage is when two people become one in every way. Marriage is the only way it is possible for two people to become one spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. When there is a violation of God’s ways then it prevents the oneness from happening and that leads to emptiness and frustration. Moral excellence is the requirement for oneness and love, trust and respect is what allows oneness to happen. Oneness spiritually can happen with anyone who is a Christian and so for there to be spiritual oneness in marriage both spouses must be Christians.

II Corinthians 6:14,15 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

Once there is the common faith in Christ then it is good for there to be attraction of a friendship. This is the oneness of soul. Again, no physical because that is a lack of moral excellence and once there is the physical then the soul aspect becomes secondary. The Lord chose Eve to first be a companion to Adam and a great marriage is great companionship and friendship. In a great marriage there is a great need for clear communication and this is developed through friendship. One of the best ways to see what a person is like is to see how they interact in a group of friends. When a man and a woman spend much time alone together, even on the friendship level, then at least one of them will become emotionally attached and the breaking of the friendship will be painful and especially if there has been any defrauding. Defrauding is communicating that there is more to the relationship than there really is. Defrauding is a lack of moral excellence.

I Thessalonians 4:3-8 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

The third aspect of oneness in a great marriage is the oneness physically. You will be very glad if you wait. There is a peace, comfort, joy, security and great love for the couples who wait until marriage for the physical. It is so great that the Lord says that the man will outshine the sun when he comes out of his bedroom on his wedding night.

Psalm 19:1-5 The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world.
In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;

A man loses as much as a woman if he compromises before his wedding night. He has made his wife feel guilty and when they are intimate after marriage it will be a reminder to her of her guilt. She will not trust him like she would if he had exercised self control before marriage. Before marriage she may have thought it was love but after marriage she will realize that it was lust. They both lose and will struggle for the oneness that God designed.

A Married Life Overflowing with Love

Everyone who is married longs for there to be true love in the marriage. Love is the sweet fragrance of a great marriage and the if you have love in your marriage then it truly cuts your sorrows in half and doubles your joys. Without love then life and marriage is much harder and eventually can become bitter or lifeless. Love softens the blows that life sometimes brings that are out of our control. Love is the oil in relationships and without it relationships are a grind that can wear us down. Most marriages begin with good intentions but many do not know how to live out the desires and dreams that were there at the beginning.

I John 4:7,8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God is love and there is no love a part from God. We do not know love a part from the Lord and we can not love a part from the Lord Jesus Christ. There may be duty, obligation or even a selfish love a part from the Lord but there will never be an agape love which is an unselfish, unconditional love apart from Jesus Christ. God came to us through Jesus Christ to show us what true love is and how we can experience it and know it. You must have Christ in your life to love and to be loved. We are untrusting creatures and don’t even know how to receive or give love. When we come into an encounter with Jesus Christ and receive Him then we are loved just the way we are and we can learn to love others just the way they are.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God loves us. Christ died for us when we did not love Him and had turned our back on Him. Jesus Christ loves us just the way we are with an unconditional, agape love. We are complete in Him and do not need the approval of others. He will always have our back and will never turn His back on us. He will never leave us or forsake us, even when it feels as though all others have and we are alone.

Hebrews 13:4,5 Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

We do not need to have the “boastful pride of man” nor do we need to fulfill the lusts of the flesh or the lusts of the eyes when we have Christ. He is our glory and He will never leave us. We do not have to ever be lonely again. Being lonely is not His will and He wants His people to have a home. He wants you to have a home.

Psalm 68:6 God makes a home for the lonely;
He leads out the prisoners into prosperity,
Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

Rebellion is simply wanting to go your own way. If you have gone your own way and you are lonely in your marriage then turn to the Lord with all of your heart. He will fill your loneliness and fill you with love for your marriage partner. He will teach you how to love His way.

Galatians 6:9,10 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

The word “good” means the “highest form of love”. The Lord will show you how to “do good” to your spouse. In due time you will reap if you do not grow weary. He will show you the opportunities to do good. The Lord will teach you.

A Life of A Great Marriage

A great marriage is God’s design for His children if it is His will for them to be married. He came that we might have an abundant life and part of that abundant life is an abundant marriage if marriage is a part of that life.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

It is the devil who comes only to steal, kill and destroy and he will do that not only in your life but in your marriage if you let him. The Bible says to resist the devil and he will flee from you.

James 4:6-8 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

The first step to having a great marriage is to realize and acknowledge that you can not do it on your own. We all need God’s grace and the way to get God’s grace and help is to humble yourself before the Lord. He gives grace to the humble. He opposes the proud. Pride says that “I can do it on my own and I can do it my way.” When you humble yourself before the Lord then you are resisting the devil who whispers in your ear that “you have got this and don’t need the Lord”. Cleanse your hands means that you need to take it out of your hands and put it in the hands of the Lord by giving it to Him. Purify your hearts means that you can not be double minded, but single minded by being fully surrendered to the Lord. A double minded person is one who can not decide how to do something. Should they do it “this way or that way”. A pure heart says that you want only to do it God’s way. When we are fully surrendered to the Lord and put our marriage or future marriage in God’s hands then He will show us His ways and give us His grace. God’s ways are God’s wisdom and He will give to all who ask Him if they are not double minded.

James 1:5-8 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

So, the beginning of a great marriage is to ask God for wisdom. Don’t lean on your own understanding but trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Faith is trusting in the Lord and asking Him for wisdom is an expression of that faith. He wants to help you and direct you. His ways are perfect and He is good.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

If you will build your marriage on God’s wisdom then it will be firmly established and will be able to endure the storms of life. The days will be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Your marriage and home will be a refuge to you and all who enter.

Proverbs 24:3,4 By wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.

 

 

 

A Life that Has Understanding

When you have understanding then you will enjoy life so much more and will be much less frustrated than others without understanding. Understanding will give you insight in decisions and make you more successful because of your right choices in life.

I Chronicles 22:12,13 Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed.

The more understanding that you have the more wise counsel that you will have to guide your life and to help others.

Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

When you have understanding then it will watch over you.

Proverbs 2:11 Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,

When you have God’s understanding then you will learn more and more to trust Him and to not trust your own understanding. Your own understanding is limited to what you see or feel about a situation. God’s understanding is impartial and is based on His knowledge of life.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.

Understanding calls to us to live according to her ways. The word “folly” means stupidity. When we lack God’s understanding about life we have a tendency to do stupid things. Stupid decisions and stupid activities rob us of life.

Proverbs 9:6 “Forsake your folly and live,
And proceed in the way of understanding.”

When one has understanding then they will recognize those that do not and will not fall into the snares of people who will get them into trouble and bring grief to their lives. Many a man’s life was made very sorrowful because of the woman he married. Understanding will keep a man from the woman of folly. A person lacking in understanding is naive.

Proverbs 9:13-18 The woman of folly is boisterous,
She is naive and knows nothing.
She sits at the doorway of her house,
On a seat by the high places of the city,
Calling to those who pass by,
Who are making their paths straight:
“Whoever is naive, let him turn in here,”
And to him who lacks understanding she says,
“Stolen water is sweet;
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
But he does not know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

A godly mother will teach her sons to avoid the woman of folly. A wise son will listen to his mother. A man can not see through women and in the same way a female can not see through males. A young lady needs her father’s counsel and a young man needs his mother’s counsel when it comes to choosing a life partner. If you do not have a mother or father in your life then go to an older godly person who has understanding so that they can give you wise counsel. Other than choosing who will be your Master in life the next most important decision that you will make will be who your mate will be. Choose wisely and you will be blessed. Choose foolishly and that choice will become a curse to you.

 

A Life that Does Not Give Away Intimacy

There is a saying, “If the milk is free why buy the cow?”. There are certain gifts that have been given to us and that a young lady should not give away except to the right person at the right time. She should not give away her body to men but it is to be saved for her husband alone and only should be given to him after he has taken her in marriage. Marriage is a man’s commitment to a young lady to love her, to cherish her, to protect her, to provide for her and ultimately to lay down his life for her. Many a man will make promises to get what they want and then once they have gotten their desires then they never fulfill their promises. Engagement is not marriage and the same rules for dating apply during the engagement period.

I Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition but it is a 100/100 relationship. Each one gives all of oneself to the other so that they might become one. However, what is right before marriage is wrong after marriage. It is right to abstain from sexual relations before marriage and wrong to withhold from each other after marriage. There is a saying that girls that do “it” before marriage don’t want to do “it” after marriage so it is foolish for both to compromise God’s standard of morality. God is not mocked. He has His standards for our good and we are foolish not to abide by what He has said.

Galatians 6:7,8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Moral excellence is the root of true love in a marriage and it is expressed through waiting until after the wedding to have a physical relationship. If two people are morally excellent in their standards then they will trust each other after they are married. If a man and woman compromise before marriage then the trust will not be there as it could have been had they waited.

II Peter 1:5-7 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

If you have compromised God’s moral standard then it is not too late to repent but there needs to be repentance and though that may be hard it is necessary. Repentance means that you are turning your back on your sin and turning to God. However, you must keep turning to the Lord so that you do not fall back into your old ways. You also must flee from temptation. Temptations are often much stronger if you have tasted of the pleasures of that particular sin. You do not miss what you have never known.

II Timothy 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

You can, by God’s grace, keep His standards of righteousness. God is faithful and will provide a way of escape to the one who calls on Him and puts their trust in Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

 

A Life with An Understanding of Men

Women often will think that men are clueless when it comes to women but the truth of the matter is that often women are clueless when it comes to men. We need each other and yet unless we know the One who created men and women, we will never understand each other. Since this is a constant source of frustration among women it is good to know a few things that the Lord says a man needs and wants in a woman

Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

A man needs a companion so that he will not be alone. He needs a companion with whom he can share his life with and who will help him and support him. He needs a woman who will respond to his heart, one who understands what he would want done and one whom he can trust.

Proverbs 31:10-12 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

A man needs a wife who will love him all the days of her life and will do him good and not evil. He needs a wife who will not bring him grief or will shame him, a wife that he can confide his deepest needs to and she will still love and respect him, knowing that it is his weaknesses and needs that cause him to need her and love her so very much. A great marriage is one where both the husband and wife want and need each other but are not dependent on each other in an insecure way, but rather realizing that it is their mutual needs that cause each to complement the other so that each one can reach their full potential.

Titus 2:4,5 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands,

The word “love” in this verse really means in the original Greek, to “want or be a lover of” her husband.  A man needs and wants a wife who wants him. He married her because he believed that she wanted him. The words “I want you” to a man are similar to the words “I love you” to a woman. A husband knows that his wife needs him but he wants her to want him. When she refuses him physically after their marriage then it can communicate a message of rejection. Just as a wife longs for her husband to love her so her husband longs for her to want him.

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

A husband needs respect from his wife. This is especially important when there are children in the home. The glory of children and especially sons is their father so when a wife does not respect her husband then she is destroying her children’s glory. We receive our self worth from our glory so the very thing that a mother longs to do in her children, see their confidence grow, she is destroying if she is in any way not respecting her husband. Respect is communicated through attitude, actions and words. An example of a lack of respect would be if she were to say, “Don’t tell your father….” or communicating in anyway her approval of anything that he would not like.

Ephesians 5:28-31 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

You will find that it will be a much greater delight for your husband to love you when you are a delight and joy to him. The husband and the wife relationship is the closest thing to heaven on earth if it is done God’s way. He ways are perfect and there is nothing to add to it or to take away from his ways.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.

It is the wise woman who seeks to do exactly as the Lord says. She will be blessed and she will be a blessing to her husband, her children and to the world. The world is longing to see marriage done right. It is only possible in Christ. To Him belongs all the glory and honor.

II Corinthians 6:14-16 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Finally, a Christian woman must only marry a Christian man. Marriage is binding of two people and a partnership in Christ. There will be no fellowship and no harmony in the relationship if a believer marries an unbeliever. The marriage is a union of the spirit, soul and body. If one person is alive spiritually and the other person is dead spiritually in the marriage then there will be no oneness of spirit. You will be spiritually alone if you are a Christian.

 

A Life that Loves

The greatest of all is love and love is the most powerful influence in the world. When we learn to love as Christ did then our world will be changed. We will be willing to die for each other even as Christ died for us.

Romans 5:7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

This word good means the highest form of love. What the Lord is saying is that someone would not be willing to give up their life for someone who does the right thing  but perhaps maybe someone would die for a person who loved them. Love is the greatest power in the world. We will always want to be around those who love us.

I John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

We know that Jesus loves us. He died for us and He would do it again. He did not die for us because we were good but He died for us because He is good. Jesus Christ is the expression of the highest form of love.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The only way we can love with the love of Christ is if we die to ourselves first.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

We must deny ourselves and follow Him. It is a daily dying to ourselves and it is the path to freedom and to Christlikeness.

Luke 9:23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

This life is only possible through His Spirit and by His Spirit. He will only lead you where He has gone before you. There is no fear in a life of dying to self and following Him. In your dying you will begin living and in your death others will find life.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Jesus went before us. He was crushed for our iniquities and by His scourging we are healed. He died for us.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

The Lord is pleased when we offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice. How is it seen by others? It is seen through our love for others as we are poured out as an offering to Him.

Isaiah 53:10-12 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

You have the opportunity to be like Jesus when you intercede for those who have sinned against you. You may not be able to bear their sins as Jesus did on the cross but when you pray “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”, you will be more like Him than you will ever know and others will see Jesus in you.

Luke 23:24 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

The greatest is love and those who love are the greatest.

I Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.