Imagine

Imagine for a moment that you are married to your best friend. You share the same dreams and the same goals. You work together as a team, a seamless partnership, hand in glove. You communicate easily with each other. And you can talk about anything. In fact you talk about everything without fear or apprehension. The tone of your conversation is gracious and truthful. Your mate treats you like you’re special. They drop what they are doing when you need help and they assist you gladly. They would always rather spend time with you than anyone else. They think about you often. They call or email during the day just to let you know they are thinking about you. You look forward to going home and being together at the end of the work day. They call to let you know what time to expect them.

Holding Hands

When you walk through the front door they greet you with a smile that says they are glad to be together again. They drop unimportant things, or quickly complete important things, so they can devote their full attention to you. They’re genuinely interested in the events of your day.  They listen to you and encourage you. They have been praying for you since you parted early in the morning. They prepare a meal, or compliment the dinner you’ve been preparing. Or they invite you to eat out and ask your choice of restaurant. If you have children they inquire about progress, or update you on the challenges and victories in the children’s lives. You work together to do dishes and homework and any other tasks, so you can both enjoy the rest of the evening. You engage in meaningful conversation and create times of momentary refuge from phones, computers, and TV. You make it a priority that you both go to bed at the same time so you can have a few moments of pillow talk and prayer. When you reach out to hold your mate, they are attentive and move closer to you. They welcome intimacy and together you enjoy the experience of oneness. You fall asleep in each other’s arms.

Right about now I hope you’re saying to your spouse, “Look Honey, he’s talking about us!” I hope I have given a candid description of your marriage. And as you read these lines, you feel the affirmation of a life well lived and a job well done. I hope you derive a high level of satisfaction from the quality of character that your relationship reflects. And you recognize the work of God in your life and in your marriage. And I hope it challenges you, more and more, to be an excellent marriage partner.

The Marriage Feast is dedicated to encouraging and strengthening marriages.We hope you benefit from these pages.

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Winning the Lottery

Lottery TicketsEveryone has dreams of winning the lottery. But why? So we can quit our job and sleep in? So we can play golf all day or play video games in our pajamas? We have dreams of eating the foods we like to eat, wearing the clothes we like. Heck, we wouldn’t even have to wear clothes if we didn’t want to. Some of us even try to make deals with God by offering Him 10% if he’ll make all the arrangements. James says we ask, but we ask amiss that we may consume it on our own pleasures. James 4:3

Imaging hearing a knock at your door and receiving the news that a distant relative has died and left you a hundred million dollars. The only stipulation written in his will for you to keep all that money, is that you must remain happily married to your mate. Pretending to be happy will not be allowed. You must actually maintain a good quality marriage, the kind that when you leave for work each morning, you can’t wait to get home to your spouse. You have so much to talk about. You have plans to make. You have goals and dreams to share and fulfill. You have people to help, and projects to do together. Wouldn’t you make it the priority of your life to nurture your marriage? Wouldn’t you pay attention, study, practice, and do everything possible, if keeping your fortune depended on it?

Well, a rich relative has died and His will is for you to be rich. The apostle Peter tells us that we are heirs together of the grace of life. 1 Peter 3:7 And the way to make sure we get to keep those riches is we must grow to understand our spouse. And through that understanding we can serve them better, and be the right kind of encouragement to them.

At this point some husbands throw up their hands and say “I’ll never understand why my wife is the way she is.” And that may be true. But God wants us to take the time, and spend the energy to understand how different things affect our spouse, and then to use that understanding to help each other through life. This is one of the true riches of marriage.

Is She Hot?

A young man came to my office to ask about weddings. He was in a big hurry to get married. He began telling me about the woman of his dreams whom he had recently met, and asked if I would officiate their wedding. First I congratulated him. Then I asked him a question. In fact, I asked him the most important question when choosing a bride: Is she HOT? I know it sounds carnal. We all know that beauty is only skin deep, but I had to know, because the answer to this question would affect the rest of his life.

Adam lived in a perfect world; the environment was perfect and the climate was perfect. The food was delicious and his work was interesting and challenging. He had a perfect relationship with God. The Garden of Eden was paradise. What more could a man want? HD TV? No. Adam needed someone to share it with. If you’ve ever seen a beautiful sunset, and wished that someone was there to share it with you, then you know what I’m talking about. Thankfully God was not finished with his creation.

And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Gen 2:18) Can you imagine Adam praying PLEASE God, make her pretty. Because we all know how important it is that we marry someone who is attractive to us. Our first indication that Eve was HOT was when God saw everything He had made, and indeed it was very good.  (Gen 1:31)

AdamWe also know that she was HOT because there is something in the way Adam uses the word “now”. It is as if there should have been and exclamation point after the word “now” – as if to say FINALLY!

Adam did his best to find vocabulary to express his feelings (typical man). He said:

This is now bone of my bones” – She’s got bones that match my bones.

And flesh of my flesh” – She has beautiful flesh. (I want to touch her.     I want to hold her. I want to love her.)   (Gen. 2:23)

She’s not like all the others. She’s a perfect match for me. We’re a matched pair. She’s my mate!  A perfect fit!Adam and Eve

Do you remember the day you first laid eyes on your mate? The first conversation you had? Sometimes it’s love at first sight. Sometimes it’s a slow revelation. Your thoughts progress from “Could this be the one?” to “This could be the one!” to “I think I may be falling in love.” to “WO-MAN!  I AM in love!!!” The defining moment is exciting and scary and wonderful and perplexing all at the same time.

There is term that gold miners use: “He’s married the vein.” That’s when a prospector is no longer objectively evaluating the minerals to discover whether or not there is gold in the vein. He has crossed a threshold where now every mineral he finds, he interprets as proof of the presence of gold.

But being physically attracted is not the only important criteria for choosing a mate. You sometimes see announcements in the newspaper of couples celebrating 50 years of marriage, and they are often accompanied by a current photograph next to their wedding picture. Fifty years later, none of us will look the same. The apostle Peter emphasizes that it is the person you are inside that is important.

Wives…Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4)

Guys, the Lord wants you to have a HOT wife. But when choosing a wife, He wants you to put a premium on finding a wife that is HOT for the things of the Lord.

Look for a wife that loves Jesus more than she loves you. One who is passionate to live for Him even if you don’t hold up your end of the bargain. Then, if and when you fail, she will look to the Lord for direction as to how to respond to you. Don’t settle for a wife that is physically hot, but lukewarm towards the things of the Lord. Ladies, the same goes for you when choosing a husband.

Jesus said to the church of Laodicea, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot I will vomit you out of My mouth. Rev 3:15-1

I don’t recommend that you write this verse on an anniversary card, but I do recommend writing the exhortation on the tablet of your heart to get hot and stay HOT for the things of the Lord. It will make you attractive when you’re young, and will keep you attractive until you celebrate fifty years together and beyond.