A Video Every Engaged Couple Should See

I believe in premarital counseling. Young couples need all the help they can get.

They need to understand what their vows really mean: “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish; till death do us part.”

Down the marital road troubles will come. What then? Will the vows hold?

Sara and I stood before Ray Beeson on July 11, 1969, as he officiated at our wedding. Ray has been married to my sister Doris for 67 years.

Now Doris has advanced Alzheimer’s, as did my other sister Sue Porter who died last April.

Please watch the attached video of Ray and Doris as they go through this hard but blessed experience . . .

Together.

 

Four Biblical Purposes of Marriage

If the Lord permits, Sara and I will celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary this July. It’s been good—very good!

I’m so blessed to have had Sara in my life all these years. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22).

Why marry?

The Bible offers two options: 1) being married or 2) remaining single. Each has its own advantages (1 Corinthians 7). Whether to marry is an individual decision.

Peter, for example, was married; Paul was not. There’s a place for both in God’s kingdom.

But if we choose to marry, we need to understand God’s purposes for the marriage relationship. The following purposes are not necessarily in order of importance.

Purpose #1: Procreation

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD . . .” (Psalm 127:3).

The sexual union as God made it is good (Genesis 1:27-28, 31). He created sex to be enjoyed by a husband and wife within the covenant of marriage.

No other sexual relationship has His blessing: neither premarital sex, nor adultery, nor homosexuality, nor intercourse of any other kind (Hebrews 13:4).

Purpose #2: Companionship

Before God formed Eve, He said of Adam, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). And He did!

God made male and female different from one another biologically, emotionally, etc. Each brings something unique to the relationship.

Purpose #3: Nurturing Children

Just as each contributes something distinctive to the marital relationship, so they also do for their children. Boys and girls need both a male role model and a female role model.

Although many single moms and dads are wonderful parents, children thrive best when they have two parents who both model and teach God’s word to their children (Proverbs 6:20).

Purpose #4: Avoiding Temptation

In his long discussion of marriage (1 Corinthians 7), Paul distinguishes between those who have a gift for remaining single and those who would do better to marry (vv. 8-9).

“. . . because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband” (v. 2).

A couple should not deprive one another of intercourse, “except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (vv 3-5).

Since God designed intercourse exclusively for marriage, it serves as the only legitimate means of satisfying sexual desires. Therefore frequency of intercourse helps prevent immorality.

God’s Plan

As with every other area of life, when we honor and observe God’s will for marriage, we will be blessed.

God truly wants us to enjoy happy, lasting marriages. And we can.

He’s told us how.

happy family-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Applying Biblical Principles to Marriage

Mutual interaction

Have you seen husbands and wives take digs at each other in public? On the other hand, have you observed couples who treat each other with utmost courtesy, respect, and mutual affection?

Of course, how they treat each other when no one else is around counts for a whole lot too!

Marriage enhancers

A concept that would revolutionize many a marriage is this: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her . . . . 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 . . .” (Ephesians 5:25, 28-29).

Another marriage-enhancing principle is the Golden Rule: “. . . however you want people to treat you, so treat them . . .” (Matthew 7:12). Why shouldn’t this apply as well to marriage as anywhere else?

The Second Commandment says much the same thing: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). My wife is my closest neighbor. Shouldn’t I love her as myself?

Behavior that boomerangs

The paradox is that selfishness not only hurts one’s mate, but oneself as well. Why would a right-thinking husband want to hurt his wife—physically or emotionally? What could he possibly gain by that?

We must work at our marriages if our marriages are to work.

The more consistently we practice these principles, the happier our marriages will be. It just makes sense.

The same God who gave us marriage also teaches us how to treat one another.

Has what we’ve done so far not worked? Then how about giving His way a try?

happy couple-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Making It Last

A woman we know mentioned waiting five years before purchasing a wedding gift—to have some assurance the marriage will last. I don’t know if she really does that, or if she was simply making a point.

So what prevents “I do” from becoming “I’m done!”?

We must keep God first in our marriage.

Where both husband and wife are devoted to God, the success of their marriage is practically guaranteed.

Why? Because both are submitting to God’s standards, such as forgiving one another, serving one another, and speaking the truth in love.

We must make up our minds to stay together.

This is what God wants for marriage (Matthew 19:1-9).

We must not even entertain the thought of divorce.

Instead, together we figure out some way to make it work! It just has to!

Marriage: too precious to throw away!

family-tagged

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If You Don’t Remember Anything Else About Your Wedding . . . .

More than a happy occasion

A wedding is both joyous and serious.

Question: What is the most important part of the ceremony? Answer: The exchange of vows.

The “I do” is a binding commitment each makes to the other, to stay together for the duration.

The only statute of limitations is “until death do us part.”

Seeing marriage through God’s eyes

As the couple make their solemn pledges, God and their friends are witnesses to this transaction.

God takes their promises seriously, and so should we. The exchange of vows is no place for silliness or frivolity. It is a holy transaction and must never be taken lightly!

“What therefore God has joined together,” Jesus said, “let no man separate” (Matthew 19:6).

Unless both bride and groom are determined to maintain this mutual commitment, what value are their photogenic smiles?

wedding couple-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Violin Maker

From sweet to sour

After putting the finishing touches on an especially fine violin, he then crafted an elegant bow.

What sweet music they made together!

violin-tagged

One day, however, their “music” sounded more like a screech.

“I don’t like what I hear,” said the Violin Maker. “What’s wrong?”

“She rubs me the wrong way,” complained the violin.

“He’s so high-strung!” said the bow.

“Remember,” said the Violin Maker, “how beautiful you once sounded?” “Yes,” said the violin. “I remember,” sighed the bow.

“Why not treat each other the way you’d like to be treated? Try it for one week, and see if the music doesn’t come back again.”

From sour to sweet

It was hard, but by week’s end, they were playing sweet melodies together—happier than ever.

And so was their Maker.

(Genesis 2:18-24; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Peter 3:7)

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The Typo

In a study Bible I found a reference to “the scaredness of the marriage vows.” Scaredness?

This brings to mind the July evening in 1969 when Sara and I faced the preacher in front of a gathering of family and friends. Because of all I’d been taught about the permanence and significance of the marriage covenant, my palms were sweaty, and I kept telling myself, “I must not faint!”

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To God, marriage vows really matter!

Our society is hurting because of lightly-taken, easily-broken marriage vows. God intends for these vows to be kept! (Malachi 2:13-16; Matthew 19:6)

How much do they matter to us?

Could brides and grooms could use a bit more “scaredness” when they say, “I do”?

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