WAY

MARRIAGE GOD'S

Marriage is honourable in all and the bed is undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4 KJV

Of all the scriptures pertaining to marriage this scripture seems to be the sum. Marriage at its onset is inherently honorable. What becomes of that marriage is ultimately up to the participants thereof. Of all the relationships entered into by a man and or a woman, aside from their relationship with God, the institution of marriage is the most sacred. In the eyes of the Lord, marriage is meant to last forever: to be an everlasting covenant, a never-ending vow. It can be compared to the relationship between Jesus and His church. The bible states: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in Everything (italicized for emphasis). Husbands, Love (Italicized for emphasis) your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:22-27 KJV

There are several items in this passage of scripture that I would like to take a look at. First, the relationship that exists between husband and wife is compared in all its aspects to that between Christ and His Church. Anyone at any time that as EVER experienced Christ can testify that the relationship that we share with our beloved Savior, is founded on the principle of LOVE. Love in and of itself is an action word If you tell a person that you love him or her, that proclamation requires demonstration. The bible states: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love (Italicized for emphasis) one to another. St John 13:25 KJV My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth (Italicized for emphasis). 1 John 3:18 KJV I chose the preceding verses, to emphasize the contrast of having love for

someone, and giving love to someone. People cannot benefit from love you don't give. If you merely have love for me and never give love to me, I like anyone who has ever been in that situation, feel a sense of confusion and disillusionment. On one hand you boast of your love for me, but on the other hand, that boasting is not supported with actions. It is absolutely essential to any healthy marriage, that there be a free flowing reciprocation of love in action. According to the word of God, the process of reciprocating love within a marriage begins with the husband. The word declares: Husbands, Love (Italicized for emphasis) your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Ephesians 5:25 KJV

Any moderate study of the bible will reveal that God extended his love toward us before we ever gave one thought to loving him. With this premise in mind, husbands are commanded to do the exact same thing; initiate the reciprocation of love within their marriage. Now I know what many of you are thinking: what does reciprocation mean? Simply put, reciprocation means I give you something and you give it right back to me. This exchange can be compared to the return on an investment. When an individual (husband) makes an investment (love), he looks for a return his investment. It is

important to understand that the thing being invested (love) represents the faith, trust, and future of the investor (husband). As the invested (wife), there is a known degree of responsibility to the investor (husband). That responsibility leads the invested (wife) to take what has been given (love), and work hard to meet or exceed the expectations of the investor (husband). With this working knowledge of the reciprocating process, let's talk about the investment being made. As previously stated, love is an action word. Webster defines love as - a deep profoundly tender passionate affection for a person of the opposite sex. In the Greek, love is defined in three words: Philos - The love of a friend, actively, fond, neighborly. Eros - The love of a lover, sensual, sexual. Agape - Love for everyone, without stipulation, showing due benevolence. Before I expound on the preceding, let me first give you scripture: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth- for your love is more better than wine. Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens love you! Take me away with you-let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers. We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine. How right they are to adore you!

I liken you, my darling, to a mare harnessed to one of the chariots of Pharaoh. Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver. While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night between my breasts. How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant. Behold. thou art fair, my love; behold. thou art fair; Thine eyes are as doves behind thy veil. Thy hair is as a flock of goats, That lie along the side of mount Gilead. Thy teeth are like a flock of ewes that are newly shorn, Which are come up from the washing. Whereof every one hath twins. And none is bereaved among them. Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, And thy mouth is comely. Thy

temples are like a piece of a pomegranate Behind thy veil. Thy neck is like the tower of David Builded for an armory, Whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, All the shields of the mighty men. Thy two breasts are like two fawns That are twins of a roe, Which feed among the lilies. Thou art all fair, my love; And there is no spot in thee. You have stolen my heart. my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice! Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like that of Lebanon. You are a garden locked up. my sister. my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. Song of Solomon, Chapters 1,2,5,8 Philio – The Love of Friend, Brother, Sister, or other Relative

In order for two people to enter into marriage, a foundation of respect, honesty, and communication has to be formed. In a real way, you have to become friends before you can become lovers. Often times when friendship is skipped. the consequence is lack of respect and communication. Friendship is the bond that sustains a relationship when the romantic fire has dwindled down. When you begin to understand your partner's likes and dislikes, goals, passions. and innermost workings, it helps you to . know him or her in a way that you otherwise will not. Surprisingly enough. friendship is one of the components that set the stage for life long

companionship. If you've ever observed a couple who've been together for a number of years, and can still find pleasure in spending time with each other. you've just observed true friendship. Friendship is the very foundation of our Christian experience. For the love of our Lord was demonstrated through friendship. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. St. John 15:13 KJV As husbands we've been commanded to lay down our lives for our wives. It is immature to think that we can deny our charge, and expect our wives to obey

their charge. There are certain things as a man that in order for there to be peace in our home and in our marriage we have to lay down. It is a process of self-denial and self-deprivation, but the benefit of laying it down is less of what you want in change for more of what she (wife) wants to give you. Eros – Love displayed through physical contact, sexual or erotic desire. The word Eros is the derivative from where we get the word erotic or erotica. Erotic - means to arouse or satisfy sexual desire. If you go back to the genesis, you will see that we as humans were created to be sexual beings. We were created to be aroused by our mate. and reciprocate that arousal back to them. The perversion as it relates to sex becomes a factor, when you look at the account of the fall of man. The very nature of man became sinful, which means the sensual nature of man became sinful as well. What was once a sacred act to be perfonned by a man and his wife, quickly became an act perfonned by the married and unmarried alike. Sex is the ultimate fonn of intimacy. It can be compared to the worship of God.

In the Old Testament, Solomon’s temple was laid out as follows:

Just as the temple had an outer court where the brazen altar was located, a inner court where the priests ministered, and holies of holies reserved only for the high priest, your temple (a woman's body) does as well. Your outer court is the clothing you wear; your outer extremities. Everyone can see your outer court; those close to you and those who don't know you. Your inner court is your naked body, only your husband can see it. Your holies of holies would be your womb, and only your priest (husband) can enter it! When your priest does enter your holies of holies and begins to make passionate love to you, the two of you should complement each other. Your bodies should move in concert with each other: you crossing his "T's', and he dotting your "I’s". The bible states: Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. Proverbs 5: 18-19

KJV

One of the problems in many marriages today, as it relates to sexual relations, is defrauding (withholding sex). What many married couples don't realize is that their bodies do not belong to them; it belongs to their mate. The bible states: The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power over his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency .. I Corinthians 7:4-5 KJV If what the bible says is true (and it is), then withholding sex from your husband or wife is a sin. Not only is it a sin against God, but a sin against your husband or wife as well. One of the joys of being married is making love (having sex), without guilt. According to the word of God, in marriage, the bed

is undefiled. I believe that the love that resides in a husband for his wife (viceversus) is what is expressed when love is made between them. On this premise we understand that if great love is to be made, it is preceded by a good working friendship. Foreplay (before play) is a direct representation of your ability to connect with your husband or wife. That connection starts in getting along. If there is constant fighting, arguing, and bickering due to a lack of respect and communication, then foreplay will be non-existent. As a rule, foreplay should begin hours even days before love making ever takes place. It can be found in a sensual phone conversation between a wife and her husband while he's away on business. It can be found in a long goodbye kiss as he's leaving out the door for work.

Wherever you find time for foreplay in a marriage, just find the time. You have to keep the fire of your marriage burning bright as the morning sun. This information is not meant to be the deciding work as it relates to marriage. It's my attempt to share with you what I've learned through the word of God, and life application.

Agape – Unconditional, unmerited expression of compassion and unwavering commitment I've often wondered, what keeps a wife by her husband's side, when due to

health problems he's only a shadow of the man he was when she married him. Or what keeps a husband with his wife when breast cancer has disfigured her busty bosom; and left her physically embarrassed and emotionally scared. What I've come to learn is that the same thing that keep's a loving wife holding her husband's hand, even after the ventilator has ceased to pump air into his lungs, is the same thing that has kept them all: Agape Love. Simply put the word Agape means to love unconditionally. It is no respecter of persons, things, or abilities. It is the notion to give all that you have until such time as you are released from your giving. It is loyalty in action. It is honesty in deed. Agape Love is the God kind of love. The bible says: The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3 KJV Agape love will compel you to do things for your husband or wife, that you were otherwise convinced not to do, or were too scared to explore. It will compel you to change your mind, your attitude, or your emotions for the greater good of your marriage. Agape love helps two souls to literally become one. You begin to empathize with your husband (or wife), and he empathizes with you. You seek to understand his (or her) spirit and are motivated to strive with him over and above his request of you.

Agape love will compel you to bite your tongue, hold your piece, laugh at his jokes, eat her cooking, or watch a movie with your husband (or wife) that you particularly don't care for. The bible is replete with instances where agape love was demonstrated. On story in particular is that of the Good Samaritan: But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. St. Luke 10:33-35 KJV Marriage God's way is a relationship where the husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church. Furthermore, a wife renders voluntary submission to her husband as unto the Lord. Many women have issues with submission. All that I will say regarding submission is that when a man is obedient to his command to love his wife as Christ Loves the church and gave himself for it, then that man is worthy to receive submission from his wife, as the church submits to Christ as our Lord.

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