Dec. 16. Christian Living in Marriage

Gen. 2:21-25; Mt. 19:3-9

Marriage is an important subject for today’s society. Unfortunately, many choose to ignore that fact and treat it as an activity one may try and if it doesn’t work, head to the divorce court.

I am not a trained marriage counselor. Having been married more than 61 years, I have seen much around me and have many years of experience from which to draw. I shall list several points that should be seriously considered by a couple contemplating getting married.

1. Marriage should not be rushed into. The couple must not blindly rush into it without getting to know each other over and beyond the physical attractions they may have. He may see her as a beauty queen and she may view him as a handsome hunk, but in the everyday demands of living, it’s what is inside of each person that must be enduring.

2. The first thing that one should look for in a mate is whether he/she is a Christian—not a denominational “Christian,” but a New Testament Christian. Personally, I have seen the heartaches that Christian and non-Christian mates have endured. Most times, the Christian is never able to convince the non-Christian to accept the true undivided body of Christ and leave the so-called pleasures of the world or their denominational traditions. They should be sure that they are together on the true church as described throughout the book of Acts and also in the letters of Paul.

3. However, there are many righteous Christian men and women who have personality traits that are incompatible with one another.

A. Does she have mannerisms or quirks that rub him the wrong way? Or does he have traits that annoy her? It’s easy during courtship when both are apart for hours, days or even extended periods of time to dismiss those things as trivial and unimportant. After marriage, when they are living under the same roof, those “little annoyances” can become wedges that can seriously damage their relationship.

B. Does he put her down or does she put him down when something is not done the “way I would have done it?”

4. Marriage is for life. How can a couple remain married that long? Consider the following points.

A. COMMITMENT

(1) She’s number one in his life. He is number one in her life. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24)

(2) Don’t enter into marriage with the attitude of “if it doesn’t work out, we’ll just divorce.” Marriage is a lifetime commitment. “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mt. 19:6)

(3) Marriage is a partnership. What’s his is hers and what’s hers is his.

(4) One of the areas of sharpest discontent in marriages is in the matter of finances.

a. Have money in the bank and a steady source of income to live and pay the bills.

b. Make a plan for the family to live with only one income.

c. Be sure that there is sufficient insurance in the event that the “whatever unthinkable” happens.

d. Get a copy of a good financial planning book and both he and she read it before marriage.

e. Start day one or as soon as possible with a joint bank account. ALL of his money and ALL of her money is in “our” account.

f. Prepare an annual budget and stick to it unless there is a need to make an adjustment. Work together to make any adjustments. List all income and expenses at their expected dates.

g. Break the annual budget into a monthly spending plan.

B. HARD WORK

(1) Don’t go home to Mama if problems arise—and they will!

(2) Work out disagreements without involving others.

(3) Consult a PROFESSIONAL counselor if needed.

5. There are many passages in the Bible that relate to daily living. Three of those are:

A. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15)

B. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and these things shall be added to you.” (Mt. 6:33)

C. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

These are just a few general thoughts to consider. It is imperative that a matter as serious as marriage be given utmost study and prayer before being entered.

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