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With this Ring …

December 19, 2014

wedded-blissOur society has set idyllic vignettes of love and adoration leading up to marriage and then slams every aspect of ‘being married’ after the vows are said which further helps to unravel the tapestry of ‘holy matrimony’.  There is so much to be said about marriage and I can assure you (as can my wife) I’m no expert, but I’m going to address the topic anyway. So buckle up and lets start this bumpy ride. This will be a three-part series and I hope you’ll stick with me to the end to get the full message.  If you don’t bother hanging in there for all of them, you may come away thinking my view is terribly distorted.  (You’re entitled to that opinion only after reading all three posts.)

Throughout this series of articles I will speak in generalities unless otherwise specified.  For instance, many domestic chores such as cooking or laundry are done by wives while landscaping and car repairs are generally done by men.  This is not always true I know. I can cook a good meal and you would not want me working on your car!  So unless I get very specific, please remember these are generalities and listen to the Lord if He convicts you along the way.

Marriages struggle for many different reasons; love, respect, finances, family commitment, sex, and honesty are prime examples. I’ll focus on three of the more obvious in this series of posts.

In this first of three blog posts let’s deal with an issue that generally directed towards the wives (men, your turn is coming, so don’t feel so confident or smug).

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Women dream of their wedding day for years before it ever happens.  They may or may not know who their ‘Prince Charming’ will be, but they imagine he’ll be handsome, smart, rich, witty, but most importantly, will love her unconditionally forever and ever.  They can picture the type of dress they want to be married in, where the wedding will be, and who will be her bridesmaids.  She might even imagine what her cake and the reception would be like and the romantic getaway destination for their honeymoon.

Guys don’t really spend that much time thinking about their tuxedo, what her dress will look like or the ceremony.  No, when they start thinking of their wedding day they fast forward through all that ‘junk’ and skip right to thoughts of the honeymoon.  And it doesn’t matter where he’s going to end up; it could be Hawaii, Cabo San Lucas, or Squinty’s Hourly Motel just outside the outside of town.

He’s not going to be concerned with how long it took to apply her makeup or how much she spent at the hair salon.  He just wants to get to a room, close the door and get it on.  God designed men (generally speaking) to have a higher libido than women.  Men are hunters.  Men take what they want.  Men are men and enjoy the conquest.  There’s so much more a man should be about, but at base, this is how we are and think.  Close the door, start stripping, and let’s do what I’ve been waiting my whole life to do!  We approach marriage as the licence to finally have as much sex as we could ever want in the same way we approach our cable tv shows — On Demand.

And sadly, many times both men and women find themselves married and completely disillusioned after discovering their hopes and dreams don’t jive with real life.  Wives get tired of feeling like they’ve married a hormonal 15-year-old boy who can’t seem to pick up after himself and husbands quickly grow frustrated with excuses of ‘not tonight, I have a headache’ or ‘I have to get up early tomorrow’ or the excuse of the day.

Genesis 2:18 — Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (ESV)

Proverbs 12:4 — An excellent wife is the crown of her husband. (NLT)

Proverbs 18:22 — The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD. (NLT)

Proverbs 19:14b — but only the Lord can give an understanding wife. (ESV)

It’s obvious that God did not want man to be alone.  He gave him someone to share his life, spend time with him, to help, care, and love each other.  Women are often called the fairer sex or better half because they are our missing part.  Ask any man who’s been happily married and he’ll tell you just how unbalanced his life would be without his mate.  We need them and God provided man with a woman to be by his side.  And before you start picking up rocks to throw, I’m not referring to them as property or material, but truly our helpmates — a cherished part of our being.

But when sin entered the world things went awry for both sexes.  Since that time things have been a mess and our marriages are no different.  Men don’t want to take responsibility for much of anything and women want to fight for control of everything.  And the battles ensue.

Genesis 3:16b — Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you. (ESV)

Proverbs 5:18-19 — Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe.  Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. (ESV)

Song of Solomon 1:2 — Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine; (ESV)

A husband’s desire is to be for his wife.  And hers for him.  He should have no need to look elsewhere.  He should have no need for his eyes to wander.  He should have no need to lust.  He’s to delight himself with his wife.  Her body is to be his delight and her love intoxicating!  When was the last time your husband became drunk on your love?

I mentioned earlier how a man’s drive is usually significantly higher than a woman’s and that is often where the battle starts.  Men don’t get what they want/need, women fight to usurp authority and use sex as a tool of control, and marriages fall apart often because of sexual problems that lead to neglect, frustration, anger, desperation, and even adultery.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5 — The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (ESV)

Let me be abundantly clear here: depriving your spouse (husband or wife) of sex is a sin.  There’s no getting around it.  You can’t even use the “but Paul said it was ok for a time” excuse because Paul also added “by agreement” and for prayer, but usually when spouses are told “NO” it’s not with both being in agreement OR is there any prayer.

Men have enough issues becoming Godly men without being undermined at home in a relationship that was supposed to be for our betterment and protection.  Your spouse should not have to beg for sex and then harbor resentment because you decided your needs superseded theirs.

Imagine building a house in Florida and not doing some serious geological research on where your spending all of your money.  You build a nice $400,000 home, go off to work, and come home only to find it’s fallen through a sink hole and the entry way is about 30 feet below where it should be.  Pulling your car into the garage is going to be a bit more difficult than expected.

That’s what happens in a marriage where one spouse uses sex as a weapon of control.  Sex was never meant to be used to hurt, manipulate, or control.  Instead it was given to husbands and wives as a wedding gift from God Himself who created it to be enjoyable!  It’s to be enjoyed by both the husband and the wife.

It amazes me that a wife will cry and belittle her “lousy husband” for stepping out on their marriage and yet when the mirror is held up to the marriage she has done nothing to meet his needs and has made his life much more difficult than it ever should have been.  This in no way excuses the husbands behavior since he is still subject to God’s word and is to live a life completely surrendered to Christ in both thought and action.  He will be held accountable to the Lord for every sinful deed he does and all actions that did not glorify the Lord.

You start talking to anyone who has these issues and the blame game starts right up.

  • I would, but my husband doesn’t treat me right.
  • My husband doesn’t help out around the house.
  • We just did it ‘x‘ weeks ago (or months). (If he’s upset, trust me, his accounting in this area is probably better than yours)
  • He’s unreasonable with his demands.
  • He wants it all the time (no, he asks all the time because there are too many “no” answers).
  • My husband expects me to do all the work and take care of the kids and …

Those are all serious things that need to be discussed and worked out with your husband.  But God didn’t say, “Hey, meet your husband’s needs.  Well, unless he isn’t … ”  We’re very quick to excuse our sin because of someone else’s sin.

One of the things I’ve never understood is the mindset of “I’m not giving him sex and I’m also going to punish him if his eye wanders or he flirts back when a women flirts with him.  How dare he try to find something outside of our relationship.”  Really?  Try meeting his needs so there isn’t a void in his life that sets him up for failure.

1 Corinthians 7:5c — you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (ESV)

God put that in the bible to show you how to help protect your marriage; to protect one another from temptations.  Go ahead and read that again.  But in many cases, we set our spouses up for failure and then are quick to blame them and blast them to everyone on Facebook, church, or wherever a gossiping ear is bent.

So what should you do?  First, repent.  Ask the Lord to forgive you for not honoring Him by loving your spouse the way He instructed.  Understand that your response to your husband is not to be based on his actions, but by your obedience to the Lord.  Second, trust God to bring about the changes in your husband so he becomes a Godly man who knows how to love God, you, and the family.

In truth, most marital problems that lead to issues such as these have two sides and in the next issue we’ll deal with the flip side that could help mitigate some of these issues — because men have some serious problems, too! (Men, pay attention and read the next post if you hope to see positive changes at home.)

Until next issue, surprise your husband and remove sex from the hostage situation it’s become.  Learn to relax, trust, and grow together so your marriage will bring honor to God and be a positive example of a loving Christians marriage to others.

— Pastor Rick

 


I recommend the following books for further reading on Christian Marriages:

Real Marriage — by Mark and Grace Driscoll
When Sinners Say “I Do” — by Dave Harvey
His Needs: Her Needs — by Willard F. Harley, Jr.
Married. Happily. — by Greg Laurie

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