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9781449747923

Love the Bond of Perfection : An Extensive Study of Biblical Passages Pertaining to Marriage and Marriage-Related Issues

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781449747923

  • ISBN10:

    1449747922

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-07-03
  • Publisher: Author Solutions
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Summary

For the married person and for the person anticipating the prospect of marriage, a comprehensive study of the Bible, God's holy Word, pertaining to marriage and related issues is vitally important. That is the purpose of this book. Topics discussed include: What is love, and how does love require sacrifice? How can one sustain positive, romantic feelings for one's spouse year after year? How is meeting certain expectations of one's spouse important to the marriage relationship, and what does God's love require of a spouse if or when certain expectations are not met? What are the purposes and roles of man and woman, and of husband and wife? What does Song of Solomon say about marriage? What should singles know about the prospect of marriage, including choice of spouse, expectations, and child-rearing? How can one abstain from sexual immorality?

Excerpts

Glynn Wolfe of Blythe, California holds the record for being married (monogamously) the most times – twenty-nine times! His longest marriage lasted seven years and his shortest marriage lasted nineteen days. Twenty-four of the marriages reportedly ended in divorce and the other five ended due to death. Wolfe married his last wife, Linda Essox-Wolfe, after having known her for only one week. He died in 1997 at age eighty-eight while married to her, but she could not afford to fly to his funeral. What a contrast - the quick-committing but easily disillusioned Glynn Wolfe to the patient and devoted husband-to-be, Jacob. As love requires sacrifice, Jacob was willing to sacrifice seven years of his life in order to marry Rachel. He exercised great patience, seeing Rachel daily but not being able to have her as his bride until the seven years were completed. His love for Rachel was so great that the seven-year wait was not a burden to him; it seemed like only a few days. Furthermore, at the end of the seven years, because of the deceitfulness of Rachel's father, Laban, he also had to take her older sister, Leah, as his wife and then work for Laban seven additional years (though he did have Rachel, as well as Leah, as his wife during these next seven years). Many people today in their marriages could use a dose of such patience and endurance as Jacob displayed in his marriage. It takes patience to wait on God for the right person to come along, and it takes endurance when trials beset your marriage. But through the strengthening of Christ and the renewing of your mind by the Word of God, you can walk in patience and endurance as a spouse. What would it take for you and your spouse to maintain the type of love, patience, and endurance that Jacob displayed in his relationship with Rachel Jacob knew he wanted to marry Rachel after he had known her for only one month (verse 14). This is probably the closest biblical story to love at first sight. Why did Jacob so love Rachel?2 The only hint given by scripture was that "Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance" (verse 17). Her physical attractiveness was a large part of the reason. Physical attractiveness is a big deal to many, if not most, men. If a man falls in love because the woman is physically attractive, then it stands to reason that what helps the man remain in love is the continued physical attractiveness of his wife. Over the long term, as Proverbs 31:30 says, "beauty is passing." With aging can come wrinkles, aches, and pains in a spouse. Nevertheless, remaining in physical shape and looking your best is typically an important aspect in meeting the needs of your spouse. I encourage you to ask your spouse how you can meet his or her needs in terms of your physical appearance, and then to make the necessary changes, as painful as it may initially seem, in order to meet those needs. "...love is as strong as death..." (Song of Solomon 8:6). On August 17, 2010, the New York Times contained an article by Rod Nordland, entitled "In Bold Display, Taliban Order Stoning Death," which reported that in Kabul, Afghanistan, the Taliban ordered the first public stoning in nine years, killing a young couple who had eloped. Family members, as well as hundreds of neighbors, were involved in the stoning, and family had reportedly even tricked the couple to return home after they had fled. The victims, Khayyam (25 years old) and Siddiqa (19 years old) confessed in public to their relationship. It was reported that they said, "We love each other no matter what happens."3 As Khayyam and Siddiqa began their marriage with their hearts filled with great love for each other, hopefully most, if not all, of us also had great love in our hearts for our spouse on our wedding day. Would it not be wonderful if Christian husband and wife would keep that first love that they had for each other on their wedding day alive day by day and year by year, and even cause that love to grow? However, very often that first love diminishes as spouses fail in their efforts to meet each other's expectations. But God calls the husband and wife to cultivate a love for each other that "is as strong as death" (Song of Sol. 8:6). First, this means that love necessitates death to self. This is for the purpose of complete devotion to Christ as well as service, devotion, and edification to the spouse. In John 15:13, Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." You should demonstrate the greatest love possible toward your spouse by laying down your life for the benefit of your spouse. Do not permit selfishness and sinfulness to take root in your marriage. Eradicate such barriers. Do not seek to save your life in the midst of your marriage, but instead, lose your life for the sake of Jesus (Matt. 10:39), and lose your life for the sake of serving and blessing your spouse. Second, "love is as strong as death" means that love overcomes death.4 Through knowing Christ, one is entitled, on account of His redeeming love, to life beyond the grave – eternal life! So if the Christian husband or wife is required to literally lay down his or her life, then that is not loss but rather gain. Paul said, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil 1:21). So do not fear death, but rather fear Him who has the keys of Death and Hades – Christ. Why have a struggling, mediocre marriage when you can have an excellent marriage? Die to selfish ways in order to love your spouse. In 2008, Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher, from North Carolina, set the Guinness Record for being the world's longest-married living couple. They were married in 1924. In February 2010, Herbert was 104 years old and Zelmyra was 102. In Zelmyra's interview with the New Bern Sun Journal, she said that when they married, "He was not mean; he was not a fighter. He was quiet and kind. He was not much to look at, but he was sweet." They claim to never fight. Zelmyra also said that she is happy to yield the television to her husband whenever baseball comes on.5 The word "peace" comes to mind when I think of the Fishers. Webster's defines peace as "a state of harmony between people or groups; freedom from dissension... freedom from anxiety."6 The most important type of peace is having vertical peace – or peace with God, which stands in contrast to one's being an enemy of God because of one's unrepentant, depraved core self from which emanate wicked works. Such peace with our Maker occurs only through faith in Christ Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Rom. 5:1, Isa. 9:6), who died on Calvary's cross to redeem mankind from sin. Once we have achieved peace with God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, then we are equipped to be peacemakers. Matthew 5:9 says: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Again, Hebrews 12:14 says: "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord." Is there peace in your home? Are you a peacemaker with your spouse or are you a source of strife and stress with your spouse? Even if your spouse says or does something that initiates strife and stress, you are not to feed into such strife or retaliate, but rather you should defuse it with a peaceable reaction, peaceable words, and a forgiving heart. If you find yourself spiritually "in the flesh," I recommend that you not say a word. Rather, retreat and get "into the Spirit." When tempted with strife, speaking your mind when "in the flesh" always makes the problem worse. Instead, draw near to God and be a peacemaker (Matt. 5:9). Will you determine to be a peacemaker this week, especially in your home? "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely" (I Thess. 5:23a)!

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