THE TEN COMMITTMENTS OF MARRIAGES Marriage was designed by God. Then, why do so many maria
THE TEN COMMITTMENTS OF MARRIAGES
Marriage was designed by God. Then, why do so many mariage relationships go steadily downhill to ultimate destruction and ruin?
I believe it is because before marriage, many couples never made in their hearts certain foundational committments that can strengthen and sustain marriages for this life we are called to live in. In many more cases the couple arrive in marriage a
s non-Christian, and fail to adjust their thinking AFTER they receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. We read secular and non-secular reports that link the failure of marriages to money, sex, children or that old-time favorite of the world - incompatibility
! What most us fail to look at is that problems are only symptoms for the real failure.
In a recent "ordeal" that I found I had subjected myself to in my marriage, I found myself talking with many couples, and found that they have not developed one or more of ten basic commitments, which I have just recently found in my own life. I o
bserved that the majority of these couples were destined or were now experiencing severe difficulties that should never need come up. Husbands and wives need to grow into these commitments as the need for them becomes clear through the teaching of the Hol
y Spirit. But God in His wisdom granted that you should be reading this or hearing thisat a time that the Spirit has appointed for you to hear or read.
Most couples didn't fully understand these godly concepts before they got married. Many don't take the time to understand them, now.
These ten commitments, which must be made in the heart - for the heart is "the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23)-and by faith, since faith is the only way to please God (Hebrews 11:6), are as follows:
COMMITMENT #1 To Commit your marriage and your family to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many marriages begin with a vow to be under the authority of God, but then fail to follow the promises on this vow and others that the marriage vow ask. We are to make a decision and commit our family to God in a deep and meaningful way. "Choose y
e this day whom ye will serve, but for me and my house - we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15). Only by having Him as the head of both husband and wife will the marriage prosper.
COMMITTMENT #2: To grow in Christ for the Rest of My Life.
Not every Christian has decided to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18). Instead, Christians often think that they have already arrived or that there is "nothing wrong with me." There is nothing wro
ng with a two year old acting like a two year old, but the child should eventually grow out of that behavior. In the same way, none of us has matured enough that our present state should be classified "mature" we are only able to be "maturing." We must se
ek growth. We must seek to grow. The result of a lifetime commitment to growth in Christ is that we become more mature in every area of life.
In marriage, which demands increasing maturity in character, responsibility, and wisdom, non-growing Christians cannot make it. Their pride will not allow them to accept the learning, correction, rebukes, and questions that require them to humble
themselves. Only an open and teachable person can develop the characteristics needed to make a good marriage partner.
COMMITMENT #3: To stay committed to my marriage for life, and to work to solve all problems that arise.
This commitment provides the security of permanence and keeps us from running away from problems. Either we face up to them and solve them, or we live with them.
Christians and Christian leaders are part of the climbing divorce rate in our society, but God still requires faithfulness to our marriage vows (Malachi 2:14). He declares, "I Hate Divorce" (Verse 16).
Does this enslave me as a Christian? No! instead it give security in the midst of a world in which "you will have trouble," as Christ stated (John 16:33). And it means living in hope that no problem is too great to be solved.
God is working in marriage to fulfill His own desires as well as all married Christians. He is "seeking godly offspring" (Malachi 2:15) from our homes, and therefore He requires faithfulness in marriage.
COMMITMENT #4: To be faithful to my mate in both mind and action.
Unfaithful actions can be headed off by commitment to think romantically ONLY about the husband or wife. (Matthew 5:28).
To decide, "My mate is the only one I will allow myself to think about in this way" will cut off a lot of problems before they begin. The result in marriage will be a greater level of mutual trust.
COMMITMENT #5: To practice and allow to be practiced the "help meet" of Genesis.
Mankind has heaped years and years of garbage upon the alter of marriage by downgrading the role of the woman in marriage. Many women have allowed themselves to live under these conditions in the interest of peace. Mostly to no avail.
God created woman to complete man, which transmits the idea that man was lacking in some areas, and this lacking has existed since man began and continues today. Too many men refuse to accept this gift from God for completion and "macho" it out tr
ying to be all capable and "support the little lady!" Well, God, in His wisdom set a wife on the life of a husband to allow them to be presented to Him as "One Flesh" and complete in their TOGETHERNESS!
This does not mean that a wife simply takes orders - it means that SOMETIMES she is the ONLY messenger God has to get through some thick skulls of some husbands. The wife must be able to deliver rebuke, reproof and exhortation in accordance with t
he leading of the Holy Spirit; However, it is IMPORTANT that the wife recognize that her responsibility ENDS when she delivers the message! God has ordained that the Husband be the head of the family - not the dictator - the HEAD "just as Christ is the he
ad of the church" and with the same servant manner and sacrificial attitudes of the Lord Jesus Christ! When the husband has COMPLETELY lived up to the standards set by God, THEN he can dictate! Until then God has seen fit to have another person come along
side and travel the road of life with him, and he had better listen to what she says. Most of the time she can be the KEY to success and failure to listen can result in failure.
The wife must realize that she is commanded to obey her husband. Not blindly, but in accordance with the Word of God. God has set up a plan for marriage and families and the plan works to the good of those who follow the precepts, and disaster res
ults in straying from the plan. The wife should OFFER her advice and admonitions in LOVE and not in confrontation. Communicate to him in the same manner as God communicates to you, with overwhelming Love - AGAPE love! If the husband wants to do something
you don't really care to do, and it is not against the laws of God, then God ask that you follow your husband (I Corinthians 11:3)! If you follow his request just as you would follow the request of Jesus Christ, then you will be blessed in ways that you n
ever thought possible. Trust in the Lord.
COMMITTMENT #6: To communicate-NO MATTER WHAT!
Most people learn not to reveal many of their thoughts and feelings because these are personal and so easily judged by others - "You shouldn't feel that way." This fear of judgement from others brings about an attitude of "I'll never mentions that
But just as nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39), so nothing should stop us from communicating in marriage; silence, tears,explosions of anger, defiance, defensiveness, the children, or lack of time.
This is a commitment to communicate not just facts and accomplishments, but feelings, thoughts, problems, and failures. Both the positive and the negatives in our lives need expression.
COMMITMENT #7: To be a Servant
God created both men and women to be servants of God, of each other, and of their neighbors. The husband and wife are equal in dignity and worth, and work together as "joint heirs of the grace of life" (I Peter 3:7,RSV) to achieve common goals.
Yet each fulfills different roles. The husband takes responsibility as the leader in the marriage (I Corinthians 11:3), but his success begins and ends with a servant's attitude. A willingness to serve each other will bring about mutual dependence
COMMITMENT #8: To assume in everything that my mate's intentions are good.
We are told not to impute evil to God (James 1:13), and in marriage we are likewise to assume the best about our partner's intentions. Some of our mate's actions may not seem to be good, but we must believe that the intent was good.
Let us give our wife/husband the benefit of the doubt. He or she may be immature in some ways and may act out of jealousy or revenge-but even these are cries for help. By avoiding the accusations, each of us will have far less grounds for conflict
s and hurt feelings.
COMMITTMENT #9: To forgive and forget the transgressions of our mates.
The hardest act for a human to do is admit to a wrong and ask forgiveness. To be met with a list of acts of contrition that must be followed before forgiveness is "granted" creates a schism in the very foundation of marriage. To compound this erro
r by "dredging up past offenses" is a direct sin against the very Word of God when God tells us to keep "no record of wrongs" (I Corinthians 13:5). This sin is not reserved for any single partner - it is practiced by both. It is sin. It is to be confessed
and repented and washed from us. Then the healing of God's power will be able to be received!
COMMITTMENT #10: LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
It may seem strange that I make this the last of the commitments, yet it has been the critical facet of each of the previous nine.
The "norm" heard in the divorce courts is "I just don't feel any love for ..... anymore!" The world teaching that Love is a feeling. The Bible tells us that Love is a verb - an ACTION.
We are not called to "feel" love, we are COMMANDED to LOVE! We are to love our spouse, and sometimes we must love them in spite of our "feelings" and "please God and not man (ourselves)"(Acts 4:19). We must commit all the other nine committments i
n our heart and attach this tenth one to every one of the other nine. Only by His power can we join the Lord when He told us to "be of good cheer for I have overcome the world" and we need so much to be overcomers. Allow the world and our own families see
the Rock that our lives CAN be founded on. Let us enjoy the life "and life more abundantly" by following the plan that God laid out for us in His Word, The plan that many times counters our own plan because it requires the Lordship of Jesus Christ and no
t ourselves. It requires that a husband Serve his wife! It requires that we ALL have the servant nature that sees us washing feet in the spiritual manner that Jesus provided such a physical example of. Let us each ask our spouse the simple question that c
an very well blow our present "ship" out of the water of the world and settle us on a Rock, the Rock of Jesus Christ. That question is "What are your REAL needs and how do you think I could be more able to supply them?"
Let us pray a prayer that God will guarantee to change our lives for the "ultimate" better. I say "ultimate" because it may be a difficult time to go through, but a phrase that seems to hold in my life - "No Pain, No Gain!"
The prayer: "Almighty and Holy God, I come before Your throne with the knowledge that I am unworthy, except through the price that Jesus paid for me to have this privledge. I desire to be conformed to the image of Your Son, Father, and ask that yo
u change me. That You will use the searchlight of Your TRUTH to probe deep into my life and my heart and my mind. That You will find those areas of darkness that even I am not conscious of existing within me. I know that I have difficulty facing my imperf
ections, but I know that if I do not face them, You will not be able to "complete the work that You started" and bring me to perfection "just as You are perfect."
Father find me useful. Cleanse me and make me whole and a tool of purity for Your Kingdom and Your good pleasure. I sumit all to Your authority, and commit all these ten items to you that Your Holy Spirit will make it possible to make these ten an
d all other committments that You deem fit to be my lifestyle. I ask this in the name of my personal Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ."
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank