PRESENT TRUTHS and PRINCIPLES

 CONCERNING MARRIAGE

BY:  TROY NICHOLS

INTRODUCTION

I realize that as we get into this series on marriage that the flesh of both husbands and wives are going to be touched and dealt with.  However, as God’s minister, I can’t let that influence me wherein I would compromise what the word has to say concerning the subject.  With that said, I would like to read you an excerpt from an email I received this week that will set the tone for this teaching.

The Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus, and the New Testament apostles all had something in common: They rocked the boat.  They challenged their sinful societies.  They called the people of God to account–and often sealed their message with their own blood.

The Lord hasn’t changed.  God’s leaders are called to rock the boat. We as leaders and believers in the body of Christ are not called to coexist with our sinful society.  We are called to confront it.  We are not called to a life of comfort.  We are called to a life of conflict. 

Following Jesus doesn’t mean catering to our selfish desires.  It means crucifying them.  Are you ready to walk in the footsteps of Jesus?  Before you answer to quickly remember that the world hated Jesus.  He made people feel uncomfortable.  He exposed sin.  He rebuked unrighteousness.  He would not compromise.  He would not hold back.  And he was nailed to a cross by a godless world.

Jesus was rejected; we want to be respected.  Jesus was regarded as radical; we want to be recognized as reasonable.  Jesus was accused of having demons; we are acclaimed for having degrees.  Jesus was put out; we long to be taken in.  Jesus put no stock in the praise of man; we thrive on it.  No wonder we make so little impact in the world in which we live.

Why was John the Baptist beheaded? Why was Stephen stoned?  Was it because they shared the four spiritual laws with their friends?  Was it because they told their friends they could have a better life if they would ask Jesus in their heart?  Was it because they promised prosperity and plenty to those who would tithe in their ministry?  No, it was because they preached a confrontational gospel.  

  •                   To confront simply means to come face to face with or to encounter.  Thus, one who preaches the Gospel of the Kingdom will bring you face to face with the King (Jesus).  The reason this Gospel is fought against so hard by many is the fact that they have set themselves up as King and therefore utterly detest another (Jesus) ruling their lives.
  •                   The western church at large has settled for another gospel.  They have settled for gospel LITE instead of gospel LIGHT.  Simply being, they have settled for a gospel that takes it easy on them with no kick or conviction.  They have settled for a gospel with no light in order that they can continue on as they are without anyone discovering them.
  •                   I am reminded of 2 Cor 11:4 which reads, “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 
  •                   Note the threefold revelation; 1) Another Jesus in Outer Court.  2) Another spirit in the Holy Place.  3) Another gospel (not the gospel of the Kingdom) in the Most Holy Place.  If you receive the True Jesus, it will be known in the end when you come to the Most Holy Place for your life will be surrendered to the King (Jesus) and not your FLESH! 

James 1:21-24 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  (See other translation below for these verses)

So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!  Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.  But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God–the free life!-even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.

  •                   As the minister delivers the Living Word of God, he or she is in essence putting a mirror in front of you and enabling you to see yourself in the light of the word being spoken.  Therefore, as we begin to look into the Word of God concerning marriage, you will see the condition of your marriage as the Lord sees it.
  •                   Note what James says.  Lay apart all… – receive the engrafted word – which is able to save your souls.  Are you willing to lay aside all that the Lord reveals in your marriage that is detrimental?  If so, you can be guaranteed success in your marriage, for there is POWER in the Living Word of God to save your marriage.
  •                   Many come to church week after week to hear a message but yet never apply what they heard, thus they end up walking and living in deception.  We can see a picture of such deception in John 9:40-41 where it reads, “And some of the Pharisees which were with him (Jesus) heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”  Another translation reads, “Some Pharisees overheard him and said, “Does that mean you’re calling us blind?”  Jesus said, “If you were really blind (didn’t know no better), you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure.” 
  •                   I could use these verses for principles and say something like; “Are you saying that we have problems in our marriage?”  And the reply would be something like, since you think you have it all together in your marriage, you’re accountable for every fault and failure.  The light came to reveal their lack and they rejected it.  They could receive the message for someone else, but not for themselves.  Even so today when the Word comes forth, there will be those that will readily identify the person for whom the word is speaking too while failing to consider if it might just be for them also.

Hosea 4:6

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 

  •              I think it interesting here that God’s people were not being destroyed because they didn’t know any better, they were being destroyed because they rejected the knowledge the Lord was bringing them.
  •              When one rejected the knowledge of God, we see in this text that it disqualified them from being a priest unto or for God.  Now for the men that want to rule your roost.  Why would your wife want to receive you as Priest in your home when the Lord has disqualified you from being a Priest (having his manifest authority and anointing) in his house because you have rejected his Word (in the area of marriage and how to treat your wife)?
  •              1 Tim 3:5 says, “(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”  Men, the thought of God is simple in this area.  If you can’t rule your wife and children in your house, don’t expect God to grace you with his authority to rule over his children in his house.  Sad to say, many men want so much to be in power in church due to the lack of it they have in their homes.  Wives, it is built in a man to be a leader.
  •              Somebody said, well I know a lot of men that are in roles of leadership whose house is out of order.  Well, for those I give you Jeremiah 5:31 where it says that, “The priests bear rule by their means.” Simply being, they rule by their own power and authority and the people love to have it so.
  •              And if that isn’t enough, we have an example of one in power whose house is out of order in 1 Sam 3:12-14 where it reads, “In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house (family): when I begin, I will also make an end.  For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.  And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.” 
  •              Eli’s sons had now committed a sin unto death and we see their death in 1 Sam 4:11 where it reads, “And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.”
  •              Men, if your children are doing something that is not right in the eyes of the Lord and you fail to correct them, remember Eli’s sons.

Prov 24:3-4 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

  •                   One English rendering of knowledge is knowledge of something acquired through study.  Now would be a good place to ask the men; how many books have you read on women in order to see and understand that their needs differ from a mans needs.  How much time have you spent in the bible to see what the Lord has to say about wives and how you are to treat them?
  •                   One English rendering of house is family.  We could thus say in principle to the men that wisdom builds your wife and children.  However, I am not talking about the wisdom of this world (See: James 3:14-15), but the wisdom of God, which is found in the person of Jesus Christ.  Psalms 127:1 says, “Except the LORD build the house (family), they labor in vain that build it.”
  •                   Wisdom is also the course of action that one takes.  We can see a good example of a man of God using wisdom and choosing the course for his family in Joshua 24:15 where he said, “As for me and my house (family), we will serve the LORD.”
  •                   After wisdom comes understanding, for it’s by understanding that the house or family (wife and children) are established.  I can do a play on the word understanding and tell the men that your wife and children is to STAND UNDER you in your position as HEAD of your house.  However, if the man doesn’t UNDERSTAND the hearts and feelings of their wife and children, it will be hard for the wife and children to STAND UNDER them.  Simply put, they will live a life of ups and downs.
  •                   Men, you must do whatever it takes to get an understanding of your wife and children.  If it means going to a Christian bookstore and getting some books, then do it.  However, my first place would be to Jesus who understands us all (men-women and children) and has already been touched with the feeling of all our infirmities (Heb 4:15) and overcome in every area.  Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Simply being, Jesus has the answer for your problem.
  •                   Men, has your wife ever said, “you don’t understand?”  Has your children ever said, “dad, you don’t understand?”  In the light of this teaching, they are saying, it is hard to STAND UNDER you.  Now, if you fail to make an effort to understand what your wife or children are feeling or going through, they will make an attempt to GO OVER YOU to someone who will understand them.  Hence, the strong possibility of divorce and rebellious children in the long run.
  •                   Finally, we come to knowledge.  For by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  Proverbs 15:14 says; “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge.”  Men, now that you have an understanding of what your wife and children are going through and experiencing.  It is now imperative that you have the answers they need to get through their dilemmas. 
  •                   I think it needful to reflect back to Proverbs 2:6, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.  Men, everything you need to under gird your wife and children is in Christ (in you).  Now would be a good place to ask the men; is your wife STANDING UNDER YOU or OVER YOU?  Are your children STANDING UNDER YOU or OVER YOU?

PROVOKING THOUGHT:

In a survey of wives, 85% of them said the most important prayer their husband could pray was that he would become the man, husband, and head of the home God wanted him to be.    

Matt 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.  (See other translation below for these verses)

“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock.  Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house.  It was fixed to the rock.  But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach.  When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”

  •                   Men, your response to the Word upon hearing it will determine the outcome of your house (your family) after being tested by the rain, flood and the wind.
  •                   The rain is coming to test the house (family) first.  Hosea 6:3 says, “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”  Men, Jesus is coming as the rain to test our roof to see if there are any leaks.  Simply being, he is coming to see if your family is properly covered.  Men, if you are not the head of your house, this rain will reveal it. 
  •                   When you see the wife and children rise up against the husband and father that is a sure sign of a leak in the roof.
  •                   The flood is coming to test the house (family) next.  Psalms 29:10 says, “The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.” Men, Jesus is coming in the flood to test the foundation that you have laid under your family.  If you have obeyed the word and applied it, then when this flood comes to your family, they will not be carried away by it. 
  •                   Principle: Show me a home where the wife and kids are unstable, unruly and rebellious and I will show you a man that isn’t walking in obedience to the word.  
  •                   Jesus is not only going to test the foundation in the flood, he is going to test the contents of the house (family).  Men, the principle here being, he is going to test what you have allowed to come into your house.  Be careful that you don’t allow things to come into your house that will gradually take the place of the Lord in your wife and children.  
  •                   Finally, the wind is coming to test the house (family).  Jer 10:13 says, “When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.” 
  •                   I think it imperative to point out that is wasn’t the rain or the flood that brought the house down, but the WIND that BLEW and BEAT against it and GREAT was the fall of it.  Men, this is where Jesus is going to test what we have allowed to come around our family. 
  •                   Men, if you, your wife or children have entered into any relationships that are detrimental to your family’s walk and purpose in God, this wind will reveal it.  2 Cor 6:14 says, Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
  •                   In New Testament times the phrase “take the yoke of” was used by the Jewish rabbis to mean, “Become the pupil of a certain teacher.”  Men, the principle is simple; you need to know those in whom your wife and children are yoked to.  For who they are yoked too, they will be influenced by.  My prayer is that the Lord will blow through our families and break the yokes or simply remove all relationships not approved or ordained by him.

5 PRINCIPLES THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR MARRIAGE

Eph 5:24-28 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  Husbands, love 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.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  (See other translation below for these verses)

So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.  Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church–a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor–since they’re already “one” in marriage.

Col 3:18-21 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.  Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.  Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

  •                   This may be a shock to some, but an overwhelming majority of wives in a recent survey said they want to submit to their husbands.  However, there are two common reasons why they are slow to do so.  One, the husband uses submission as a weapon.  Two, the husband has not made the choice themselves to be fully submitted to Go.
  •                   Men, your wife will have a hard time trusting in you hearing from God if you don’t treat her the way God instructs you, thus showing you are submitted to God yourself.  Simply being, the wife would say, if you can hear God so clearly on what I need to change, what happens to your hearing when he tells you what you need to change?
  •                   Husbands, the word commands us to love our wives as Christ loved the church.  For example, Christ doesn’t neglect, ignore or abuse his church.  He doesn’t treat his church rudely or disrespectfully.  He doesn’t act insensitive to his church.  He does not criticize his church and make her feel of no value.
  •                   I think it imperative to point out in Ephesians 5:28 these words, “He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”  The flip side of this is, “he that loveth not his wife loveth not himself.”  This revelation alone should help a lot of wives that are starving for love from their husbands.  Simply being, could it be there is something in your husbands life, perhaps all the way back to childhood that happened to them and as a result, they don’t like who they are at the present time?
  •                   In Genesis 1:27 we read, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  Wow, if we are made in God’s image and we don’t love ourselves, how can we say that we love God?  The truth being, one that doesn’t love themselves has not yet received a revelation of who they are in God.
  •                   How sad to start a relationship with a man who doesn’t know that he is made in the image of God.  But, it happens on a daily basis in our culture only to end in ruin many times down the road.  So, for the sake of future destruction in marriage, let me give you some truths and principles that will help you to get on course and stay on course.

FOR YOU THAT ARE MARRIED, LETS GO BACK IN TIME AND REFLECT ON SOME THINGS:

Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

1)                  Do you remember the anticipation of oneness when you met and felt in your heart that this one would be the one you would marry?

2)                  Do you remember the sense of oneness you felt when you went out on dates?

3)                  Do you remember the promise of oneness when you became engaged?

4)                  Do you remember the declaration of oneness as you shared your wedding vows?

5)                  Do you remember the thrill of oneness on your honeymoon?

6)                  Do you remember the excitement of oneness as you moved into your own home? 

NOW THE QUESTION, “WHAT HAPPENED?”

Well, as you begin to bring in your things, did you happen to notice any personal luggage?  Let me break it on down for you.  This is where your spouse opens up their luggage (anger, childhood abuse, lies, jealousy, hatred, rebellion, deception, hypocrisy, etc) and you begin to experience and see some things that you didn’t see before you said, “I DO.”  Now that you see what came with Mr. Dream of my life, you wish you had of moved slower.  

  •                   Now that you have discovered what’s in the luggage, I am sure you have come to the place now where you point fingers and say that they are going to have to change or you are out of there.  Well, I can understand your feelings, but consider the following.  It’s not a matter of who needs to change as much as it is a matter of who is willing to change.  Simply being, if you’re willing to change, the Lord can effectively work through you and deal with your spouse.
  •                   Somebody said, I don’t have time to wait.  God would say to you, that is fine, but I have plenty of time to wait on you to change before I move on your behalf.

1 Pet 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

  •                   In this little verse lies five principles that can change your marriage as well as make you the man and husband that the Lord desires for you to be.

1)      Be Of One Mind:

  •                   I am reminded here of 1 Corinthians 1:10 which reads, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
  •                   Of a truth, it is hell on earth to have strife in your marriage.  And, if it goes on long enough, it can destroy your marriage.  Jesus said it like this in Matt 12:25, “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house (family) divided against itself shall not stand.”
  •                   Prov 15:18 says, “A wrathful (angry) man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.”  Husbands, when is the last time you stirred up some strife in your marriage? 
  •                   Prov 28:25 says, “He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.”  Where there is strife, there is pride and where there is pride, there will soon be destruction, for pride goeth before destruction (Pr 16:18).
  •                   Prov 25:24 says, “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.” Another translation reads, “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop than to share a house with a disagreeing, quarrelsome, and scolding woman.”

2)      Be Compassionate:

  •                   Have you ever saw your wife suffering or going through a hard period in her life and yet didn’t know what to do to help her?  Part of being compassionate has to do with listening.  This is where we as men fail many times.  Simply being, we tend to listen on the run when our wives sometimes want us to listen on the couch beside them.
  •                   Men, has your wife ever been talking to you (pouring their heart out) and say something like this,  “You haven’t heard one thing I have said, have you.”  And of course we quickly respond by saying yes.  Then the shock comes as she says, “ok, tell me what I just said.”  Doesn’t that just make you want to crawl in a hole?  Now, you don’t have a chance, for their next response is, “JUST FORGET IT!”
  •                   It has been said that the average woman speaks 10,000 words per day while the average man speaks 2000 words per day.  I trust you see that the woman is skillful in the area of communication and the man lacks greatly in that area.  That is why it is hard to keep a man on the phone very long.  They just don’t have much to say.  Now on the other hand, put the wife on the phone and the hours roll by.
  •                   I am reminded here of Matt 9:36 which reads, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted (lacking courage, timid or fearful), and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” Ok men, have you ever been so frustrated at something that your wife did, that you called her stupid in an indirect or possible direct way?  For example, I can’t believe you did such a thing.  When you blasted them, did you see their countenance drop?  Well men, sheep are dumb by nature, thus the reason for the shepherd.  Now, the next time your wife does something stupid, don’t blast her, but lead her!  Show her compassion.  Communicate with her and ask her why she did what she did.
  •                   I am reminded of an illustration that fits so well here in the line of communication.  It goes like this.  A mature-looking lady had an appointment with a marriage counselor, and told him flat out: “I would like to divorce my husband.” To this, the counselor replied, “Well, do you have any grounds?” She answered, “Why yes. We have almost an acre.” The puzzled counselor asked her, “You don’t understand. What I want to know is do you and your husband have a grudge?” The lady answered, “Actually, we don’t, but we do have a nice carport.” At this, the counselor shook his head and said, “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I just don’t see any reason why you should divorce your husband.” The lady looked at the counselor and said to him, “It’s just that the man can’t carry on an intelligent conversation.”
  •                   There is a story about a man and wife who were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary-fifty years of married life. Having spent most of the day with relatives and friends at a big party given in their honor, they were back home again. They decided, before retiring, to have a little snack of tea with bread and butter. They went into the kitchen, where the husband opened up a new loaf of bread and handed the end piece (the heel) to his wife. Whereupon she exploded! She said, “For fifty years you have been dumping the heel of the bread on me. I will not take it anymore; this lack of concern for me and what I like.” On and on she went in the bitterest of terms, for offering her the heel of the bread. The husband was absolutely astonished at her tirade. When she had finished he said to her quietly, “But it’s my favorite piece.”
  •                   A golden anniversary party was thrown for an elderly couple. The husband was moved by the occasion and wanted to tell his wife just how he felt about her. She was very hard of hearing, however, and often misunderstood what he said. With many family members and friends gathered around, he toasted her: “My dear wife, after fifty years I’ve found you tried and true!” Everyone smiled approval, but his wife said, “Eh?” He repeated louder, “AFTER FIFTY YEARS I’VE FOUND YOU TRIED AND TRUE!” His wife harumped and shot back, “Well, let me tell you something–after fifty years I’m tired of you, too!”

3) Be Loving:

  •                   Jesus loves us unconditionally, no matter how imperfect we are.  It is therefore imperative that the man loves his wife in like manner.  If not, he will end up abusing his authority as head and eventually end up abusing his wife either verbally or physically.
  •                   Jack Hayford once said, “He could tell a woman was truly loved by her husband, because she grew more beautiful as the years went on.”  He recognized an inner beauty that doesn’t fade, but rather increases with time when a woman is truly loved.
  •                   Prov 3:27 says, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”  Men, don’t withhold love from your wife, lest you are prepared to suffer the consequences down the road. 

4) Be Tenderhearted:

  •                   Men, is there anything about your wife that bothers you?  Is there something that she does or says that irritates you?  Would you personally like to change her in some areas? 
  •                   The truth is, we all have a hard time changing.  However, only God can make changes in us that are everlasting changes.  This is something therefore you need to be made aware of and instead of causing a big uproar, just go to the Lord and petition him on behalf of your wife and believe him for results.

5) Be Courteous:

  •                   Men, do you ever talk to your wife in a way that would be considered rude if you were talking to another person?  Are you kind to everyone at work and then come home and take out all your frustration and anger on your wife?  Do you allow criticism towards your wife to come out of your mouth in front of other people?
  •                   Nothing does more to bring out the worst in us, than a marriage where one of the partners lacks common courtesy.  Men, if you are not careful in this area, your wife will turn out to be what she doesn’t intend on being.  Simply being, you can create a monster with your words or a wife who loves and respects you.
  •                   1 Cor 11:9 says, “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”  The truth being, the woman is a gift from God to the man and you will be held accountable for how you handle the gift.  Selah.

WISDOM KEYS TO HELP YOUR MARRIAGE:

  •                   A marriage is like a long trip in a tiny rowboat: if one passenger starts to rock the boat, the other has to steady it; otherwise they will go to the bottom together.
  •                   A successful marriage demands a divorce; a divorce from your own self-love.
  •                   A wife is not a guitar; you can’t play on her and then hang her on the wall.
  •                   Let the wife make her husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry to see him leave.
  •                   Marriage with peace is this world’s paradise; with strife, this life’s purgatory.
  •                   Successful marriage is always a triangle: a man, a woman, and God.
  •                   The man who is forever criticizing his wife’s judgment never seems to question her choice of a husband.
  •                   Try praising your wife, even if at first it frightens her.
  •                   Marriage is like twirling a baton, turning handsprings, or eating with chopsticks. It looks easy until you try it.
  •                   There would be fewer divorces if the husband tried as hard to keep his wife as he did to get her.
  •                   Before criticizing your wife’s faults, remember that they may have prevented her from getting a better husband.
  •                   Husband and wife agreement–the wife stops driving from the backseat and the husband quits cooking from the dining table.
  •                   A woman and her husband came to a pastor and said, “We’re going to get a divorce, but we want to come to make sure that you approve of it.” There are people who come to the pastor hoping that when they say there is no feeling left in their marriage, the pastor will say, “Well, if there’s no feeling left, then, the only thing you can do is split.”  Instead, the pastor says to the husband, “The Bible says you’re to love your wife as Jesus Christ loved the church.”  He says, “Oh, I can’t do that.”  The pastor says, “If you can’t begin at that level, then begin on a lower level. You’re supposed to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Can you at least love her as you would love a neighbor?”  The husband says, “No. That’s still too high a level.”  The pastor says, “The Bible says, Love your enemies. Begin there.”

A MESSAGE FOR TEENAGERS AND THOSE CONSIDERING MARRIAGE

Before we get into this message, I want you to know that we are going to be graphic and to the point.  It is very possible that you are going to hear some things that you have never heard before. 

Gen 2:15-25 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.  And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.  And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.  And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

  •                   The first thing I want to point out from this text is that Adams days weren’t spent looking for a chick and Eve wasn’t spending her days looking for a hunk.  The principle being, they were first content in their relationship with God. 
  •                   Col 2:9-10 reads, “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”  Hosea 2:16 says, “And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.”  Another translation reads, “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.”
  •                   Sad to say, there are many young people that chose not to put God first in their life and went ahead and got married only to find out they have a master (dictator or controller) instead of a husband.  Thus more the reason for putting Jesus first.  Simply being, he will show you what a true husband is, for he is truth (Jn 14:6) and you will then readily discern the young men that come your way panting after you. 
  •                   One who lacks a relationship with God will set out in pursuit of unconditional love and acceptance through a man or woman only to be let down somewhere down the road.  We can see a picture of this in John 4:15-18.  This Samaritan woman was thirsty; she was missing something in her life.  She had been married five times and was living with the sixth man.  She had given up on marriage.  She had come to a place where she no doubt thought her whole life was destined for rejection.  
  •                   The truth being, what she was looking for couldn’t be found in a man (who didn’t know God), which is unconditional love and acceptance.  But Jesus was the seventh and right man.  He accepted and loved her as she was.  He so lit up her life that she went into the city and told everybody about her new love.  In fact she said, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ (Jn 4:29)?  Simply being, come see a real man, a man who looked into the basement of my heart and saw what I was going through and feeling.
  •                   Young ladies, I realize when I teach this and give you these truths and principles that some of you will ignore them and set out in search of a boyfriend or mate anyway.  So, because I don’t want you to get hurt, I am going to give you some signs to look for in a mate in light of the Word of God in hopes of sparing you great pain and hurt later in your life.  Josh 1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for THEN thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
  •                   Young men, note the order of God.  Adam had a relationship with God.  It is therefore imperative that you have a relationship with God and not start a course (season) in your life where you find yourself exchanging God (unconditional love) for a girlfriend (conditional love).  Young ladies, if that young man that is hot on your heels isn’t interested in God or going to church with you, he is not a candidate for you in the sight of the Lord at this time.  2 Cor 6:14 says “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.”
  •                   Young people, you get hurt when you get out of God’s order and try to match yourself to one that may not be for you or one that could be for you but God hasn’t fully equipped and prepared them yet. 
  •                   What happens when a young man doesn’t have a relationship with God who is LOVE (1 Jn 4:16)?  Well, sad to say, many times they play the field not even realizing or caring about the long line of hurt girls they have left behind them.  The same is true for young ladies also.
  •                   God put Adam in the Garden of Eden (means pleasure).  The principle being, Adam not only had a relationship with God, he had purpose (he knew what he was here for).  Young ladies, you don’t want to hook up with a young man who has no sense of purpose in their life.  Sad to say, many there are whose purpose at this time is to get what they can from you at any cost.
  •                   God gave Adam a job, which was to dress and keep the garden.  Young ladies, if there is a young man after you that despises work, he is disqualified immediately as far as the Lord is concerned, that is of course unless you will be content to work and let him stay at home on the couch with the remote in his hand.  1 Tim 5:8 says, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
  •                   Now that Adam has a relationship with God, a sense of purpose in his life and a job, thereby making him a prime candidate for marriage in the sight of God.  Thus God says in Gen 2:18, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”  After God says this, he brings all the beasts of the field and fowls of the air to Adam and to give names to each one.  In verse 20 it says there was not found a help meet for Adam.
  •                   As these animals and fowls came before Adam, he noticed pairs (male and female).  This no doubt stirred something up in him to look for his counterpart (that which resembled him). 
  •                   Young men and ladies, this speaks of that time you come to realize that something is lacking on the inside of you.  It is at this time, you as Adam will begin to look around in hopes of connecting or identifying with something. 
  •                   The thing to carefully consider though is what you’re connecting yourself to.  Simply put, some think drugs, alcohol, having sex (outside marriage) is what will complete them, but just as Adam found no help meet among the animals and fowls, you will soon learn you will not find what your really looking for in drugs, alcohol or having sex outside of marriage.
  •                   God looks on Adam after witnessing him name all these animals and fowls and sees his loneliness and says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet (someone he can identify and relate with) for him.”  Can you feel the heart of God here?  Simply put, he has watched you walk through life in search of unconditional love and acceptance and now sets out to do something about your feeling of hopelessness.
  •                   The first thing I want to point out here on behalf of God is that he doesn’t want you to be lonely.  However, it is imperative young men that you understand that God made Adam a helpmeet. 
  •                   The principle here is that God is going to prepare the young lady for you.  However, if you walk outside this principle and get one that he hasn’t prepared, you may inherit a lot of problems that you will not be able to work through and thereby cause your marriage to end in divorce.  This principle applies for young ladies also.  Simply being, don’t jump into a relationship with a young man that God is not actively at work in his life preparing him to love you, as you deserve to be loved.
  •                   God put Adam to sleep: “and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called WO-MAN, because she was taken out of Man.”

I am reminded of an illustration here that reads: “One day, Adam sat outside the Garden of Eden shortly after eating the apple, and wondered about men and women.  So looking up to the heavens he said, “Excuse me God, can I ask you a few questions?”  God replied, “Go on Adam but be quick. I have a world to create.”  So Adam says, “When you created Eve, why did you make her body so curvey and tender unlike mine?”  “I did that, Adam, so that you could love her.”  Oh, well then, why did you give her long, shiny, beautiful hair, and not me?”  I did that Adam so that you could love her.” “Oh, well then, why did you make her so stupid? Certainly not so that I could love her?”  “Well Adam, no. I did that so that she could love you.”

  •                   God took ONE of Adams ribs and made Eve (his wife).  Young men, there was only ONE RIB and it was only this ONE RIB that would fit into Adam’s life and make him whole in the natural realm as far as marriage goes.  Simply being, there are no SPARE RIBS.  Young men, how many ribs (girlfriends) have you already gone through?  Young ladies, how many young men have you already gone through?
  •                   Young ladies, this is why it is imperative that you let the Lord lead you to the young man he has for you.  Simply being, there is a man that God is preparing for you that will not be complete (in the area of marriage) until you (his rib) come into his life.  This is what we call a match made in heaven! 
  •                   Adam said of the woman, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of Man (Ge 2:23).  Note that the woman is part of the man.  Ephesians 5:28-30 is cross referenced to this verse which reads, “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”
  •                   Note vs. 28, “He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”  The flipside is, “He that doesn’t love his wife doesn’t love himself.”  Simply being, if the young man or young lady is dealing with some insecurities in their life, it is a good chance that they don’t like or love themselves as they are.  And, if you marry one in this condition, it will usually end in divorce for the love that is needed can’t be given. 
  •                   The rib is there to protect your organs (your heart).  The rib takes the hit while protecting the heart of the man (husband).  The rib (wife) says; “you aren’t going to hurt my man!” 
  •                   The ribs support the body.  Without the ribs, the body would collapse.  Sad to say, many ribs (young ladies) have come to the wrong man in marriage and as a result have found it very hard to support them and thus their marriage many times end in divorce.
  •                   I think it interesting to point out that blind love only hears love, health and better when they are getting married.  It is afterwards that they get a revelation of the fine print (hate, sickness and worse).
  •                   Fact, it is easier to break an engagement than go through the suffering of divorce.  I say that to say this, Young men, “Let God bring the woman to you.” Young ladies, “Let God bring you to the man.”  In doing so, you both can say that you are a match made in heaven!
  •                   An unbeliever who was at my sons wedding blessed me.  He came up to me with tears flowing down his cheeks and said, “If there is such thing as a marriage made in heaven, THAT IS ONE.”  What a testimony for the world to see.  My son dated his wife for eight years before getting married.  They are a match MADE IN HEAVEN!
  •                   I have a daughter who I know the Lord is going to prepare for a Godly man and when the time is right, the Lord will bring her to him and they both will know it.  I will settle for nothing less, for I know this is the will of God.

Young ladies, I want to talk to you now for a few moments about the ring the young man wants to put on your finger.  I want to do this in hopes of enabling you to discern his heart before you follow through on marriage.  But first, when a man or woman comes into the room and has a ring on, what does that tell you?  When a man or woman comes into the room and does not have a ring on, what does that tell you.  I am sure many would say of the latter that it means they are not married; or perhaps they are single.  Well, how about considering the following possible reasons.

1)                  They may not have it on because it no longer fits.  These are those that have decided you no longer fit into their life and their plans.  They have used you for what they wanted and now lay you aside as far as relationship goes.  It is good young ladies and young men that you check the track record out of this one that is hot on your heels.

2)                  They may not believe in rings.  These come into your life and do not believe in commitment.  They will hang around for a season and then migrate to another individual.  Once again, checking the track record out will reveal if there is a pattern in this area. 

3)                  They may not want to pay the price to buy a ring.  Simply being, they are not willing to pay the price to have and keep a relationship strong and ongoing.  If one comes into your life from other relationships, find out the reasons they broke them off and you will know if you want to get involved or not.

4)                  They may have got hurt and took it off.  These are those that have been in relationships with people but came to a place where they couldn’t take it anymore.  We can a picture of this in the woman at the well.  She had probably worn five different rings (being married five times) and now she is living with the sixth man (without a ring). 

5)                  A lot of future pain can be prevented if you will use these principles on the rings.  Simply put, just be on guard for these traits.

I WANT TO CLOSE THIS MESSAGE BY SHARING BRIEFLY ABOUT VIRGINITY AND SEXUALITY.

  •                   There is great peer pressure in our day on young men, but especially young ladies in the area of virginity and sexual activity.  Young folks are made fun of by their peers if they aren’t sexually active.
  •                   Many young ladies have come from dysfunctional homes and have grown up with a mindset that whatever they have to do to keep their boyfriend, they will do.  It goes something like this, the boyfriend man tells her, “I love you and if you love me, you will make love to me.”  And in fear of losing him, she gives in to the pressure.  After all, she just wants to be unconditionally loved and accepted and if this is what it takes, I’ll do it, she says.
  •                   A study at a Midwestern school showed that 80% of the women who had intercourse hoped to marry their partner, while only 12% of the men had the same expectation.
  •                   Another statistic said; “Since the popular push for contraceptives for teens began, teenage sexual activity and pregnancy have increased 400%.  70% of unwed teen mothers will go on welfare.  Of teens that will marry because of pregnancy, 60% will be divorced in five years. 
  •                   What is sad about this picture is the fact that many times the boyfriend loses interest in the girl and abandons her.  She now suffers loneliness and rejection.  She is now confused and begins to wonder if something is wrong with her.  That is until another boy comes along with the same line and she falls for it again, because after all, she is still seeking for unconditional love and acceptance.
  •                   As this pattern spins out of control, the young lady now has a reputation in the halls of being a HO and now the love and acceptance she has been seeking after seems to be out of reach for good.  It is at this time that these young ladies many times find themselves coming under the influence of a spirit of deep depression and finally, suicide. 

CONSIDER THESE ILLUSTRATIONS IN CLOSING:

I worked my way through Bible College by running a small printing business. Fellow students provided steady work ordering wedding invitations.  One day I was surprised when Jill Ann ordered invitations. She had long maintained that God would have to speak to her out of a burning bush before she would marry.  “Why did you finally accept Allen’s proposal?” I asked.  Jill Ann explained that, one day, as she left the dormitory, she saw an old, dead shrub in flames. From a hiding place nearby, in a slow, deep voice, Allen called, “Jill Ann! Jill Ann! I want you to marry Allen!”

  •                   I think it imperative to reflect on this lady’s statement that God would have to speak to her out of a burning bush before she got married.  The truth being, she wanted no part of it.  She had found a place in God where she was fine being single.  This is what qualified her for marriage in the sight of God and thus he brought her to Allen. 
  •                   Jill had a revelation of 1 Cor 7:34 which reads, “There is difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

At a senior citizens’ dinner, the group president recognized a couple that had recently celebrated their fifty-sixth wedding anniversary. The husband arose and announced: “And the best part of it is that I would do it all over again.” His petite wife remained seated, but appropriated her rightful place in the partnership by responding in a quiet, matter-of-fact manner: “Yes … you would–if I said, ‘Yes!’ “

Our church fellowship hall has framed Bible verses on the wall–most of them extolling God’s love and care. But at a recent wedding reception, another verse caught everyone’s attention. Directly behind the cake table where the couple were cutting the first piece hung the warning: FLEE FROM THE WRATH TO COME!

I took you, love, in sickness or in health, for better or for worse.  And now I live my promise out. The promises we made hold and support us both.  We are each other’s cross, each other’s greatest blessing.

  • If there is something in your spouse that causes your flesh to rise, that is an area in your life that you need to crucify.  Selah
  • It is not marriage that fails, it is people that fail. All marriage does is show people up.  Don’t you wish you saw what you see now before you got married?  I assure you that many there are that would have moved slower.

PICTURE ON NEXT PAGE

Note the principles & truths concerning relationships in the furniture in the Tabernacle of Moses above.  And, for those that may say, I am no longer a virgin, the bible says, “I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ (2 Cor 11:2).”  God will forgive you and make you a spiritual virgin.

WHAT A WIFE WANTS IN A HUSBAND

Eph 5:22-23 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 savior of the body.

  •                   The word savior here is also rendered a deliverer and a preserver.  In the English it is rendered a person who rescues.  One rendering of rescue is to free from oppression.  Your wife can get oppressed when she gets weighed down with too many things.  She therefore needs a husband that can come to her rescue and deliver her from the overload.  Husbands, if you don’t think your wives are weighed down or if you will explosive, try dropping them.
  •                   As men, we lack understanding in the area of women and the pressures that have to endure.  As I have stated in this series, women are like spaghetti and men are like waffles.  Simply being, if you notice a plate of spaghetti, you will note that there are a lot of individual noodles that all touch one another. 
  •                   If you would dare to follow one noodle around the plate, you would intersect with a lot of other noodles, and you might even switch to another noodle that isn’t even touching the one you were following.  That is how women face life.  Simply being, every thought and issue in their life is connected with another thought and issue.  This is why women can talk on the phone, prepare a meal, make a shopping list, work on tomorrow’s agenda, get the kids ready for bed and close the door with their foot without skipping a beat.  And, when she says not tonight, we men tend to get upset and wonder what’s your problem?
  •                   A woman was suffering from depression, so her concerned husband (who is supposed to be her deliverer) took her to a psychiatrist. The doctor listened to the couple talk about their relationships, and then said, “The treatment I prescribe is really quite simple.” With that he went over to the man’s wife, gathered her up in his arms, and gave her a big kiss. He then stepped back and looked at the woman’s glowing face and broad smile. Turning to the woman’s husband, he said, “See! That’s all she needs to put new life back into her.” Expressionless, the husband said, “OK, Doc, I can bring her in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”  The moral of this story is, if you don’t deliver your wife, another will.  Selah
  •                   It has been said that husbands who kiss their wives every morning before leaving for work usually live five years longer than those who do not. A kissing husband has fewer automobile accidents, loses up to 50 percent less time from work because of illness, and earns 20-30 percent more than a nonkissing husband.

Husbands, there is a big difference in being a leader and a dictator.  Even so, there is a big difference in being a saviour and a devil.  Luke 4:8 says, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”

  •                   It is custom in the Jewish culture to call one Satan when they are acting like him.  With that insight, what name does your wife most call you by (satan or savior)?
  •                   I once heard of a woman who woke her husband in the middle of the night, and said, “Henry, wake up. I just had this terrible nightmare. I dreamed I was at an auction for husbands. On husband brought $10,000 and others sold for sums in the millions.”   That’s all it took to get him awake. He asked, “Well, Honey, what were husbands like me bringing?”  She said, “That’s what was so disgusting. They were taking ones like you, tying them in a bundle, and selling them for a dollar a bunch.”
  •                   I think it funny when a man acts like the devil and then has the nerve to use the bible against in his wife in the area of submitting to him.  For you husbands that want your wife to submit to you, consider the following illustration.  “A tyrannical husband demanded that his wife conform to rigid standards of his choosing. She was to do certain things for him as a wife, mother, and homemaker. In time she came to hate her husband as much as she hated his list of rules and regulations. Then, one day he died–mercifully as far as she was concerned.    Some time later, she fell in love with another man and married him. She and her new husband lived on a perpetual honeymoon. Joyfully, she devoted herself to his happiness and welfare. One day she ran across one of the sheets of do’s and don’ts her first husband had written for her. To her amazement she found that she was doing for her second husband all the things her first husband had demanded of her, even though her new husband had never once suggested them. She did them as an expression of her love for him and her desire to please him.”

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

  •                   Husbands, wives want to know where you are taking them.  They want to know what your goals are.
  •                   Husbands note the purpose for Jesus coming into your life that you might have life and have life more abundantly.  The principle for husbands being under Christ is simple, you have been brought to your wife to minister the Life of Christ to her and thus LEAD her into life abundantly.
  •                   Tradition has taught us that John 10:10 is talking about the devil.  And, as long as you believe that you will never see whom it really is talking about.  Simply being, in the context (which flows out from chapter 9), Jesus is talking to the Pharisees.  One sign of this spirit is they are not fair-u-see. 
  •                   One of the worst things a wife can experience is to be married to a man with a religious spirit.  He will not be fair to her and will leave her behind without a second thought in the name of God to blaze the trails for Jesus.  It sounds good, but such a one will destroy their marriage (in the name of God).  Husbands, where are you leading your wives?
  •                   Husbands, the wife wants you to lead her and the children to church instead of her having to lead you to church.  The wife wants the husband to say; “Honey lets go to a marriage seminar.”  The wife wants you to discipline the children.  The wife wants you to pray for the children at night. 

 THE WIFE WANTS TO BE LOVED AND CHERISHED:

  •                   Love is an action word to a woman, not a noun.  I Jn 3:18 says, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”  The principle for husbands would be, husbands don’t love your wife in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
  •                   When in counseling, the common thing to hear from women is that their husband doesn’t love them while the man will say that their wife doesn’t respect them.  Sad to say, both husbands and wives need revelation in both these areas.
  •                   The golden rule of do unto others as you would have them do unto you doesn’t work in marriage.  Simply being, the woman doesn’t have the same needs that a man has.  Wives need to be loved in a different way than man does.  For example, man needs respect as mentioned earlier while the woman needs to be loved and cherished.  Wives come up and give your husband a dozen roses and see how he responds.  He doesn’t need roses.  On the other hand, let the husband come up and give their wife a dozen roses and it is on for that night.
  •                   Now I know when the wife tells the husband that he doesn’t love her, he thinks she has lost her mind.  In fact here is how he will respond many times.  What do you mean that I don’t love you?  I go to work everyday don’t I?  I got my own tea last night didn’t I?  I have been faithful to you haven’t I?  I sent all my friends home by midnight didn’t I?  I quit drinking didn’t I?  I took out the garbage didn’t I?  I mowed the yard didn’t I?  The truth being, husbands believe they are loving their wives by doing these things but the wives don’t get it.  Though they are good, that is not what they call you expressing love to them.
  •                   Women want to be loved, listened to, desired, needed, trusted, and sometimes, just to be held while men want tickets for the World Series.

The wife needs her husband to be considerate of what she does for him in the home (wash dishes, wash clothes, iron clothes, clean house, take care of kids, run errands, help the neighbors, etc)

  •                   Husbands, women respond to kindness so watch your tone.  Women can listen to your tone of voice and tell if something is wrong with you or not.
  •                   Husbands, do you find yourself at times constantly nit picking at something in your wife?    There’s a story of the conscientious wife who tried very hard to please her ultra critical husband, but failed regularly. He always seemed the most cantankerous at breakfast. If the eggs were scrambled, he wanted them poached; if they were poached, he wanted them scrambled. One morning, with what she thought was a stroke of genius, the wife poached one egg and scrambled the other and placed the plate before him. Anxiously she awaited what surely this time would be his unqualified approval. He peered down at the plate and snorted, “Can’t you do anything right, woman? You’ve scrambled the wrong one!”  

THE WIFE NEEDS HER HUSBAND TO GO SHOPPING WITH HER SOMETIMES:

  •                   Shopping to a woman is what hunting is to a man.  Simply being, man hunts for a deer while a woman hunts for a bargain.  Men have patience to sit in a deer stand for hours looking and waiting on a deer but no patience when it comes to going shopping with their wives.
  •                   The truth being, there is a difference in men and women when it comes to shopping.  For example, when a man tells you that he is going to Wal-Mart to get a battery, he goes to Wal-Mart and gets a battery.  On the other hand, when the wife goes to Wal-Mart to get a loaf of bread, she grabs a shopping cart on the way in.

THE WIFE NEEDS TIME OFF SOMETIMES.  SHE NEEDS TO GET AWAY MEN JUST LIKE YOU DO:

  •                   Mark 6:31 says, “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”
  •                   Busyness is a fun killer. It’s vital to balance the competing demands in you life so you can make marriage-building a priority. Do some of the crazy things you did together when you were dating. Remember how good it feels to hold your spouse’s hand on a walk around the block. Go out on picnics in the middle of the woods. Find a secluded beach and do … well, whatever comes naturally. Life is too short to be driven continually by Day-Timers, calendar and watches. Laugh a lot. Enjoy each other. Love must rest on trust, honesty and plain old fun. It is only when those foundations are built and maintained that oneness, the self-giving union of two souls, is possible.
  •                   Matt 26:38-39 says, “Then saith he (Jesus) unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”  Husbands, there is a principle here that you must understand.  Simply being, while there was a time that Jesus took his disciples away from the everyday pressures of life, there was a time that he left them behind and got away to himself.  The principle being, there are going to be times that your wife will need to get away to herself.  It is at this time that you tarry behind and pray for her that the Lord will strengthen her while she is away from you.  I know you some of you husbands are wondering who will watch the kids, clean the house wash dishes, wash clothes, iron clothes, clean house, take care of kids, run errands, and help the neighbors while she is gone.  DAH!  Maybe you will now appreciate her even more when she returns when you walk in her world for a few days.

THE WIFE NEEDS NON-SEXUAL TOUCHES AT TIMES:

  •                   Simply being, they need you to control yourself husbands enough to hug them or kiss them without that hug or kiss leading to the bedroom (at least immediately).  Remember she is a crock-pot and you are a microwave.  She heats up slow; so don’t be surprised hours later when you get in bed to go to sleep if she is boiling.
  •                   The woman needs kisses, they need you to hold their hand, and they need you to put your arm around them.  Now men, we can do without all these and be perfectly fine.  In fact, this is a hard area for us to come into for we are to macho.
  •                   Your wife needs you to touch her at times and not grab her.  When a woman is hurt or discouraged, they just want to be held.  This is very hard for a man for we just want to say something and make it better.  I remember a time when my wife was feeling bad and I started wrestling with her and finally got her laughing.  Did I make her feel better?  No, I made her laugh.  What she really wanted was just to be held. 
  •                   Husbands, have you ever got into an argument with your wife and tried to make up by going and hugging or putting your hand on her.  Maybe she responded by saying something like, “Get your hands off me.”  The reason she doesn’t want you to touch her is that touch will soften her up and make her open up and right now, she doesn’t want to soften up, she wants to be mad at you.     

 THE WIFE NEEDS INTIMACY AND ROMANCE:

  •                   This is another area that men lack understanding in because they don’t need intimacy and romance as much as they need sex.

There are three areas of intimacy that is important to a woman:

1) Communication (a woman gets intimate by talking)

  •                   Wives want to know out thoughts (dreams, visions, goals, etc).  Husbands, your wife wants to know what you are going through.  Wives, when your husband opens up and begins to share with you, don’t slam dunk him.  Even a hog after being hit by its owner will not come to the trough and eat if its owner is there.
  •                   Husbands, I will let you in on a secret.  If you are feeling down and out, just open up to your wife and share your feelings and watch what happens.  Simply being, while you are sharing your feelings, she is heating up. 
  •                   She is getting ready to take you in her arms and make you forget about your problems.  Why, maybe she knows something about you that you don’t.  Simply being, “Men, did you ever find yourself stressed out and after making love with your wife, you suddenly felt 100% better and slept like a baby?  The reason being is that orgasm is a method for stress relief to the man.” 
  •                   If the truth be known, there are many men who just want to have sex in order to release this stress, hence what you would call a quickie.  Men, your wife may let you by with that every now and again, but don’t make it a habit.

2) Sex with intimacy (privacy)

  •                   Self-esteem means a lot more to a woman.  They are harder on themselves than man in the order of appearance.  They struggle with their weight and wrinkles.  It is common for them to tell their husbands to turn the lights out when coming out of shower into the bedroom, as they don’t want to be seen because they don’t feel like they are the same person they were when they first got married. 
  •                   A woman comes out of the shower in front of her husband with a towel on and still says don’t look at me (after years of being married), while a man could care less about the towel.  Man on the other hand sees his gut hanging out and doesn’t think twice about it.  Simply being, his gut hanging out doesn’t discourage him.  He just turns to his wife and says, “Honey, you know that I am twice the man now that I was when you married me.”

3) Prayer produces intimacy

  •                   Husbands, when you pray with your wife, you may not know it but you are ministering to her.  This is another hard area for a man for to them prayer is personal.  However men, when you pray with your wives you are going to find yourselves becoming more intimate with each other.
  •                   There are five signals you send to your wife when you pray with her.  One, you let her know that you have time for her.  Two, you let her know that she is a part of your spiritual life.  Three, you let her know that you trust her and have confidence in her hearing what you are praying and thus being able to agree with you.  Four, you let her know that you value her input.  Five, you show your love by praying for your children.

Husbands, has your marriage gone cold?  If so, consider the following illustration in closing.

A husband’s reactions to his wife’s colds during seven years of marriage: First year: “Sugar dumpling; I’m really worried about my baby girl. You’ve got a bad sniffle and there’s no telling about these things with all the strep going around. I’m putting you in the hospital this afternoon for a general checkup and a good rest. I know the food’s lousy, but I’ll be bringing your meals in from Rozzini’s. I’ve already got it all arranged with the floor superintendent.”  Second year: “Listen, darling, I don’t like the sound of that cough and I’ve called Doc Miller to rush over here. Now you go to bed like a good girl, just for Poppa.”  Third year: “Maybe you better lie down, honey. Nothing like a little rest when you feel lousy. I’ll bring you something. Have we got any canned soup?”  Fourth year: “Now look, dear, be sensible. After you’ve fed the kids and got the dishes done and the floor finished, you better lie down.”  Fifth year: “Why don’t you take a couple of aspirin?”  Sixth year: “I wish you’d just gargle or something instead of sitting around barking like a seal all evening.”  Seventh year: “For Pete’s sake, stop sneezing! Are you trying to give me pneumonia?”

WHAT A HUSBAND WANTS IN A WIFE

Eph 5:22-33 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 every thing.  Husbands, love 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.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

  •                   Just as the wives need to be loved, the man needs to be respected.  The husband needs the wife to recognize his value and verbalize it every now and again.
  •                   I realize that some women cringe at the word submission, but the major part of submission is respect.  Simply being, the more you respect him, the more you will submit to him.  The less you respect his office as husband, the harder it will be on your marriage.
  •                   Wives, if you are allowing things that your husband has done in the past to affect you, your submitting to him will begin to decline greatly.
  •                   In counseling sessions as mentioned earlier in this series, it is common for the wife to say that her husband doesn’t love her, while the husband will say that his wife doesn’t respect him.  Wives will say at time that her husband respects her, but don’t love her.  Husbands on the other hand will say at times that his wife loves him but doesn’t respect him.
  •                   The truth being, husbands and wives need more understanding in these areas.  The women need to know that men relate on the basis of respect.  The husbands need to know that women relate on the basis of intimacy and communication.  This is why the women like to go to family reunions, while you have to drag the men.
  •                   The man relationships outside of their home are not based on emotional love, but respect.  Their friends are not their friends because they gave them a dozen roses one day or put their arm around them.
  •                   When another man respects a man, that respect produces a relationship. 
  •                   One of the hardest things for a man is to be respected on his job, in the community, when he comes into a restaurant or local business and then comes home to his wife and finds no respect.  Simply being, she doesn’t value and esteem him like those outside his home and as a result, it affects their relationship.
  •                   If I was to say to some of you wives that you don’t respect your husband, you may get huffy and disagree.  However, the truth being, some of you having grasped what the man means in the area of respect.
  •                   On the other hand, if I was to say to some of you husbands that you don’t love your wives, you may get huffy and disagree.  The truth being, some of you husbands haven’t grasped what the woman means in the area of love.  Remember as mentioned earlier in this series, the husband replies, and “What do you mean that I don’t love you?  I go to work everyday don’t I?  I got my own tea last night didn’t I?  I have been faithful to you haven’t I?  I sent all my friends home by midnight didn’t I?  I quit drinking didn’t I?  I took out the garbage didn’t I?  I mowed the yard didn’t I?  Though these things are good, that is not what they call expressing love to them.

There are two things that undermine respect and ultimately go to the heart of submission.  They are criticism and nagging.             

  •                   If I were to pull some of you wives aside and ask you if you submit to your husbands, many of you would without reservation say yes.  However, if I pulled your husbands aside and asked them if you submit to them, they would growl like a grizzly bear and without reservation say something like, “I wish.” 
  •                   The reason for the misunderstanding is due to the fact that the wives lack understanding into what submission really is. 
  •                   Wives, there is a big difference between submission and obedience.  Submission is a condition of the heart, while obedience is an action.  You can obey your husband and not be submitted to him.  This is where the woman misses it.  For example, she thinks because her husband told her to go the bank Monday morning and make the deposit and she did, that she submitted to him.  The question to be answered is, “What was your attitude in making the deposit?”  Your answer will determine if you are submitted to him or not. 
  •                   Wives, submission isn’t sitting down on the outside while you are standing up on the inside.    
  •                   There was a cartoon some time ago in which a preacher had prepared the pulpit area like a fortress. He was peering through the crack of a machine gun nest. The caption read, “Today my text is 1 Peter 3:1, ‘Wives submit to your husbands.'”       
  •                   Wives, the reason why many of you are making little forward progress in the areas of your marriage is because you have not yet come to the end of yourselves. Simply being, you are still giving the orders, and thereby hindering God from moving within you.
  •                   Wives, you will never be as successful as men.  The reason being is you have no wives to advise you.  Selah

Prov 19:13 A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping. 

  •                   Another translation reads, “A nagging wife annoys (upsets, agitates) like a constant dripping.
  •                   The contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.  The man who has got such a wife is like a tenant who has got a cottage with a bad roof, through every part of which the rain either drops or pours. He can neither sit, stand, work, nor sleep, without being exposed to these droppings. God help the man who is in such a case, with house or wife!  Selah
  •                   The Illyrian proverb was, `He who hath a smoky house, a dropping roof, and a contentious wife, hath no need to go abroad for war; he has enough of it in his own home’.
  •                   Wives, you really don’t understand nagging to the degree that men do.  Nagging and criticism will wear a man out quickly.  You really need to understand the power of words.  Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  Women, if you don’t think your words have power in the mans life, you need to remember that Eve persuaded her husband, whom the devil was not brave enough to approach.  A word of wisdom to the wives; when you have nothing to say, never say it out loud. It would be better to leave your husband wondering why you didn’t talk than why you did.
  •                   Do you remember that chant from childhood: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?” It isn’t true. Everyone has sometimes been hurt by words. We are hurt by lying words. We are hurt by unkind words. We are hurt by angry words. Words can hurt us.   
  •                   Wives, the words you speak to your husband are likened to seeds.  With that insight, what kind of harvest are you going to reap in your husband?   
  •                   Men, for the sake of the wives, there is a difference between nagging and holding you accountable.  Simply being, if you told them you were going to do something and you fail to do it, don’t get upset when they remind you.  For example, the garbage is spilling over and you tell your wife you are going to take it out.  Well, it’s been two days!  Selah

Prov 21:9 It is better to DWELL in a corner of the HOUSETOP, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

  •                   The flat roofs in the Eastern culture are commonly used as places of retreat for meditation and prayer.  This brings a whole new light on the subject for to be on the roof would also expose one to the wind, rain, heat and cold.  The picture here now would be that it is better for the man to live outside on his roof in the wind, rain, heat and cold than to live inside the house with a brawling woman. 

Prov 27:15-16 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.  Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.

  •                   Another translation reads, “A constant dripping on a rainy day and a cranky woman are much alike!  You can no more stop her complaints than you can stop the wind or hold onto anything with oil-slick hands.
  •                   Wives, your husband could go out and conquer the world and come home and you bring him down with your nagging.  This is one reason why you are admonished by the Lord to reverence your husband.

A HUSBAND NEEDS SUPPORT FROM THEIR WIVES:

  •                   Gen 2:18 says, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 
  •                   One English rendering of help is to assist or to contribute to the furtherance of.  With this insight, I trust you see that you have the power to make or break your husband.  However, you will be held accountable if you break him.  I am reminded here of an illustration that goes like this; “From the pulpit: “I asked my wife to look over my notes for today’s sermon and mark out everything dull–so in conclusion …”
  •                   Wives, you were made from a rib for a reason.  The rib protects the inward organs (the heart).  The rib will break before it lets you get inside and hurt the heart.  The rib (wife) says; “I will be broken before I allow you to hurt my husband!” 
  •                   To the wife that is having trouble with her husband.  I give you this revelation.  When your flesh rises up and wants you to attack your husband, speak to your soul as David did many times in the Old Testament and say, “Soul, or flesh, I will be broken before I let those words or attitude come out of me and hurt my husband.   
  •                   The ribs support the body.  Without the ribs, the body would collapse.  Thus the wives are responsible for supporting their husband.  And, if he makes mistakes, don’t stop supporting him, but pray for him that the Lord will get involved in this area of his life. 
  •                   Wives, there is no one that can support and encourage your husband like you can.  Simply being, you can come up to me and tell me how much you appreciate me and affect me to a degree.  But, when my wife tells me how much she appreciates me, I can’t put in words how that affects me.  Simply being, the man many times sees others appreciate him, while wondering at times if his wife appreciates him.
  •                   The husband is blessed when his wife sees her value to him.  Simply being, the husband is blessed when his wife has caught his vision and understands that she has a role to play in bringing it to pass.  Though she may not be out front, she is as much a part in bringing to pass as her husband is.

Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your OWN husbands, as unto the Lord.

  •                   Another translation reads, “Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt or adjust yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.
  •                   God has given the woman the ability to adapt to change.  Change is strength in a woman while being a weakness in man to a degree. 
  •                   A woman can change her mind 15 times in 15 minutes.  Women move the furniture continually.  Men can handle it in the same place for eternity.
  •                   There is a reason that God the man and woman like this.  He made the man hard to change because he is the leader and you can’t have a leader changing their mind every 15 minutes on what they are going to do.  He made the wife with the ability to adapt to change so that she would be able to follow her husband.  For example, wives what would be your response if you made a special dinner for your husband and when he comes home, he says that he is sorry but something has come up and he is going to have to skip dinner?

  A HUSBAND NEEDS THEIR WIVES TO BE RESPONSIBLE WITH THE MONEY:

  •                   Wives, if your husband tells you that is all they have, that means, that is all they have.  Just because you still have checks left in the checkbook doesn’t mean that the money is in the bank to cover them.  And, just because they don’t decline your credit card at the checkout doesn’t mean that they you afford it.
  •                   A joint checking account is never overdrawn by the wife. It is just under-deposited by her husband.
  •                   However, in defense of the wives, men don’t be tightwads.  Simply being, don’t go out and buy you something for you and then go into panic when your wife wants to buy something for her.

A HUSBAND NEEDS THEIR WIVES TO BE SEXUALLY OPEN AND WILLING (NOT JUST OBEDIENT):

1 Cor 7:3-5 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.  The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of 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.

  •                   Another translation reads, “The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality (directed and received in equal amount)–the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out.
  •                   I think it interesting to point out here that the only real excuse scripturally (at least in this context) for abstaining from sex with your spouse is for a time of consecration to God.
  •                   Note that after your prayer and fasting, you are to come together again in the bedroom, lest satan tempt your spouse.  Wives, when you cut your husband off, you turn satan on.  Husbands, this principle works in reverse also.  Selah
  •                   Some wives might say that is all my husband thinks about and I am sorry that I am not as enthused as he is.  Well, lets take that and see if we might receive a revelation out of it.  Ephesians 5:32 teach us that marriage is a great mystery concerning Christ and the church.  I assure you that Jesus wants to have INTER-COURSE with his church and it is always on his mind.  The problem is, the church at large has left her first love and therefore isn’t interested in INTER-COURSE like she once was.
  •                   If one will look closely, a wife who refrains from having sex with her husband will probably be shallow in her walk with God.  Simply being, the natural is a picture many times of what is taking place in a persons life spiritually.  If she isn’t sexually active with her natural husband, it is a good chance that she is not active in her relationship with her heavenly husband.  However, if she would become active with the Lord, I assure you that she would become active with her husband for she would now be in a place where her desire would be to please God, and what pleases God but that we obey his commands.  
  •                   Some wives use being tired or sickness as an excuse for not having sex.  And, we husbands will be merciful, but… If you are tired, that is what Geritol is for.  If you have a headache, that is what aspirins are for.  Some wives would say I have more than a headache, I am really sick.  To you I would say, go to church and get hands laid on you so you can get healed and go home to your husband so he can lay hands on you.  Selah
  •                   Wives, part of a man’s desire is to minister to you in the bedchamber.  I can just hear some wives saying; well they are not doing a very good job.
  •                   Men, there are buttons on a woman that need to be touched and you need to know about them.  Have you ever asked what her buttons were?  I assure you many would say; I couldn’t ask my wife that.  Well, have you ever went out and bought a book that you might study the woman and see what these buttons are?  Study to show yourself approved to your wife in the bedchamber.  Selah
  •                   Men, not only must you learn these buttons, but you need to know and understand that they change with her moods.
  •                   Wives, when you and your husband come together in the bedchamber in intimacy, you are in type revealing what is taking place between Christ and his church.  Someone that is intimately active with Christ behind the scenes will not be able to hide it when they come out for they will be full of joy.  Even so, wives when you are intimately active with your husband behind the scenes, you will not be able to hide it, for you both will be full of joy in the open.
  •      Provoking Thought:  Look at your sex life and see what message you are declaring concerning Christ and his church?  Is it a message of the church rejecting Christ or a message of the church joyfully receiving him?  Is it a message of the church having an experience with Jesus once or twice a month or a message that the church is having an experience with Jesus daily?  Selah    

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR SPOUSE

Prov 15:13-15 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow (mental suffering) of the heart the spirit is broken.  The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.  All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.

  •                   Your countenance will reflect your heart.  I can talk to someone for a few minutes and watch their countenance and see if they have a merry heart or not (at the present time).
  •                   When you understand what has been taught, you will seek more knowledge in that area, if you are wise that is. 
  •                   Hosea 4:6 says; “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”  Simply being, if you lack knowledge in marriage, your marriage will suffer.  If you lack knowledge in the area of finances, you will make wrong decisions financially and bring hardships upon your family.  If you lack understanding in order, you will encounter much confusion and frustrations in your marriage, family, jobs and ministry.
  •                   One sign of one who has a merry heart is they will have a continual feast.  The feast in this verse is in reference to a marriage feast as can be seen in Judges 14:10.  Continual means ongoing!   
  •                   Ps 84:11 says, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.  Ps 34:9-10 says, “O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.  The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.”
  •                   One English rendering of feast is something giving great pleasure or satisfaction.  It means to wine and dine.  How many of you could handle that kind of marriage?
  •                   Principle:  Your heart will determine what will be continual in your marriage.  Simply being, if you have a merry heart, you will have a continual feast (great pleasure and satisfaction).  However, if you have sorrow of heart, you will suffer continual frustration and dissatisfaction.

Prov 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

  •                   How many of you have been sick and was prescribed a medicine by your Doctor that didn’t taste good?  Isn’t that just like the Lord?  Simply being, if you want to get better, you are going to have to ingest something that you don’t like.  I could say it another way, if you want your marriage (which is sickunwholesome) to get better, you may have to do some things that you don’t really want to do.

Mark 4:14-20 The sower soweth the word.  And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.  And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.  And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.  And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

  •                   In verse 16-17 you will note Jesus referring to stony ground.  These gladly receive the word as you have in this marriage seminar.  However, what you have received can’t take root in some of you because of hardness in your hearts. 
  •                   When the word of God comes and reveals areas in your marriage that are out of order, if you are not careful, offense will come in and you will begin to fight with your spouse (in the midst of teaching on how to have a better marriage) instead of walking in the truths and principles taught you. 
  •                   If this has happened to you, this is a caution sign that the word spoken may have not taken root in you.  Note that those on stony ground endured for a time.  Even so, some of you have received this teaching and your marriage is doing a lot better now.  However, the true test of your heart will come when the marriage seminar is over.  It is then that you will know if what you were taught, took root in your heart or not.

Ps 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

  •                   Isa 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”  If both husband and wife put the Lord first, he will maintain your marriage and keep it in perfect peace (continual feast, pleasure and satisfaction).
  •                   Principle:  If you allow your spouse to offend you, you are showing that you love yourself (self-centered) more than the Word of God.
  •                   The truth being, many are self-centered and don’t realize it.  One that is self-centered is an idolater.  They put themselves first thus setting themselves up as God.  They tell you, this is the way it is and if you don’t like it, get used to it. 
  •                   The first letter of idolater is I.  Have you made yourself an IDOL?  One sure way to find out is see if you are IDLE.  If you put yourself first, you push God aside so you now have no power or life and thus all you attempt to do never gets moving.  If you want your marriage to move forward, deny yourself.  Quit pointing at your spouse and pointing out their flaws.  After all, they did marry you.  Selah
  •                   Some warning signs of a self-centered person are pride, anger, self-pity, touchiness, depressions, moodiness, easily hurt or offended, harbor grudges and thus have unforgiveness in your heart.
  •                   Being self-centered is shifting blame to others in order to ease feelings of guilt and protect your ego (ego=edge God out).  Being self-centered is turning inward, shunning others, withdrawing.  What happens when you get into a heated argument with your spouse?  Do you turn inward?  Do you cut them off as far as communication goes.  Prov 15:1 says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
  •                   Gentleness will often disarm the most furious.  However, one angry word will always beget another, for the disposition (mood) of one spirit always begets (produces) its own likeness in another: thus kindness produces kindness, and rage produces rage.  So, the next time you get ready to speak, know that what you are speaking is but the beginning of your harvest.  You could reap it at that moment (in your face) or down the road, but you will reap it!

Before we get into the truths and principles on how to change your spouse, I want to give you two things first that will not work in changing your spouse.

1) Condemnation

  •                   You cannot condemn yourself and change not can you condemn your spouse and change them.
  •                   One English rendering of condemn is to express strong disapproval of, to judge or to declare to unfit for use.
  •                   How many times have you used the bible against your spouse instead of being the bible to them?  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven.  Simply being, its time to quit whining and start shining!
  •                   Rom 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  How many of you are glad that you don’t have to worry about condemnation because you are in Christ?  Then, why would you want to by hypocritical and condemn your spouse?  Simply being, why wouldn’t you want to be an example of Christ to them?
  •                   John 3:17 says, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”  The principle here for marriage is, “The Lord didn’t send you to your spouse to condemn them but that you might save them.”
  •                   John 5:24 says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”  If you don’t have to worry about coming into condemnation and you have passed from death unto life, why would you want to bring your spouse into condemnation and death?
  •                   Religion condemns people.  Satan condemns people.  Hypocrites condemn people.  If I just dialed your phone number, pick up the phone.
  •                   There is a big difference between condemnation and conviction.  And you understanding this will determine the future of your marriage.  Condemnation drives your spouse away from God and thus your marriage continues to decay while conviction draws your spouse to God where change will come. 
  •                   Romans 2:4 says that the goodness of God leadeth thee (your spouse) to repentance.  The flipside of the coin is the evil of satan leadeth you (your spouse) to stay the same.  Now would be a good time to ask, who you are working for.  

2) Comparing your spouse or marriage to somebody else’s

                     2 Cor 10:12 says, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

  •                   Have you ever told your spouse that you wished they were like a certain person?  This is not only wrong according to the scripture; it is very hurtful to your spouse.  My marriage is not the model for you.  The word of God and what it says about marriage is our ruler.
  •                   I could use this verse as a principle verse and you would hear some say something like this.  Honey, our marriage isn’t so bad, look at that marriage.  This type comparison cripples you and keeps you from seeing your need to work on your marriage. 
  •                   How about those that look at a marriage that looks so good that makes yours look awful?  It is then that you may get discouraged instead of realizing that they only have what they have because they applied the truths and principles of Gods word of the years and this is the result.
  •                   On the other hand, there are those that would appear to have it altogether that are falling apart behind the scenes.  These will give themselves away at times with an over show of emotional affection.  Simply being, these want give their spouse the time of day at home and want to hug on them and embrace them when around other people.  And a few months later they end up divorced and people are in shock.
  •                   Things are not always as they appear.  Two men went fishing and while they were fishing, a funeral procession went by.  The one man took his hat off while they were going by and other one kept his hat on.  After the funeral procession went by, the other man came under conviction and repented to the other man.  He said I am so sorry, what you just did has changed my life.  The other man said, yes, we were married for 40 years.  

Now that we have shown you what will not work, let us move on now and show you what will work in changing your spouse.

Rev 3:14-22 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.                So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

  •                   Contrary to what we have been taught, this text is not talking about Jesus knocking on the door of a sinner’s heart.  He is knocking on the door of the church or Christians.  The truth being, they were locking him out of certain areas of their lives and in doing so, they would not sup with the Lord.  And, as a result they received no word in that area and thus that area remained the same, UNCHANGED!
  •                   The Lord wants to sup with you in the area of your marriage, sex, family, finances, employment, salvation, holiness, repentance, order, leadership, etc.

1) You must first SEE your need

  •                   In verse 17 you note that they were deceived in that they said, “we have need of nothing.”  Simply being, if you don’t see your need to be a better husband, you will never excel to become a better husband.  The same goes for the wife, if you don’t see your need to be a better wife, you will never excel to become a better wife.
  •                   This principle applies in other areas as well.  Simply being, if you don’t see your need to be a better father, better mother, better pastor, better employer, better boss, better child, you will not excel to become better.  You will shut God out!
  •                   My job as a pastor is not to make you right but to let you know that you are wrong about some things and let God deal with in hopes that you will make the choice to do what’s right.
  •                   Sad to say, the last generation knew what was wrong and did it while this generation is doing wrong and don’t know it.  Isaiah 5:20 says that they call evil good and good evil.

2) Your walk not your talk

1 Pet 3:1-6 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear (reverential).  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

  •                   Contrary to what we have been taught, the word conversation here is not talking about words.  It is talking about lifestyle or behavior.  One English rendering of behavior is your actions or reactions of persons or things in response to something going on around or in you.
  •                   The picture here is of a husband that refuses to line up with the word.  Then the Lord in essence says, Ok, I will change him without the word.  Simply being, I will change him through your (wives) lifestyle.  Your lifestyle will be my light that I will use to shine into his darkness and my goodness will lead him to repentance.
  •                   What will change your husband is you loving him even as God has loved him. 
  •                   What will change your husband is you submitting to his headship.  Sara honored the authority and headship that Abraham had.  Some wives will say that their husbands aren’t worthy of submitting to.  Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  I know that is tight, but its right.  The principle being, if your husband is missing the mark with you, lay your flesh down and watch the Lord come to your tomb and raise you both. 
  •                   Wives, when you submit to your husband, you are obeying God.  Isa 1:19-20 says, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”  Simply being, if you obey the word, ye shall enjoy a good marriage, but if you refuse, your marriage will hit the rocks sooner or later.
  •                   Somebody said, what if my husband is doing wrong and I know it.  If you submit (Godly attitude), adapt and follow (not into sin), the Lord will protect you for being in order and hold your husband accountable and deal with him.  This principle works both ways.

3) Behold the Glory of God

2 Cor 3:17-18 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

  •                   Zech 4:6 says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
  •                   The reason why many spouses are seeing their spouses change is because they are beholding their unchanged spouse instead of the glory of the Lord.  When this happens, neither spouse changes or advances.  In Isaiah 6, The prophet saw the glory of the Lord and then saw himself.  He said he was undone (brought to silence – no positive influence) and a man of unclean lips (words spoken brought death instead of life).  Note the order, when you look up, you look within and when you look within, you will look without through eyes that have been CHANGED.

Phil 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

  •                   The reason you are married to the one you are is because you saw the good in them and was blinded to the bad.  Then you got married and all you can see is bad and are blinded to the good.
  •                   Someone once said that love is blind.  If that is true, marriage is truly an eye opener. 
  •                   Revelation: When you hear the word of God being taught on marriage, see the word in your bible for yourselves as it is being taught, receive that word into your marriage and apply it, and the God of peace shall be manifest in your marriage.

I trust you have been blessed by these teachings on marriage.  We have each one of these messages available to order on cassette for any size love offering to God’s Healing Ministry.  Your support enables us to send our tapes around the world.

 

MARRIAGE – PRESENT TRUTHS and PRINCIPLES [Troy Nichols]          1

 

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