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Gods’ Values for Marriage

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“The self-evident biological fact that men and women are designed to complement one another is the reason that for the entire history of mankind, in all societies, at all times, and in all places marriage has been a relationship between persons of the opposite sex.”  - Marilyn Musgrave

Each marriage develops its own unique character, shaped by the spouses' values. So your values are the primary boundaries for your marriage. What you value determines what you will allow, what you will fight against, and what you will pursue in your marriage. Consequently, you should cultivate godly values in your marriage. Think long-term. Invest time and energy in developing and defending your values, and it will yield valuable dividends - not the least of which will be a deep relationship with your spouse.

Personal happiness should not be the highest goal, the most sought-after value in a healthy marriage. Happiness is not an end in itself; it is a product of hard work and patience in the relationship. There will be times in any marriage when one or both partners are unhappy, but this unhappiness might be the direct result of painful personal growth. And this growth is a key component of the relationship's long-term vitality.

Boundary-loving spouses will work through these tough times together and will usually reach a deeper happiness as a result. But if happiness is the highest value for the marriage and it is absent for a season, we will assume that the relationship itself is the problem.

“People who always want to be happy and pursue it above all else are some of the most miserable people in the world.” Surprisingly, when we are most unhappy, good things are probably happening - if we will let them!

God has articulated several values that form the bedrock of strong marriages. We must know them, cultivate them and work on them diligently. “Stand against anything in yourself or your spouse that would de-story them. This is righteous indignation, and your marriage may depend on it...Pursue them with everything you can muster. They will not fail you in the end.”

We were created as male and female, and for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined with his wife, and the two shall become one in the mystical spiritual and physical union we call “marriage.” A good marriage always based on ‘Love’, ‘Honest’, ‘Faithfulness’, ‘Compassion and Forgiveness,’ and ‘Holiness’.

1. Love God

When you hold loving God as your primary value, your attention stays on your relationship with Him. This helps you to remember that you are not the one in control, and this helps you to establish boundaries in your own life. God tells you how to change and gives you the power to do it.

“When loving God is our orienting principal in life, we are always adjusting to what He requires from us.”

2. Love Your Spouse

God designed the marriage relationship to be one nourished by agape love, self-sacrificial love focused solely on the good of the other person. Agape love is based on a commitment to the relationship and is active in preserving and developing it.

“This kind of love may cost you. It may put you out. It may be difficult for you. But if you were the other, it would be good. And to love her as yourself means that you want it for your spouse as desperately as you would want it for yourself.”

When you love your spouse with agape love, you will be sensitive to the ways your choices will affect your spouse. You will place top priority on improving your spouse's life, and you will desire the other’s best even when he or she is unable to see what that is.

3. Honesty

“Anything, large or small, is forgivable and able to be worked through in a relationship - except deception.”

Dishonesty damages any relationship because it subverts the possibility of knowing one another as you truly are. Honesty is, therefore, a pre-requisite for the growth of any relationship. However, honesty must be coupled with love, commitment, forgiveness, and grace to listen to and to deal with the truth.

4. Faithfulness in spouse

“A faithful spouse is one who can be trusted, depended upon, and believed in, and one in whom you can rest.”

Faithfulness in marriage goes far beyond the physical aspects. Some spouses are physically faithful but emotionally unfaithful. Faithfulness means being able to be trusted in all aspects of the relationship.

The faithful couple will:

·         Trust each other

·         Have confidence in each other

·         Be assured of each other's character and dependability

·         Be convicted of your ability to trust each other

·         Be certain of each other's fidelity

·         Be true to one another

·         Be certain of one another

·         Be permanent to each other

·         Rest in each other

5. Compassion and Forgiveness

Remember that your spouse is imperfect, just like you. At some point, your mate will fail you in some way. But nothing in a relationship will permanently destroy it if spouses are willing to forgive one another. In order for marriages to survive the crises they will face, husbands and wives must be tender-hearted toward one another.

“Hardness of heart, much more than failure, is the true relationship killer.”

Tenderheartedness involves recognition of our own ability to sin, vulnerability with regard to our own weaknesses, empathy toward our spouse and a willingness to repent.

6. Holiness

A holy person is one who is pure and blameless. When you and your spouse pursue holiness, it means that you are both striving to become the person God would have you to be, the kind of person who can truly love.

“In marriage, holiness is anything but boring. It is the kind of purity and trustworthiness from which the deepest kinds of passion flow.”

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