Monday, November 17, 2008

AT THE WELL...standing for marriage

CHELSEY is our host for this week's discussion. I have come to really appreciate Chelsey's insights and I am blessed that she has included me in on her writing team. Thanks Chelsey!! Around the well today, we are discussing the following questions:

What does commitment in marriage mean?
What kind of wife are we called to be to our husbands?
What are ways that we can Biblically stand for our marriage?


If you pop over and read Chelsey's introduction for this week's topic you will see that she lists several scenarios of problems in marriages. Such as infidelity, porn, feeling isolated, and maybe even divorce. I considered not writing this week because I have not experienced any of those things in my marriage. Seems unlikely huh, especially since I have been married for 27 years. But it is true...that is why I have decided to share a few thoughts with you today on marriage...to encourage you that marriage IS a sacred bond ordained by God.

As a young bride, at the age of 17, I had alot to learn about love, commitment and marriage. Even though my marriage has not brought any affairs or thoughts of separation, over a period of 27 years there have been many times for growing, changing and sacrificing.

1. Chelsey has asked us about COMMITMENT in marriage...

People can be committed to many things...
-committed to show up every day for work
-committed to play on a sports team
-committed to pay back a loan for borrowed money

"There no longer seems to be much of a stigma attached to divorce; it is now seen as an unavoidable rite of passage." -GEORGE BARNA
One of the reasons there is a 33% divorce rate (taken from a BARNA RESEARCH data) in America today is the lack of commitment in our marriages.

  • It is easier to run then to stay.
  • It makes us feel less responsible if we blame others for our failures.
  • It is acceptable to not keep our promises.

God's design for marriage is becoming ONE...

PSALM 127:1a "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it."

Things such as marital affairs, porn issues, talk of separation will all threaten this ideal of "oneness". To reach the complete unity in our marriage as God designed we must take the steps that God has laid out before us. Each step along the way will lead us to having HOPE in our relationship with our mate.


God has a PURPOSE for our marriage.

God has a PLAN for our marriage.

God has POWER for our marriage.

God has a PROCESS for our marriage.

God PRODUCES oneness in our marriage.



Three things happen when a married couple strive for oneness...

1. Couples that mirror God's image will experience oneness with their Creator!

GENESIS 1:27 "And God created humanity in His own image..male and female He created them."

2. Couples who strive to complete one another will experience oneness with each other.

GENESIS 2:18 "Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."

3. Couples that multiply (not just having children) but multiply a godly legacy will experience oneness with their children.

GENESIS 1:28a "And God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.' "

Commitment is alot of things...

  • it is putting your mate first
  • it is a choice
  • it is staying instead of leaving
  • it is admitting you are wrong

And it is striving to be ONE with your spouse!

2. Secondly, Chelsey asks us about the kind of wife we are called to be. I can sum that up with one word...RESPONSIBILITY !

The characteristics of a responsible, godly wife:

She should walk with DISCERNMENT

EPHESIANS 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is also the head of the church, He Himself being the savior of the body."

She should accept the role of being her man's HELPER...the word "helper" is a title of worth. God refers to Himself in scripture as our "helper".

PSALM 54:4 "Behold, God is my helper, the Lord is the sustainer of my soul."

She should LOVE HER HUSBAND

Love is an attitude of unconditional acceptance.

  • Acceptance is accepting our husbands as they are. This acceptance should not be based on our mates performance but on his worth as God's gift to us.
  • A wife should accept her man's thoughts and feelings.
  • True love will accept failures. Allow the Holy Spirit to work thru his failures.

She should SUPPORT HER HUSBAND

PROVERBS 31:10-12 "An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."

Supporting something should be complimentary and not competitive.

Wives need to support our husband's job, we need to support him in front of others and we need to support him in our homes.

Another word for SUPPORT is SUBMISSION.

EPHESIANS 5:22,23 "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is also the head of the church.."

She should RESPECT HER HUSBAND

EPHESIANS 5:33b "...and let the wife see to it that she respects her husband."

R E S P E C T I N G is...

voluntarily regarding someone with honor, esteem and preference. Encouraging our husband is the ultimate way of showing respect.

  1. Respect his responsibilities
  2. Respect his pressures
  3. Respect his needs

3. Lastly, Chelsey asks how we can Biblically stand for our marriages...

  • Growing
  • Changing
  • Sacrificing

If we will grow in the knowledge of God's plan for marriage, His grace and His love and His forgiveness will change us. We will change the way we look at our spouse. If we will look at our relationship with our husband thru the eyes of Christ ~ our attitude, our love, our commitment will begin to be sacrificial.

I love the book "His needs, Her needs" by Willard F. Harley, Jr.. This author encourages us to lay aside our needs and strive to meet our spouses needs. When we serve our mate in such an unconditional manner - we will not have to worry about our needs being met. It will be done.

WHAT IS FOUND IN YOUR MARRIAGE?

strength? love? forgiveness? sacrifices?

TITUS 2:4 "encourage the young women to love their husbands."

I hope that you have been encouraged today to sacrificially love your husband! Please go the WELL and see what others are saying about marriage. If you CLICK HERE, you will be with Chelsey and the other ladies gathered around the well.


11 comments:

LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh, Laurie, wow,Wow, WOW. Mind if I say it again? God has made you an incredible teacher, and you are using that gift to the fullest. This was AMAzing.

One of Brian's and mine starter books was "His Needs, Her Needs," and I agree with you that it is one of the best out there for couples.

Jennifer said...

Great post, Laurie! You and Clayton are excellent role models for newly married couple to pattern themselves after. You are a loving, devoted to each other, considerate of each other and respectful of each other couple. Almost a rarity these days. Thanks for being such a godly example of what Christ intended marriage to be like. Love you guys!

Raye Ann said...

Laurie,

You are an inspiration.

Just because you have not experancied any of those horable things your marriage does not me you can not help those who have. Your post is a good example of that. The Biblical prenciples are the same no mater what has happened in the marriage. That is the beauty of God, He is our constant.

Laurie Ann said...

I'm so glad you've had such a good marriage! Many are not that fortunate. Steve and I are now, but we have to fight to get there. This was an awesome post, Laurie! I love the examples you have set before us. It's full of teaching, wisdom, inspiration and encouragement. All much needed for women today. God bless you for such a precious post!

Betsy Markman said...

Thanks for all of that insight!

momstheword said...

Great post. I love the steps you so prayerfully laid out of what a wife should be to her husband. (Loved the picture of the stairs too). In a way, marriage is like those stairs, one step at a time ascending up, not down. Thank you for that picture symbol!

Heather said...

Wow, I agree with the other comments posted, Lauralee and jennifer took the words out of my mouth.
Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed it!
Heather

Patty Wysong said...

So many good things in here to chew on--your points on accepting your husband are especially good! Loved this!

Debbie said...

Laurie - you have so many fantastic points - things that hit me between the eyes and encouraged me all at once. Thank you! The harder thing is SO MUCH the better thing - and our marriages are worth it!

Anonymous said...

This post was so helpful. I really got a lot out of it. We are still reading "Love Languages" together right now. I am hoping that we will be able to finish it soon, and then we can read "His Needs, Her Needs." I know we (Jeremy and me) have told you before, but we really look up to you and Clayton as our "marriage role models." You are such a good example of a loving marriage and a couple who has a marriage that is what God intended it to be. Thank you for all you have taught us both through living it out and through teaching us and talking with us.

Love you so much,
Rachel

JesusRulzMe said...

Sister Laurie,

This is really a GREAT article on striving to become and maintain oneness with our husbands....just as God intended when He created Adam and Eve.

Bless you so much for sharing this!
Sunny