Sorry for the delay posting for Forge on 2/21/18. 6 Pax show at Grits and Greens in Lowell for a Bible Study about marriage. I am certainly not a marriage expert but I have many difficult lesson over my 30+ years of marriage to my lovely bride. Here is the cliff notes version from the meeting.
Marriage is ordained by God and is a covenant between God, you and your spouse. “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6 I made an analogy about 3 ply thread being much stronger than 2 ply thread.
Attitude does matter. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 We discussed keeping communication lines open, avoiding saying “always” and “never” and do not hold grudges. Mrs. Leppard has taught me about that one.
Change yourself. Being a better man and a better Christian can influence your wife and family. “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 I told a story of a man I worked with who was saved much later in life mainly due to his wife’s example of love and how we each should strive for that type of love. Those who know us best should feel that type of love from us.
Say positive things about your wife publicly. “House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” Proverbs 19:14 This one may not seem as important but can make a world of difference to your spouse.
Try to keep our selfishness in check. Marriage for men is often fighting the battle of SELF. “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” Isaiah 53: In a marriage, it is not about YOU anymore. I read something I liked that said, marriage shouldn’t be 50/50 but each spouse should strive to put in 60% while being content with 40% in return.
Now the one verse that could radically transform every marriage! “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” Ephesians 5:25 This may be the most challenging verse in the Bible for a husband because Jesus set such a high standard. He literally gave his life for His bride (church). He calls us to love our wives with that same level of devotion. Jesus died for his bride but we often won’t pick up that item from the store. Jesus died for his bride but we often won’t fold that load of clothes. Jesus died for his bride but we often won’t sweep up that dirty floor. Jesus died for his bride but we often won’t fix a meal and clean up the kitchen. Let’s strive to love our wives as Christ loved His!
There were discussions after each point so thanks to the Pax for showing up.