Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Husband and Wife (08/08/14)
TITLE: Till Death Do Us Part
By Edmond Ng
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- Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:33 NAS)
As the bride walked down the church aisle with her father giving her hand to the bridegroom, the joy overflowing from within the soon-to-be married couple was beyond words could describe. Some months and years later, however, the feelings were no longer the same. Before long the couple discovered love alone was not enough to sustain their marriage. Staying together “till death do us part” became elusive—a vow too difficult to keep.
Marrying at an early age, less education and income, living together before marriage, premarital pregnancy, and no religious affiliation, among many others, are factors contributing to people at higher risk of divorce, according to an article at Divorce.USU.edu. The most common reasons people give for their divorce are lack of commitment, too much arguing, infidelity, marrying too young, unrealistic expectations, lack of equality in the relationship, lack of preparation for marriage, and abuse.
But what does the Bible say about divorce or separation? Some faith-based counselors suggest there is only one valid reason for a married couple to separate—if a person puts others in the family in danger.
Jesus, during His ministry on earth, was asked by some Pharisees as a test “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” Jesus’ reply was what God has joined together let not man put asunder. “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” the Pharisees asked. Jesus said to them it was because of the hardness of their hearts Moses permitted divorce, but it was not so from the beginning. “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” Jesus said (Matthew 19:3-9).
Marital infidelity, drug abuse, and non-support are some reasons also considered for separation, wrote Jack Wellman on October 29, 2011 at WhatChristiansWantToKnow.com. “But since we know that God hates divorce, the person or couple should seek marital counseling (Malachi 2:16)” he advised.
So what does it take to keep a husband and wife together? The Bible’s advice: a husband is to love his wife as himself, and the wife must respect her husband. A wife is to submit herself to her husband so that if he does not believe the word he might be won over without words by the behavior of his wife. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones. A husband is to be considerate, living with his wife, and is to treat the wife with respect as the weaker partner and heir with him of the gracious gift of life (Ephesians 5:25, 33; 1 Peter 3:1, 7; Proverbs 12:4).
Besides sacrificial love and respect, faithfulness is also important in keeping a marriage together. Of the many lessons my wife and I learned in our marriage life is that a lasting and bonding relationship begins with accepting one another for who we are in spite of our failures, flaws, past, among other things. Mutual understanding and the willingness to give and take in loving care for one another are crucial. Hide nothing from each other, share joys and sorrows together, and hold each other up especially during trying times. Like a cord of three strands that is not quickly torn apart, a husband and wife, even if in a strained relationship, with Christ as the center of the family can stay strong and move on together (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
Dear Lord, forgive us for the times we feel like calling it quits with our spouse over matters that are not unresolvable. Help us sustain and grow our relationship as we cast our cares on You. Do not allow us to live with regrets the things we have permitted or done in the past that result in the strain we are facing today. Use all our broken pieces to make something beautiful, so we might get our lives back together and move on ahead with You as Lord and the center of our lives.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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