Butterflies, Love, and Marriage
Song of Solomon 8:6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
I. The purpose of marriage
I believe God used marriage as a picture in the Bible. He likens us as his bride, and he tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church. A good marriage can glorify God- two are better than one. Two can reach the lost more effectively than one, they can encourage each other to keep going, and they can motivate each other during the hard times. They can bring forth children, raise them right, and send them forth as arrows to win the lost.
B. What marriage is not.
Marriage is not two people shacking up with each other. It is not two men, or two women. Marriage is not common law. Marriage is two people coming together, before man and God, and establishing a covenant. It is having witnesses, it is having someone officiate your vows to each other. Having a ceremony keeps you and everyone that witnessed said vows accountable. It is for life.
1. Shacking up
Shacking up is simply that. Fornication. It is moving in so the lusts of the flesh can be fulfilled, without any of the commitment.
2. Temporary...marriage is for keeps
The good, the bad, the ugly days- marriage is for keeps. We have never uttered the 'D' word in our marriage...'Divorce', that is. We have always known we would HAVE to work through our problems...because marriage is for life.
3. Between two of the same sex...marriage is one woman, one man, no matter what the world says.
Marriage is one man, one woman. Period. Sodomy is still an abomination, no matter what the world is telling you. God will never recognize homosexual marriage.
2. Dating...or, preparation for marriage
A. Dating Testimony
I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home, with the focus on me being a stay at home mom and homemaker when I got married. I was also raised being taught that the dating game was bad. My dad died when I was 17, and our church went downhill, so we started looking for a KJV Baptist church. We found one 45 minutes away, and it happened to be my husband's dad's church. When we first started attending, it was NOT love at first sight. We are both firstborns, and competitive by nature. I couldn't stand the fact that he knew more Bible than me, and he was always trying to best us girls in the youth group competitions. I remember ranting and flipping out about something he had done to my mom. My mom just kind of smiled and said, "You are going to marry him someday." I said, "Not if he was the last man on earth!" Well, I guess moms have a way of knowing these things, don't they? As he grew up a little, he started maturing a little, and taking notice of the pretty girl in the youth group. We became friends, although he still infuriated me at times, haha, and I started noticing what a great guy he was- underneath the bragging, of course. When he was 19, he came to realize that I was everything he wanted in a wife. We were close friends by this time, and he couldn't stop thinking or praying about me. I was close to him, but trying hard not to 'really fall in love', because he still hadn't officially pursued me. After praying one night, he finally decided to go for it. He talked to his dad, who talked to my mom, who talked to me. We officially started dating. The first night he had gotten the green light, there were a bunch of people standing around in church. In true Cassandra fashion, (I tend to say what I think, in front of whoever is there) I blurted out- "Do you know how long I have liked you?!" He said, in an awkward way, "Um, we will talk about that later." It was a fast courtship, but not fast enough. We had chaperoned dating, and we were never alone until we drove away from our reception. We were engaged three weeks after becoming official, and married six months later. We had our first kiss at the marriage altar, and had a great honeymoon. The wait was worth it. We have grown, learned, and have fallen more deeply in love with each other with every passing year.
B. Teens dating, what age, how we will do it, etc.
Our teens won't date. We want them to enjoy being a child. Responsibility and taking care of a family will come soon enough. We don't want them to have the burden of trying to constantly please someone when they are a teen. When they are old enough to get married, and they are attracted to a girl or guy who is the type of person they want for marriage, then they can pursue a relationship. It will be chaperoned, and my hope is that all of my children will marry pure, as their dad and I did.
3. Life after Marriage
A. Our spouse is not responsible for our happiness.
Cassandra- This is the main thing I want to get through to women. When you get married, do not hang all your hopes, dreams, and desires on your husband. He is not responsible for your happiness. You are. Don't think, if you are miserable when single, that marriage holds all the answers. Don't think that your husband is going to swoop in on a horse and carry you away to Fairy Tale land. If you have found that mystery land, please, give me the directions! Your husband can not bring you unending happiness. Your children can not bring you unending happiness. What they can bring you is a lot more work and frustration! You alone hold the key to your happiness. Contentment is what will bring that happiness. Fall in love with Jesus, and his word. Take happiness in the little things in life. Don't compare yourself or your marriage to others'. Look out for others, and pour yourself into them- this is what will bring you joy.
B. Submission- what it is, what it is not.
Submission is not being inferior to your husband. It takes humility on your part to be submissive to another person, especially when you don't agree with every decision. God will bless you for it, though. Being submissive is not listening with a horrible attitude. It's keeping your mouth shut, and going along joyfully.
C. Husband takes priority over every other relationship.
When the kids grow up and leave, the husband stays. Make him your first priority. Find out what pleases him, and do it. Find out his love language, and try to fill his love tank. Don't talk to others about your problems you have with him. Keep your private times together private. It's no one else's business. Make him the number one person in your life.
Find out what makes him mad, and THEN DON'T DO IT. Hopefully he will have the same attitude with you! We all have hot buttons. Don't push them.
D. Three things men crave and need.
Men need to know that even if the whole world is against them, their woman is in their corner. Back up your man. All the time, but especially in public. Don't talk down to him. No matter what Hollywood says, men are not stupid, and not children.
2. A happy wife and happy kids
When your husband comes home to a well run home, a happy wife, and happy kids, he will be a happy man. If you are sad and depressed and down in the dumps every day when he gets home, he is going to dread coming home.
3. Physical relationship
Men need physical attention. God put this desire in them, and it is not gross, evil, or wrong. The marriage bed is undefiled. Please remain pure until marriage, but once you have that ring on your finger, give yourself joyfully to your husband! The physical love between a man and woman is great. It provides a connection that you can't get anywhere else. It also produces children- one of life's biggest blessings! Give him steak every day, and he won't go looking for that McDonald's hamburger elsewhere. Men need this from their wives. Try to practice good hygiene, and keep yourself up for your husband. Try to eat healthy, and even exercise a few times a week, and this will help you feel better overall!
F. Different men need different type of women...be the woman your husband fell in love with.
My husband loves my independence and my spunk. He loves that he doesn't need to 'babysit' me, and that I can make decisions on the not so important choices. I balance the checkbook and pay the bills, he brings home the paycheck, and for us, this works. Not many men could handle my Anne of Green Gables personality, however. He is truly my 'Gilbert'. Chances are, your husband is attracted to your personality, he fell in love with you. There are always irritating things about us, however. If he doesn't like you laughing loudly at social functions, then try to dial that back. Hopefully he will do the same, say, if he has a belching habit! We are trying to please our spouse. Try to give up irritating habits that he might not like.
G. Loving even in the difficult days
Realize that every marriage will have its ups and downs. Sickness will come. Financial hardship will come. Hormones happen. But stick with it. God can create a beautiful masterpiece out of your marriage. Cling to him, his Word, his promises, and cling to each other. Be each other's 'person'. The one that you confide in, love with, and enjoy life together with. Some days will be hard and gory and difficult, but yet others will be glorious and beautiful. Buckle up and enjoy the ride together.