There is nothing easier than saying words and nothing harder than living them day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and redecided tomorrow. Real love is something beyond the warmth and glow, the excitement, and romance of being deeply in love.
It is looking outward in the same direction –together. Love makes burdens lighter, because you divide them. It makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger so you can reach out and become involved with life in ways you dared not risk alone.
Are you both ready to enter into this covenant of marriage, to accept the responsibilities of being husband and wife, whatever circumstances the future may hold? If so, please answer, “I am ready, with the help of the Lord.”
THREE RULES FOR MARRIAGE
I have some words of wisdom I want to share with you. This comes to you as fatherly advice as well as pastoral counsel. It is given in sincere love for the both of you with great confidence in the God of all grace and mercy. The Bible is God’s ultimate and comprehensive marriage manual. Those whose marriages are made subject to the word of God, God can bless.
First, I recommend that you establish a pattern of reading the scriptures and praying together as a couple. It only takes 10 minutes or so to read and then pray together. No couple should leave home without it.
And observe the three rules for the home and family given in Ephesians 5-6. To consistently observe these rules in your home will bring success to your marriage and God’s blessing to you, to your family, and to others.
RULE ONE has to do with the wife and her special relationship with her husband
Wives, submit yourself to your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
The keyword is SUBMIT; respond to your husband’s leadership; be supportive, cooperative, and helpful. Actively seek to integrate your life into his life and be the complement to all that your husband is and seeks to be.
In order to do this well, encourage your husband to talk to you about his joys as well as his disappointments, his dreams, and his aspirations. Listen with your heart. A man needs his wife to know and understand him and to help him understand himself.
RULE TWO has to do with the husband and his relationship with his wife.
Husbands love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.
The keyword is LOVE; sacrificial and selfless love. It means to be dedicated to your wife’s happiness and contentment; to put her and her needs above your own. Exert all effort, make any sacrifice in order to convince her of her great value to you; more valuable than anyone or anything in this world.
Take time to visit with your wife every day. This is important to her. Be an active and interested listener. Let her vent when she needs to do so. But most of all share your thoughts with her about everything. Let her enter into your heart and mind. It is this kind of intimacy that truly strengthens the bond of marriage.
The Lord uses the relationship of husband to wife to picture His relationship to the church. It is imperative that husbands and wives model Christ in their marriage and family life.
This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
RULE THREE has to do with the children and the father’s responsibility as the spiritual leader in the home.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
God requires a father to raise his children in the things of the Lord and to be an example to them in all things godly. Therefore a father needs to be present and active in his children’s lives, cheering them on in victory, holding them close in times of trouble and heartache.
For children the keywords are OBEY and FOLLOW. Children are to obey their parents and follow the godly example of their father as their father leads them in following the Lord.
GRACE & FORGIVENESS
The practice of grace and forgiveness is the core principle in maintaining a healthy marriage. An angry man or angry woman is a scourge on any marriage. Kindness is the preferred trait in any relationship, especially vital in the relationship of marriage.
THE BIBLICAL INJUNCTION:
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Eph 4:31-32)
The cure for marital discord is forgiveness accompanied by actions of kindness in an attitude of tenderheartedness. The principle of grace and forgiveness will help you to work through many of the challenges you will face together in marriage.
Don’t be an angry man or angry woman. This doesn’t mean you won’t get angry, but don’t stay angry. Don’t live in a perpetual state of being upset, mad, disappointed. Meanness has no place in marriage. Physical abuse and threats of violence are unacceptable.
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Peter3:7)
FAMILY & FRIENDS
All marriages go through rough spots. When yours does, reach out together to godly people for counsel and support. Life can be hard. Relationship complicated. However, when things get really tough, call in the cavalry.
You are blessed with family who love you and who are committed together with you to your marriage. They will never bail on your marriage but will work with both of you together, as much as possible, in the problems and challenges that may come your way. Build strong ties with family. Be there for them. Reach out. Stay in touch. Check on each other. That is what family does for each other.
Make friends with good people, people of moral and spiritual integrity. Friends tend to rub off on your marriage, for better or worse. Choose your friends wisely. Avoid those who are disrespectful and/or critical of your spouse, whether friend or family. Protect each other. Honor each other in your friendships with other people. Praise and build one another up. Be slow to criticize. Stay positive.
DECLARATION OF INTENT
Now, are you both ‘still’ ready to enter into this covenant of marriage, to accept the responsibilities of being husband and wife, whatever circumstances the future may hold?
SON, in taking this woman to be your lawful and wedded wife, do you promise to love and cherish her, to honor and sustain her, in sickness and health, in poverty and in wealth in the bad that may darken your days, in the good that may lighten your ways, and to be true to her in all things until death alone shall part you? Do you so promise?
SON’S BRIDE , in taking this man to be your lawful and wedded husband, do you promise to love and to cherish him, to honor and sustain him, in sickness and health, in poverty as in wealth, in the bad that may darken your days, in the good that may lighten your ways, and to be true to him in all things until death alone shall part you? Do you so promise?
I love you son! and your precious bride! May God bless you as you journey together with Him who is Love, Light, and Life….