Marriage

The five essential words for a healthy marriage are “I’m sorry, please forgive me.”

“Drink water from your own cistern,

running water from your own well.

Should your springs overflow in the streets,

your streams of water in the public squares?

Let them be yours alone,

never to be shared with strangers.

May your fountain be blessed,

and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

A loving doe, a graceful deer –

may her breasts satisfy you always,

may you ever be captivated by her love.

Why be captivated my son, by an adulteress?

Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?”

Solomon, King of Israel (Proverbs 5:15-20 NIV.)

In today’s world of political correctness a housewife is now called a home-maker because that is a more acceptable way of describing the occupation of someone who doesn’t actually go out to work, because they’re always at work. If someone asks me what my wife does for a living I sometimes say, “My wife is the Director of Social Development for a medium sized family business.” – Because that is what she truly is.

In the big decisions of life using our common sense is very important. For example, the Bible tells us that marriage is the norm. But what the Bible won’t tell you is who you should marry.

I heard of one Cockney from the East End of London, who was not a churchgoer. And he had a real dilemma because he was in love with two very beautiful women. And he couldn’t decide. One was called Sharon, and she was blonde and very beautiful, and the other was called Maria, and she was a brunette and also very beautiful. He wasn’t a churchgoer but not knowing whether it was Sharon or Maria, Sharon or Maria, he thought: `Well, I’ll go into a church and pray.’

So he went into a local Catholic church and he knelt down by the altar and being a Cockney he said to the Lord: ‘Oom shall I ‘ave?’ And he looked up, and as he did so he looked at the stained-glass window and he saw in gold letters: Ave Maria!

That’s not the best way to go about it, obviously! Common sense tells us we should ask these questions: are we personally compatible (are we good friends, do we get on)? Are we physically compatible (are we attracted to each other)? Are we spiritually compatible? Paul warns us of the danger of marrying somebody who’s not a Christian, because inevitably we’re going in different directions spiritually, and that can cause tension. So if we’re a Christian we should look to marry someone whose faith we respect.

Alpha DVD and http://www.merredinunitingchurch.org/2012/05/24/alpha-talk-how-does-god-guide-us/

I heard of a clergyman who makes this recommendation to a couple whose marriage is in trouble: ‘Every day do ten kind things for your wife or husband. If you want to rekindle love, this is what you should do.’

I love the way Pastor Tony Evans described the unity of marriage: ‘When Adam woke up, all of him was not there. A rib was missing. And when Eve woke up, all of her was not brand-new, because she had something that once belonged to Adam. So what God did in marriage was give Adam back what he had lost and gave Eve the rest of what she needed.’

Tony Evans, Time To Get Serious, 1995, Illinois: Crossway Books, p.70

Picture a triangle with God at the top and a husband and wife at either side. The closer the husband and wife get to God the closer they get together.

50 Tips For Marriage:

1) Start each day with a kiss. 2) Wear your wedding ring. 3) Date your spouse at least once a week. 4) Accept your differences. 5) Be polite. 6) Be gentle. 7) Give gifts. 8) Smile often. 9) Touch. 10) Talk about your dreams. 11) Select a song and make it ‘our song’. 12) Give back rubs. 13) Laugh together. 14) Send a card for no reason. 15) Do what the other person wants before they ask. 16) Listen carefully. 17) Encourage each other. 18) Do it their way. 19) Know their needs. 20) Fix their breakfast. 21) Compliment at least twice a day. 22) Telephone during the day. 23) Slow down. 24) Hold hands. 25) Cuddle. 26) Ask for the others opinion. 27) Show respect. 28) Welcome each other home. 29) Try to look your best. 30) Wink at each other. 31) Celebrate birthdays in a big way. 32) Apologise. 33) Forgive quickly. 34) Set up a romantic get-away. 35) Ask, ‘What can I do to make you happier?’ 36) Be positive. 37) Be kind. 38) Be vulnerable. 39) Respond quickly to the other person’s requests. 40) Talk about your love. 41) Reminisce about your favourite times together. 42) Treat each other’s friends and relatives with courtesy. 43) Send flowers every Valentine’s Day, anniversary and for no reason at all. 44) Admit when you are wrong. 45) Be sensitive to each other’s sexual desires. 46) Seek outside help when needed. 47) Watch sunsets together. 48) Say, ‘I love you’ frequently. 49) End each day with a hug. 50) Pray for each other daily.

Source: The UCB Word For Today devotional, 06/07/2003

What is love? How do we define it? A model definition can be found in the marriage ceremony where the minister asks the bride and groom, ‘Will you love, comfort, honour and protect your (husband/wife) and be faithful to them as long as you both shall live?’… Do you take (each other) ‘to have and to hold, from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part’? … In the marriage ceremony love is expressed as a lifelong giving of each other for each other. That’s similar to our relationship to God: when we start out in the Christian life it’s a bit like the marriage ceremony, where ‘God so loved [us] He gave His one and only Son.’ And in giving His Son to us God says to all who will listen:

“Sinner, Do you take this Saviour?”

“I will” (is the response God so desires to hear)

“And Saviour, do you take this sinner?”

“I will,” (says Jesus, with open arms!)

10 Translations to Understand What A Man Really Means When He Says…

  1. “It would take too long to explain it, Dear.” – Translation: “I haven’t got the foggiest idea how it works!”
  2. “Please don’t fuss: it’s just a little cut, it’s no big deal.” – Translation: “It hurts like ‘heck’ but I will bleed to death before I admit it!”
  3. “Do you want some help with dinner, Honey?” – Translation: “How come the food isn’t on the table yet?”
  4. “Honey, I can’t find it.” – Translation: “It didn’t fall into my outstretched hands. Please come and get it for me.”
  5. “Honey, that outfit looks great on you.” – Translation: “Come on, let’s go, I’m starving!”
  6. “It’s a ‘MAN’ thing, you wouldn’t understand.” – Translation: “There is just no rational thought behind it and it’s just plain stupid, okay.”
  7. “That’s interesting, Dear.” – Translation: “For goodness sake, please stop talking.”
  8. Uh huh, Yep, Okay, Sure Honey, in a minute and Yes Dear – Translation: All of these are ‘reflex action responses’ that mean absolutely zilch!
  9. “Honey, you’re working too hard: sit down and put your feet up.” – Translation: “I can’t concentrate on the game while the vacuum cleaner is on.”
  10. “No, I’m not lost.” – Translation: “I haven’t got a clue where we are but it’s just not in my nature to ask someone for directions.”

Anonymous - adapted from a social media post in mass circulation

I don’t pretend to be the world’s best husband or the world’s greatest expert on marriage but not so long ago my wife said I was a ‘model husband’. I thought that was a compliment until I looked up in the dictionary and discovered that a model is a small imitation of the real thing!

‘Advantages of Being a Man’

  1. Men don’t have to shave below the neckline
  2. Men can open their own jam jars
  3. Men can go to the bathroom by themselves in a restaurant.
  4. Men can do their Christmas shopping in 45 minutes flat!
  5. Men can do their nails with a pocket knife
  6. Car mechanics always tell men the truth!
  7. Men can watch football with other men without thinking they’re crazy.

by Richard Coekin

As a single mother told her teenage daughter: “Grandma was right: Men won’t buy the cow if they can get the milk for free!” – Anon.

I heard a funny tale about a husband and wife: After being married for 25 years and intending to make their silver anniversary a memorable one, the wife asked her husband to describe her. Well, he looked at her and said, “You’re A,B, C,D, E,F,G,H, … and I,J,K.” The wife was puzzled and so she asked, “Now, what does that mean?” He said, “Adorable, Beautiful, Cute, Delightful, Elegant, Foxy, Gorgeous and Hot.” The wife smiled: She beamed at him and said, “You’re such a sweetie, but what about I,J,K, what does that stand for?” He looked back at her and said, “I’m Just Kidding!”

‘The Art Of Marriage’

A good marriage must be created.

In a marriage, it’s the little things that are the big things…

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say “I love you,” at least once each day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

It is standing together and facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude

in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is not only marrying the right person,

It is also being the right partner. (Anon)

“To the one you marry you are saying, ‘When my time comes to leave this world, when the chill of eternity blows away my birthdays and my future stands still in the night, it’s your face I want to kiss good-bye. It’s your hand I want to squeeze, as I slip from time to eternity. As the curtain closes on all I have attempted to do and be, I want to look into your eyes and see that I mattered. Not what I looked like or how much money I made, or even how talented I was. I just want to look into the eyes of someone who loved me and see that I mattered.”

T.D. Jakes

“Marriage is the only war in which you sleep with the enemy.”

Herb True, motivational speaker

Man to his wife: “I just can’t figure it out. Why would God make you so beautiful and yet at the same time so stupid?”

Wife to husband: “Oh, that’s easy dear. God made me beautiful so that you’d ask me to marry you, and he made me stupid so that I would agree to it!”

John Ortberg relates how his niece… “Courtney got married not long ago, and at the wedding reception they had a dance for married couples in which they would eliminate couples from the dance floor based on the length of their marriage. [He writes:] ‘At the beginning we were all on the floor. Courtney and Patrick were the first to leave, then all the couples married less than one year left, then those married less than five years, and so on. Nancy and I made it to the twenty-five year cut, and by that time the crowd had thinned out considerably.

Finally, there was just one couple left on the dance floor, and they had been married fifty-three years. Everybody watched them – a tall, courtly, silver-haired man who stood a foot taller than his wife – but they watch only each other. They danced with joy, not in the skill of their dancing, but in the love they radiated for each other. What a contrast between the newlyweds, fresh in the health and beauty of their marriage, and the beauty of another kind of love that shone from the last couple on the floor! Perhaps part of why we appreciate such beauty is that it speaks to us of an inner flourishing not visible to the eye.’

When the dancing ended, the master of ceremonies turned to Courtney and Patrick and said to them, “Take a good look at that couple on the dance floor. Your task now is to live and love together in such a way that fifty-three years from now that’s you. That dance is your dance. Now it begins.”

MISTAKES

John Ortberg, The Me I Want To Be, 2010, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, p.19

A good marriage is built on mutual sacrifice. Adam had to sacrifice something near and dear to him in order to get Eve – a rib. And your wife will know you love her when you’re willing to give up things that are important to you in order to meet her needs and promote her well-being. Too many men want to be married but still function as singles. They don’t want to sacrifice any time, attention or resources for the benefit of their wives. They don’t want a wife; they want a maid. They want to marry someone so they can be served. No – it’s the opposite! The Bible says you and your wife are ‘heirs together’. That means she is an equal partner. So, her opinions, thoughts, and perspectives matter. Yes, as the leader of your home you may make the final decision, but when you don’t get your wife’s input and consider her viewpoint, holy wedlock can turn into unholy deadlock. Your wife will respond to you when she feels cherished and valued (see Ephesians 5:28-29). You say, ‘But my wife’s as cold as ice.’ How did she get that way? Ice only stays icy in a cold environment, so instead of complaining, work at changing your environment. Husbands are thermostats and wives are thermometers. Husbands determine the climate and wives thrive or shrivel accordingly. There’s a reason your wife is ‘cold’. And there’s a solution: warm her up and watch her melt! When you begin to love, nurture, cherish, and protect her as Christ did the church, you’ll have a whole new woman in your arms. Try it and see.

Source: The UCB Word For Today, 3/2/2018 adapted from Tony Evans, Marriage Matters, p.57-61

When speaking at a wedding, Nicky Lee, founder of The Marriage Course, often uses a spiral notebook as a visual aid, explaining: ‘Each page presents a day of your life. At the end of the day there are ways in which we may have offended one another. Don’t just turn over the page – by doing so you are accumulating all of these wrongs. But at the end of each day pull off each page and throw it away.’

Sex is like a river – it is a good and wonderful blessing when kept within its proper channel. A river that overflows its banks is a dangerous thing, and so are perverted sexual drives. What are the God-created banks for sex? One man with one woman in marriage for life.

Richard Foster

Source: Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline, 1989, London: Hodder & Stoughton, p.54

A wife says to her husband of fifty years as they lie in bed one night, “When we were young, you used to hold my hand every night.” Slowly and a little irritably, his hand reaches over until it finds hers… “And when we were young,” she goes on, “you used to cuddle up next to me in bed.” A little more slowly, her husband’s body creaks and turns until it is nestling against hers… “And when we were young, you used to nibble on my ears.” Abruptly the covers are thrown back, and the man lurches out of bed… “Where are you going?” she asks a little miffed. “I’m going to get my teeth,” he grumbles.

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up!

Ogden Nash

A teenage girl, thinking about a future husband, once versed a poem, in the form of a prayer. Here it is:
‘Dear God, I pray all unafraid,
As girls are wont to be,
I do not want a handsome man,
But make him, Lord, like Thee.
I do not need one big and strong,
Nor yet so very tall,
Nor need he be some genius
Or wealthy, Lord, at all;
But let his head be high, dear God,
And let his eyes be clear,
His shoulders straight, whate’er his fate,
Whate’er his earthly sphere.
And let his face have character,
A ruggedness of soul,
And let his whole life show, dear God,
A singleness of goal.
And when he comes, as he will come,
With quiet eyes aglow;
I’ll know, dear Lord,
That he’s the man
I prayed for long ago.’

The name of the young girl who penned this verse was Ruth Bell. The man that she eventually met and married was Billy Graham

The Bible teaches us that ‘marriage is a gift of God in creation and a means of His grace’. There is a profound mystery when God brings two people together in holy matrimony. Do you know what holy means? Holy means separated; set apart. – Just as the water was changed into wine so the two are changed to become one, and what once was is now different; changed forever. When [NAME and NAME] arrived at church a little while ago they were 1 + 1 = 2 but now as they begin their new married life together they are 1 x 1 = 1.

According to an anonymous e-mail the following article about ‘men’ was seen in a woman’s publication:

Men are like government bonds; they take so long to mature.

Men are like high heel shoes; they’re easy to walk on once you get the hang of it.

Men are like horoscopes; they always tell you what to do and are usually wrong.

Men are like mascara; they usually run at the first sign of emotion.

Men are like place mats; they generally only show up when there’s food on the table.

Men are like new-born babies; they’re cute at first, but you soon get tired of cleaning up after them.

Men are like laxatives; they irritate the “stuffing” out of you.

“Let the wife make her husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”

Martin Luther (1483-1546), German leader of the Protestant Reformation

Jesus was himself a guest at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. And it was here – when they ran out of wine – Jesus performed his first miracle and changed six jars of ordinary looking water, used for ceremonial washing, into the best choice wine! In this miracle Jesus provided what was lacking; He brought fullness where there had been emptiness, joy where there had been disappointment and something internal (wine for consumption) from that which had been external (washing up water). In other words, the substance; the make-up; the dynamic changed: What was once water became the best wine they had ever drunk! And what made the difference? Jesus did. It’s the same with a marriage: it’s been well said that ‘wise are the couple who invite Jesus to their wedding, and into their marriage.’

When you have a gold mine you get the dirt as well.

Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.

Ephesians 4:26

If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence its AstroTurf!

The grass is not greener over that side of the fence. The grass is not greener over this side of the fence. The grass is only greener where you water it!

Sage advice for women: The way to a man’s (husband’s) heart is through his stomach.

Sage advice to men: The way to a woman’s (wife’s) heart is through your ear.

Nicky Gumbel teaches that there is no such thing as ‘casual sex’. Every act of sexual intercourse effects a ‘one flesh’ union (1Corinthians 6:13-20). When this union is broken people get hurt. If you glue two pieces of corrugated cardboard together and then pull them apart, you can hear the sound of ripping and see that bits of each piece of card are left behind on the other. Similarly, becoming one flesh and then being torn apart leaves scars. We leave broken bits of ourselves in broken relationships. All around us we see what happens when God’s standards are ignored. We see broken marriages, broken hearts, hurt children, sexual disease and those whose lives are in a mess. On the other hand, in so many Christian marriages where God’s standards are kept, we see the blessing that God intended to bestow on the whole area of sex and marriage.

Nicky Gumbel, Alpha Questions of Life, 2007, Eastbourne: Kingsway Communications, p.222-3

Vaughan Roberts often says to a newly married husband: ‘On honeymoon I want you to list the top five attributes that you find most attractive about your wife. And then on your first anniversary, and each one after that, I want you to take out your list and check to see if those attributes that first attracted you are growing. If they are, you are doing a good job as a husband in loving your wife. And if they are not you’re not!’

One money-conscious wife said to her husband, “I thought you were well-off before I married you.” He replied sarcastically, “I was!”

10 Things That Men WANT To Say To But Don’t.

  1. Don’t ask if your outfit makes you look fat. If you think you look fat, you are.
  2. Don’t ask me if you should cut, colour or perm your hair – it always causes arguments!
  3. If you ask me a question that you don’t really want to know the answer to, then you’ll get an answer that you don’t really want to hear.
  4. Whatever you wear is fine, really!
  5. Yes, it looks great… How much did it cost?
  6. Ask me for whatever it is that you want, but don’t expect me to guess.
  7. If something I said can be interpreted in two ways and one of the ways makes you feel sad or angry, I meant the other one!
  8. When I say I’m not that hungry, it’s not because I don’t like what you’ve cooked.
  9. Please, please, cut out the peripheral and just get to the point!
  10. A headache that lasts for 18 months is a problem; see a doctor!

attributed to Ruth Dearnley

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met! – Rodney Dangerfield

A bride’s first three thoughts at a church wedding:

Aisle

Altar

Hymn

Behind every successful man there is always a good woman!

Comedienne, Joan Rivers says she’s such a bad housekeeper, her husband reports a burglary once a year so that the police will come in and dust for fingerprints!”

Author and speaker, Dorothy Leeds refers to herself as someone with a black belt in shopping. She tells the story of how her husband didn’t report the theft of their joint American Express card… He was hoping that the person who stole it would spend less than she did!

Did you hear the one about a wife who told her marriage counsellor: “We’re considering divorce for religious reasons: my husband thinks he’s God and I don’t!”

“Too many marriages start out in bliss and end up in blisters.” – Fred Smith

During a disagreement a wife said to her husband, “I didn’t realise they have actually named a street after you.” – “Oh yeah, what’s that?” he asked. “One way!” she replied.

If you are too busy to spend time with your family, you’re too busy!

“My wife and I married for better or for worse. I couldn’t do any better and she couldn’t do any worse!” – Herb True, motivational speaker

“The most influential position in our nation today is held by a woman. She enforces law, practices medicine, and teaches without a degree, certificate of competence or required training. She handles the nation’s food, administers its drugs, and practices emergency first aid. She cares for all the physical and mental ills of the family; a man literally places his life and the lives of his children in the hands of this woman – his wife.”

attributed to Ruth Hampton

“The man who is always as busy as a bee should be very careful: Someday he might wake up to the fact that someone has swiped his honey.”

Anon

Matthew Henry commented on God’s choice of a rib to create Eve: ‘Not made out of his head to top him, not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.’ Perhaps this reads a little too much into the rib, but it expresses well the biblical ideal of marriage.

Source: New Bible Commentary, (1994 edition), Leicester: IVP, p.62

The divine intention and biblical institution of marriage: “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24

Sex is so powerful it’s like electricity; it can electrocute and destroy us, or it can lighten up our lives.

John Pritchard

“Marriage is like a good retirement plan. As long as you keep the deposits flowing, the account grows. The marriage develops like compound interest over time. Small investments of love and nurture reap great dividends in relational happiness.”

Tom L. Eisenman

“Whether you married the right person or the wrong person is primarily up to YOU.”

Zig Ziglar

Funny The Most Touching Speech Made by Bride’s Father to the Groom