How Does Spirituality Affect a Marriage

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HOW DOES SPIRITUALITY AFFECT A MARRIAGE? A HOUSE, a life or a marriage is only as good as the foundation on which it rests. In one of his illustrations Jesus spoke of two men—a wise one who built his house on solid rock and a foolish one who built on sandy soil. When a storm arose, and floodwaters and winds lashed the houses, the one on solid rock stood, but the one on sand fell with a great crash. Jesus was not teaching people how to build houses. He was emphasizing the need to build their live
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  HOW DOES SPIRITUALITY AFFECTA MARRIAGE? A HOUSE, a life or a marriage is only as good as the foundation on which it rests. In one of hisillustrations Jesus spoke of two men—a wise one who built his house on solid rock and a foolishone who built on sandy soil. When a storm arose, and floodwaters and winds lashed the houses,the one on solid rock stood, but the one on sand fell with a great crash.Jesus was not teaching people how to build houses. He was emphasizing the need to buildtheir lives on a fine foundation.This is certainly true of marriage. If we build our marriage on a rocklike foundation, it will standthe stresses of life. But from where does this fine foundation come? From the Creator of marriage, Jehovah God. He started marriage when he brought the first human pair together ashusband and wife. Then he gave them wise instructions for their own good. Whether theyfollowed these wise instructions would determine whether they had an everlasting glorious futureor no future at all.What do you want out of marriage? What are your needs—physically, emotionally, spiritually?What are your values, your goals and your methods of reaching them? 9 Do you want to getmarried to satisfy physical needs—food, clothing, shelter? Those needs are basic to all of us, asthe Bible says: “Having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.” And theneed for sex? That is also a normal desire. “It is better to marry than to be inflamed with passion.”(1 Timothy 6:8; 1 Corinthians 7:9)Jesus said: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.” (Matthew 5:3) What is your spiritual need? Does it relate to seeking a career? Riches? Material possessions? Well, do thesepursuits bring inner peace and contentment? Usually they do not. So we need to appreciate thatwithin all persons there is a hunger of the spirit that remains, even after all the physical needs aresatisfied. Our spirit hungers for identity—to know who we are, what we are, why we are here, andwhere we are going. Are you conscious of these spiritual needs, and of the way to meet them?THE need for Jehovah God to be in every undertaking of ours is stressed time and again in theScriptures. Thus we read at Psalm 127:1: “Unless Jehovah himself builds the house, it is to noavail that its builders have worked hard on it. Unless Jehovah himself guards the city, it is to noavail that the guard has kept awake.” The long history of the nation of Israel bears out the truth of that principle. When Israel let God be in their affairs by giving him exclusive devotion, their effortsto protect themselves from their enemies were successful. But when they abandoned his pureworship to follow other gods, their guards watched over their cities in vain. The same principleapplies to our making a success of marriage.Solomon wrote: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their hardwork. . . . And a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn in two.” (Eccl. 4:9, 12) A marriage can belikened to a cord tying a couple together and, when we let God be in it, it is truly a ‘threefold cordnot easily torn in two.’ What does it mean to let God be in your marriage. To let God be in your marriage means to be spiritually concerned with measuring up to Jehovah’s requirements for married couples. Stated in brief, they are: “Wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as it isbecoming in the Lord. You husbands, keep on loving your wives and do not be bitterly angry withthem.”—Col. 3:18, 19.Jehovah God describes a man’s wife as his “partner” in the marriage covenant. Christianhusbands cannot honor the marriage arrangement without honoring their marriage partner. Notonly by tender dealings will the Christian husband honor such feminine partner, but he will do soespecially in loyalty to the marital union they share. He should seek always to preserve it as a  sacred responsibility. If failing to show his wife due gentleness and empathy would hinder hisprayers, how much more so would his indulging in some degree of disloyalty to his mate, showingundue interest in someone outside the union. (Prov. 5:15-21) Not showing proper honor to hiswife means dishonoring the marriage arrangement and its Maker.So, also, with the Christian wife. She expresses subjection to her husbandly head in the sameway that the Christian congregation is “in subjection to the Christ.” She shows him, not merelyrespect, but “deep respect.” (Eph. 5:22-24, 33) If such deep respect keeps her from speakingdisparagingly to him or about him, how much more so should it keep her from disloyally showingundue interest in someone outside their union, engaging in a flirtation to any degree. She cannever honor God by dishonoring her husband or their marriage relationship. (Prov. 2:16, 17)More than that, to let God be in our marriage means for both mates to have a warm personalrelationship with Jehovah God, never neglecting prayer together. Share with him your joys,sorrows, disappointments, trials. Be concerned with giving him as   a   Person pleasure andgladness of heart. At Psalm 147:11 we read: “Jehovah is finding pleasure in those fearing him.”And God tells us at Proverbs 27:11 that by being wise we can make his heart glad. So we want tobe concerned, not just with his requirements for us, but also with how he feels about the way weheed them. Letting God be in our marriage will immeasurably strengthen it and assure us of success and happiness. Yes, then it is “a threefold cord [that] cannot quickly be torn in two.”—Eccl. 4:12.
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