Monday, March 27, 2023

A healthy marriage focuses on comforting each other

Last month Charity and I had the privilege of sharing on marriage at Coastline. It was a super fun morning to teach with Charity. This year we hit 18 years of marriage. We're the first to share that we're not perfect but we're also not quitters. We intentionally invest in our marriage. One of those ways is to comfort each other.

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
Ecclesiastes 4:11
When Solomon wrote this he was specifically thinking about the cold desert nights in Israel. He was thinking that if two people lie down together they can share their body heat and survive the cold desert nights. There is an aspect in this verse of the comfort that a marriage provides to people. 

Now, most guys read this verse and think that Solomon is talking about sex. I can assure you he is not talking about sex. Guys, almost anything can be sexual for you. Last night your wife said: “Can you help me load the dishwasher?” In your mind you thought: “You bet! I’ll help you load the dishwasher.” Your mind immediately went to sex and she just needed help in the kitchen. 

This passage is about comfort. I’ve found marriage provides an amazing comfort in a confusing world. Earlier I shared that marriage was God’s idea. God knew that we would face daily challenges and need someone to share the load of those challenges with. 

Some of you stay home with the kids all day long. When your spouse comes home you simply want to talk with someone about something else than Paw Patrol and dirty diapers. You want adult conversation. Marriage provides that comfort. Some of you work outside the home all day. You want to come home and ask your spouse for ideas on how to manage your team. You’re having an issue with your boss. He wants you to work on a project and it's all you’ve ever dreamed up but you want to discuss this with your spouse. We converse with our spouse because it provides us comfort in a confusing world. 

I appreciate what the Apostle Paul wrote to the early church in Ephesus (read Ephesians 5:33). I don’t think it’s my role to tell anyone’s wife that she must respect her husband. The Bible has clearly told you. But I do feel it’s my passion to help men to love their wife. I long to see more healthy marriages in our church and in our community. I’ve used this illustration for years in pre-marital counseling. When a husband attempts to move closer to his wife, he doesn’t get closer to God. But when he applies this passage and focuses on loving God and loving his wife, he gets closer to God. Hopefully she is focused on loving God and respecting her husband. The end result is a closer relationship to God and your spouse. I love this quote: "A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." —Mignon McLaughlin

Can we have some real talk here? Some of you are feeling beat up by the world right now. You’re struggling with rising food costs, kids tearing through shoes, your gas bill, your boss, and much more. You are exhausted with all the responsibilities you have. Some of you single parents are really struggling in this season of life. You might even want to quit. 

Instead of running away from your spouse, getting your head, or being silent, will you please let your spouse comfort you? She can’t fix your problems, you need to get on your knees and beg God for that, but she can comfort you in this time. This is for everyone. Here is a simple question that Charity and I ask in our home: “Do you want me to fix that or just listen?” There are times that guys go into solve mode when we simply need to listen. We show comfort in our relationships when we listen to each other. 

No comments: