The Bible is very clear on what God’s expectations are for us as husbands and wives (His design for marriage):
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5:25)
Do not let your adornment be merely outward– arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel–rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
In other words, wives are to love their husbands, and husbands are to love their wives with an imperishable love from God.
God has set a standard of this love that there is no way in our own strength that we are able to do it. But, is God a liar?
Are you sure?
You see, there are many people who won’t ever say out loud that God is a liar, but when they are hit between the eyes with God’s truth regarding how they are supposed to love their spouse, they think that it doesn’t apply to them. This kind of love is simply impossible.
Why would God have told us to love one another this way if it’s impossible? He’s NOT A LIAR!
If He said it, there’s only two things that can stop Him from doing it.
Me. And you. That’s it.
The only things that could stop God’s prescribed love between husbands and wives is our own selfishness and our own strong will that says, “I don’t believe it. I won’t try. I won’t pray. I won’t desire it.”
But, when you believe what God says: that He wants to work in and through our lives, if we put our trust in Him, then HE IS FAITHFUL!
The value that we place upon our spouse and the way that we treat each other should be determined by God’s Word, not by our differences, selfishness, or expectations… even when THEY fail to obey God’s will.
God never inserted an “if clause” when He told husbands and wives how to treat one another. Nowhere does He say “only if she does what you want when you want it do you need to love her”.
There’s no “if clause”. Not for husbands, nor for wives.
Yet, so many Christians look at their spouses and think, “Oh, but look at what they have done! There’s no way I can be expected to love them!”
But, what’s amazing is that if individuals would simply apply the Word of God to their own lives, He blesses them! Often times by repairing even the most damaged of marriages!
It’s as if He wants to show off when His people turn to Him!
God is bigger and more powerful than anything that may be set in front of Him – even your spouse’s stubbornness and selfishness.
God also wants us to multiply, or raise children.
”So God created man in His own image – male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it;” (Genesis 1:27-28)
Now this DOES NOT MEAN that every couple who gets married must have children. If that were the case, then everybody who got married would have the ability to have children, and that’s just not true. But it does say that one of the purposes of marriage is to raise and train children – not in our own way, but in God’s way.
But, I have met people who don’t want to have children for their own reasons – the wrong reasons (because their parents blew it as parents, because they were hurt as a child, because they don’t want to be distracted from their careers, etc.) And, out of this bitterness, unforgiveness or fear, they are kept from having children.
That is sin.
God’s desire is that we would all be free of bitterness and fear and that we would be forgiving so that our attitudes would be molded by Him when it comes to children.
Now, let me be perfectly clear. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that fulfilling God’s calling in marriage is easy. To glorify God in all our actions; yielding to His will and allow Him to transform us into His image; and meeting our spouse’s companionship needs while raising children together… these things cannot be accomplished without divine help!
Therefore, it’s clear that it was never God’s design for us to read His instructions and design, walk away and pull it off on our own. We can’t. He never wanted us to.
The reality is that you can’t even get out of bed right.
When you really understand that without God, it’s impossible to live a Godly life, then you realize that you must put Christ first in your life, in your daily decisions, in your parenting, and in your marriage.