Relationships are an amazing gift from God! Beyond the relationship that God wants to have with us through Christ, the greatest relationship that can be had is found in marriage. Before we even get two chapters read in the Bible, we see marriage debuted. For a short while Adam and Eve knew perfect harmony with each other and their creator. In fact, their marriage was the only perfect marriage.
If we are honest, none of us have perfect marriages. There are times we argue, are unkind, exchange hurtful words, are unloving, show disrespect and the list could go on. Truly, every marriage that will be harmonious takes effort, commitment and an ever growing relationship with Jesus Christ by both husband and wife. Marriage is a relationship to be kindled each day for sure. Consider kindling your marriage like this:
- Practice Love and Respect. God instructs husbands in Ephesians 5 to love their wives unconditionally. Regardless of the behavior the wife, the husband is to show love. The practical standard of this is the husband loving his wife as much as he loves himself. Guys, kindle your marriage by truly loving your wife even on her worst day. Wives, on the other hand, are told to respect their husbands. Often wives give respect based behavior. However, God tells wives to respect her husband no matter what. Respect is demonstrated when a wife encourages and does not belittle. One man said, “A wife that is loved will grow in loveliness and a husband that is respected will become more respectable.”
- Practice Clearing the Air. When troubles and conflict do arise, be sure to settle them quickly. In all cases, never go to bed angry. The Bible warns us about letting the sun go down upon our wrath. Every night before you fall asleep, kindle your marriage by making certain nothing is unsettled.
- Practice Investing in your Marriage. There are many things that will drain a marriage of harmony and closeness. Even good things can be the culprit. Reading books on marriage, maintaining time alone, planning dates and including times to get away to focus on your marriage are all important ways to invest. One of the greatest reasons we Grace Baptist Church host a Couples Retreat is to provide a way for couples to invest in their marriages. Sitting under Biblical instruction for marriages will always be a worthwhile investment.
Will you plan to kindle your marriage today? Will you plan to do something in this week as an investment in your marriage?
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My dad is a mechanic for a ministry and taught us early on how to do basic maintenance on cars. I can remember being in his shop as a young boy and learning how to change oil and service vehicles. It is interesting to me, as I think back on those days, that no matter how new or how good the vehicle was, it still needed care. The oil still needed to be changed and the fluids still needed to be topped off.
Guys, you understand the importance of caring for your cars. Every 3,000 or three months you take it to the service shop and get the oil changed. You do this to make sure it lasts and does not leave you stranded when you would least expect it.
While you are very careful to give your car the needed maintenance, do you give your marriage the same careful maintenance? You are wondering how we just jumped from cars to marriage. It’s simple. We as guys can understand that no matter what year or how good a car is, it needs regular maintenance to make sure it lasts. So does your marriage. If we treated our cars like we treat our marriages, we would be stranded on the side of the road of life far more often than we would like to be known. Your marriage needs regular care, just like your car.
This year at Couples Retreat you can stop and give the needed maintenance to your marriage. No matter how long you have been married or how good your marriage may be, your marriage needs maintenance so that it will continue to last. Don’t wait till the check engine light comes on in your marriage at the most inconvenient time. Stop and give your most precious earthly relationship the maintenance it needs.
I always enjoy spending time with my wife. She is my best friend, cheerleader and soulmate. This was our second annual couples retreat at Grace Baptist Church. I would like to share several blessings of having and attending couples retreat.
- Growing Together—Couples retreat is an awesome opportunity for God to work on a couple together. My wife and I hear the same Bible truth together and are given opportunity to respond to that truth together. It seems that God gives a focused openness to each other and an excitement about putting into practice what has been received.
- Gaining Wisdom—We do well to listen and accept the advice of those who have walked with God for many years. We were privileged to have Dr. Bob Taylor and his wife Joan as our speakers. God used the wisdom they have gained from fifty plus years of marriage to give Biblical insight. I appreciated men in the older generation being willing to share all that God has taught them over the years.
- Encouraging Others—It is exciting to see God’s people edified. In a day when Biblical marriage is under attack, what a blessing it is when marriages are strengthened! I praise God for the work He did in mine and what I heard testified that He was doing in other’s.
In addition to these blessings, I want to give a two fold encouragement.
- If you have not yet attended a couples retreat, plan to attend one! You will be blessed. Begin now to plan and save to be able to attend.
- If you are a pastor and do not have an annual couples retreat, prayerfully consider beginning one. Strong families make up strong churches. Time investing in the marriages in your church will never be wasted time.