There they were! All decked out in patriotic, July 4th, attire! Both were beaming from ear-to-ear! To them, these fireworks were much better than produced by cities and towns across the USA. “She said, ‘Yes!'” Boom, baby!!!!
This was the second marriage engagement that I had read about on Facebook in recent days. Having just celebrated 40 years of marriage to my sweetheart, my heart is overflowing for both couples!
They are excited now! Smiling now! Terms of endearment are being spoken with such joy and anticipation, now!
And, I can just hear some ol’ crusty-hearted, macho husband say, “Well, you just wait until the honeymoon’s over!” And with that he offers more proud words of negativity from a selfish, humanistic, victim viewpoint.
Friends, marriage is hard, daily work, but the blessings are innumerable. Since God created marriage, don’t you think He has the right ingredients and the grace needed for marriage to succeed? Why, He’s even given us a manual to follow beginning with His instructions in Genesis 2.
The human heart corrupted by sin is what creates issues in marriage. Just as the gospel is the answer for our sinful condition, it is the answer for our marriages. Just as we are to walk in newness of life everyday with Christ (Romans 6), marriage can remain “new,” “fresh” everyday as well.
How can that happen? Let me offer five things to help you, even after 40 years, keep your marriage FRESH:
Colossians 3:13 – Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. This passage wraps it up. I must forgive my spouse, no matter the offense, because the Lord has forgiven me of all my sins past, present, and future. And by the way, He will never bring it up to us again (Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 43:25; Romans 8:1; Hebrews 10:14–18). Swift forgiveness always keeps your marriage fresh!
Mark 10:7-9 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. Scripture seems to always simply things. Since you and your spouse are one, then work everyday on your relationship. Your spouse is you. In particular husbands, you are incomplete without your wife (Genesis 2:18). So, live out an Ephesians 5:18-33 relationship!!
Author Gary Thomas offers these practical tips (God’s Design for Marriage):
- Focus on your spouse’s strengths rather than their weaknesses.
- Encourage rather than criticize.
- Pray for your spouse instead of gossiping about them.
- Learn and live what Christ teaches about relating to and loving others.
Proverbs 5:18, Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. Ecclesiastes 9:9a says, Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love. How easy it is to let work, children, goals, dreams, recreation, hardship, etc., cause marriage to be a drag, a drudgery, a daily disappointment rather than a joy, a blessing, an enjoyment. How easy it is to focus on what pulls you down and the flaws of your partner rather than all the blessings. Focus on what is praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) about your spouse and be enthusiastic about those things!
Song of Solomon 1:2, Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! Smooche used as a verb means to “kiss or a spell of amorous kissing and cuddling.” Now that you are married, it is legal! So have at it! Don’t settle for quick pecks as you pass one another. Cuddle. Hold each other in a warm embrace. Look endearing into each other’s eyes. Enjoy amorously the passion of God’s grace gift!! If you don’t know the meaning of “amorous,” look it up!!!!
Song of Solomon 1:15, Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves. Most often associated with football, a huddle is when the offensive team gathers to strategize the next play from scrimmage. Today, football teams are going more with the no-huddle offense. Couples need to communicate their thoughts, feelings, dreams, desires, hurts, blessings, sorrows, joys, love language, fears, etc., with one another. Note the intense communication between Solomon and his bride (Song of Solomon 1:9-17). Quite frankly, marriages should stay away from the use of the no-huddle. So huddle up this evening and share your heart in love! (Ephesians 4:29-32)
“She said, ‘Yes!'” Boom, baby!!!! Keep it FRESH!!!