“The Wife of Your Youth”
By Kyle Pope
few years ago my wife’s grandmother and grandfather both
passed away. As is so often the case with couples who have been together most
of their life—after being married for sixty-seven years, they both passed within
only a short time of one another. As long as I had known them they had treated
each other like two young kids in love. They held hands as they walked
together, he opened her door for her, and he often would playfully swat her as
she walked by him. The family had always suspected that whenever one of them passed
away, the other would find it hard to go on alone, yet as her grandfather’s
mind faded we all wondered if the impact of his wife’s loss would move him in
the same way. Surprisingly, even though he couldn’t fully grasp the reality of
her passing the loss was too much for him. The void was just too great. He
passed away less than three months after his wife died.
The Bible records that after creation, the first
thing which God recognized which was not good, was man’s solitude. Scripture
tells us, “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will
make him a helper comparable to him’” (Genesis 2:18-19, NKJV). In response to
this, the Bible records that the first human relationship which God established
was marriage. The Holy Spirit tells us of the union which God established
between the man and the woman, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and
mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24-25).
This beautiful bond between a man and woman is a covenant. The two stand
before God, who witnesses their pledge, and it is He who joins them together.
Malachi 2:14-15 teaches of this compact, “the LORD has been witness between you
and the wife of your youth” going on to declare, “she is your companion, and your
wife by covenant” and it is God who “has made them one.” As God would have it,
this relationship is to last for life. All measures to break “what God has
joined together” stem from either sin, in its inception or sin in its
completion (Matthew 19:1-9). God would have the relationship of marriage to be
the closest, most reliable, and most supportive of all human relationships.
That doesn’t just happen. It takes work, love,
and patience. No marriage is without its challenges, but a few Biblical
principles can go along way to make it through those challenges:
Be Kind to Each Other.
In the beautiful definition of love which Paul taught the Corinthians, he said
plainly, “love suffers long and is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Far too often
scars and hurt feelings lead couples to forget the kindness shown to one
another before marriage. The most important person in our life deserves our
Look out for the
Other’s Interests. After considering the example of Christ’s
selflessness, Paul told the Philippians, “let each of you look out not only for
his own interests, but also the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).
Becoming “one” in marriage doesn’t mean we loose our individual needs, wishes,
and hopes. It is the privileged role of a mate to care about those personal
interests more that any other human being. No one on earth should care more
about my spouse than I do.
Be Patient with Each
Other. Human beings are difficult creatures! We get cranky.
We get stubborn. We have bad days, and days when we aren’t our best. The
Christian who hopes for patience from the Lord, must demonstrate patience
towards others. Paul taught the Christians in Colosse to show, “meekness, longsuffering;
bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint
against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians
Submit and Cherish Each
Other. The Bible teaches an organization in the home with the
husband as head, and the wife in submission (Ephesians 5:23). Yet, this must
never be oppressive or humiliating. The husband is to lead as Christ leads,
nourishing and cherishing the wife “just as Christ also loved the church and
gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
Seek First the Kingdom.
By far, the best thing that any couple can do to help their marriage
to be what it ought to be, is to make certain their relationship with God is
what it ought to be. Jesus, in urging His hearers not to worry about the
things of life, told them, “seek first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
That doesn’t mean there won’t be trials, but two souls with their eyes on
heaven, will find it harder to get stuck in the mud.