Ancient Road Publications


“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 best treatment.

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 3:12-13).

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.

Pope, Kyle. "The Wife of Your Youth" Biblical Insights 10.6 (June 2010): 22  

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