Husband and Wife Commandments for Believers

the-heart-of-her-husband

Thankfully these are not my commandments, but the Lord’s.  Otherwise you may be upset with me if any of these might offend you! 

But seriously, just like the Lord does not want us to sin for our own protection and benefit, He also gives us commandments and sets boundaries for our marriages to keep them safe, intact and honorable.

Keep in mind that just like the 10 Commandments, these are not mere suggestions to read once and dismiss.  They are commandments to keep and daily live by.  They are to benefit you and your spouse and to make you happy in your union that both your joy may be full.

Since the Lord has appointed the man to be the head, we will lead with the commandments for the husband with the commandments for the wife to follow and after that commandments for both and a bit of wise counsel.  Not that I am wise necessarily but the wisdom that comes from the Lord through his holy word and quickening from the Holy Spirit.  I have also added some commentary from the Dake Bible annotated by an asterisk * as well as some additional resources at the bottom of this article.

Commandments for Him

  1. Avoid fornication (adultery, illicit sexual intercourse) – Be true to your own wife.
    • Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:2
    • Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times;
      and be thou ravished always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman,
      and embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. Proverbs 5:18-21
    • For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light;  and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. Proverbs 6:23-29
    • But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get;
      and his reproach shall not be wiped away. Proverbs 6:32-33
  2. Render due benevolence to your wife (conjugal duty, meet the sexual needs of your wife) – It means that the wife and husband must respect each other regarding lawful sexual needs, mutually satisfying each other. If they do not obey this injunction one may be responsible for the other’s infidelity.*
    • Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 1 Corinthians 7:3
  3. Let your wife exercise her authority over your body – The husband and wife belong to each other. Neither of them has any authority to refuse what the other needs or demands in normal temperate, relationship. All acts of perversion or unnatural affection must absolutely be rejected.*
    • The wife hath not power [authority] of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power [authority] of his own body, but the wife. 1 Corinthians 7:4
  4. Do not defraud your wife (keep back by fraud, rob of joy) – What you thus owe to each other, do not refuse to pay, unless by mutual consent for a time agreed upon for fasting and prayer. Then, regardless of the spiritual blessing either one has received, come together again to defeat Satan. Defraud not each other in sexual matters–fulfill your conjugal vows.*
    • Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 1 Corinthians 7:5
  5. Do not leave your wife (abandon, divorce) – Let not the husband divorce his wife. Marriage is for the lifetime of the husband or wife.*
    • And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11
    • Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 1 Corinthians 7:27
  6. Remain together as you were called – Let every man or woman remain as he or she was when each became a Christian (1Cor. 7:17-24). That is, do not use Christianity as an excuse to break up your own home and perhaps another, seeking a new companion.* Remember your first love.  Continuously rekindle your love for one another.  Nothing is lost if you will seek and find it.
    • But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. 1 Corinthians 7:17
  7. Be the head of your wife – You lead and be responsible.  Don’t expect this from your wife.  Lead in all things in your relationship.  Be a man with a plan.  Your wife is looking to you to lead and take responsibility.  How can she submit to you otherwise?
    • For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Ephesians 5:23
  8. Love your wife as Christ loved the church – Love is a choice and not always a feeling.  Feelings will follow your choices.  This is agape love which is unconditional godly love.  No matter what she does or how she behaves, love her unconditionally no matter what.  This is a command which is not based on your feelings.  She needs to know and trust that no matter what, you love her unconditionally and always will.  Not, if you do this, then I will love you, but even if you don’t do this, I will still love you.
    •  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Ephesians 5:25
  9. Give your self for her – Christ gave Himself for the church.  How are you giving yourself for her?  Are you sanctifying her and cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, that you might present her to Christ a glorious saint, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that she should be holy and without blemish?
    • Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
  10. Nourish her as your own flesh (nurture, bring up, care for, protect) – The woman is part of the man and one flesh with him (Eph. 5:28-32 Gen. 2:21-25).*  She is your own flesh.  You are one with her.  Why would you ever hurt your own flesh?  If your hurt her, you are hurting yourself.
    • So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: Ephesians 5:28-29
    • For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Ephesians 5:31
    • Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:33
  11. Cherish her (warm in one’s bosom, to brood, to warm, keep warm, to cherish with tender love, to foster with tender care) – Cherish her just like when you were dating her.
    • For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: Ephesians 5:29
  12. Be joined as one flesh – Be no more joined to father or mother what belongs to your wife.  Cleave to your wife and be one with her in all things.  Be in harmony at all times regardless of the circumstances.
    • And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:23-24
    • For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Ephesians 5:31
    • And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Matthew 19:5-6
  13. Be not bitter against her (to embitter, exasperate, render angry, indignant, to be embittered, irritated) – Don’t be triggered no matter how much you may be irritated.  Don’t react in the flesh.  Stay in the spirit.  Die to self.  If you are triggered, realize that you have yet not died to self in this area.
    • Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Colossians 3:19
    • If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
    • I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
  14. Dwell with your wife according to knowledge (understanding) – Likewise–be just as faithful to your wives as you want them to be to you; give them no excuse for sin.*  Let her have the same confidence in your faithfulness as you expect of her.
    • Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 1 Peter 3:7
  15. Give her honor – Give honor to the wife, using your superior strength in protecting her and as being heirs together of life. [weaker vessel] More beautiful, delicate, and frail. Many prayers are hindered because of the unfaithfulness of husbands and wives.*
    • Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 1 Peter 3:7
  16. Realize every day how blessed you are to have her – Remember that she chose you out of everyone else.  What would you do without her?  You would be absolutely miserable.  The times of joy with everything she is to you far outweigh any times of frustration.  Always only remember the good times and forget any bad times.
    • Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. Proverbs 18:22
    • House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD. Proverbs 19:14
    • Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Commandments for Her

  1. Avoid fornication (adultery, illicit sexual intercourse) – Be true to your own husband.
    • Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:2
  2. Render due benevolence to your husband (conjugal duty, meet the sexual needs of your husband) – It means that the wife and husband must respect each other regarding lawful sexual needs, mutually satisfying each other. If they do not obey this injunction one may be responsible for the other’s infidelity.*
    • Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 1 Corinthians 7:3
  3. Let your husband exercise his authority over your body – The husband and wife belong to each other. Neither of them has any authority to refuse what the other needs or demands in normal temperate, relationship. All acts of perversion or unnatural affection must absolutely be rejected.*
    • The wife hath not power [authority] of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power  [authority] of his own body, but the wife. 1 Corinthians 7:4
  4. Do not defraud your husband (keep back by fraud, rob of joy) – What you thus owe to each other, do not refuse to pay, unless by mutual consent for a time agreed upon for fasting and prayer. Then, regardless of the spiritual blessing either one has received, come together again to defeat Satan. Defraud not each other in sexual matters–fulfill your conjugal vows.*
    • Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 1 Corinthians 7:5
  5. Love your husband – Be fond of your man, i.e. affectionate as a wife, loving your husband, giving all of yourself to him without holding anything back.  Don’t make him beg or wonder whether you still love him or not.  Love is a choice and not always a feeling.  Feelings will follow your choices.
    • That they may teach the young women to be sober [vigilant], to love their husbands, to love their children, Titus 2:4
  6. Do not leave your husband (abandon, divorce) – Let not the wife depart from her husband. If she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.  The wife is bound by law to be married as long as the husband lives (1Cor. 7:39). Marriage is for the lifetime of the husband or wife.*
    • And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11
    • The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:39
  7. Remain together as you were called – Let every man or woman remain as he or she was when each became a Christian (1Cor. 7:17-24). That is, do not use Christianity as an excuse to break up your own home and perhaps another, seeking a new companion.* Remember your first love.  Continually rekindle your love for one another.  Nothing is lost if you will seek and find it.
    • But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. 1 Corinthians 7:17
  8. Be obedient to your husband – Obey them as you would obey the Lord in all things. (Eph. 5:22,33; Col. 3:18; 1Pet. 3:1-6).
    • To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:5
  9. Submit to your own husband as to Christ – If you say that you  submit to the Lord but refuse to submit to your husband, then you are actually saying that you refuse to submit to the Lord who has commanded you to submit to your own husband.  You cannot have one without the other.  True submission is done willingly and cheerfully and not grudgingly, so that it benefits both of you. Your husband’s job and responsibility is to take care of you and keep watch over you.  Make his job a joy and not a burden.
    • Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Ephesians 5:22
    • Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Colossians 3:18
    • Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Genesis 3:16
    • Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Ephesians 5:24
  10. Recognize your husband’s headship –  The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man (1 Corinthians 11:3).  His headship means his responsibility to Christ to love you, to nurture you as his own flesh and to give himself for you as Christ gave Himself for the church and to take care of you and of your household together.  He is responsible to Christ for you.  But this also requires him to lead and make decisions for both of you which you may not always understand or agree with.  When you recognize his headship, you will be honoring him but it also means that you are not responsible for his decisions.
    • For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Ephesians 5:23
    • But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3
  11. Be subject to your own husband – Everything that is lawful and right, not in things criminal and wrong. If he is sinful and demands her to leave off the things that save the soul, she is not under obligation to him. Her God and her soul must come first (Mt. 22:37; Lk. 14:26-27). Obedience to the husband in all things is based upon him loving his wife, as Christ does the church (Eph. 5:25,28,33).*
    • Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Ephesians 5:24
    • Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 1 Peter 3:1-6
  12. Reverence your husband (lit. fear) – This simply means to fear your husband as you fear the Lord.
    • Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence [fear] her husband. Ephesians 5:33
    • Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 1 Peter 3:6
  13. Be dignified and faithful in all things – Be venerable, honorable, honest, reverend, not diabolical in speech or behavior, no false accuser or slanderer, vigilant, objective, trustworthy; subjective, trustful, believing, faithful, sure, true.
    • Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 1 Timothy 3:11

Commandments for Both Husband and Wife

  1. Be one of mind (1Pet. 3:8; Eph. 4:1-3). – You both have separate responsibilities from the Lord towards each other equally as important.  Being on the same page helps you both to accomplish these responsibilities together to your benefit.  Don’t shut each other out.
    • I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
    • Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Romans 12:16
  2. Have compassion on one another (1Pet. 3:8).  – The same compassion you want your spouse and the Lord to have on you.
  3. Love as brethren [agape unconditional love](1Pet. 3:8; 1Cor. 13).
    • Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [agape unconditional love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 1 Corinthians 13
  4. Be pitiful (tenderhearted, 1Pet. 3:8).  – Don’t harden your heart.
  5. Be courteous (friendly, 1Pet. 3:8).
  6. Not rendering evil for evil (1Pet. 3:9).
  7. Not railing for railing (1Pet. 3:9).
  8. Be a blessing to each other (1Pet. 3:9).
  9. Control the tongue (1Pet. 3:10; Jas. 3). – You cannot tame it but you can control it.
    • Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:3-8
  10. Do not be deceptive (1Pet. 3:10).
  11. Shun evil and do good (1Pet. 3:11).
  12. Seek peace and pursue it (1Pet. 3:11).
    • Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 1 Peter 3:8-12
    • What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. Psalms 34:12-16
  13. Love without hypocrisy –  Undisguised, a real thing.*
    • Let love be without dissimulation [hypocrisy]. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Romans 12:9
  14. Be kind and full of affection towards each other leading one another – Love with brotherly affection. Be forward to honor others.*
    • Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Romans 12:10
  15. Rejoice in hope – Let your hope be a joy to you* and to your spouse.
  16. Be patient in tribulation – Show patience in all your troubles.*  Have the patience of Job with one another.
  17. Continue instant in prayer – Live in fervent prayer to God.* Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  Pray for one another.
    • Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Romans 12:12
  18. Keep your marriage honorable and undefiled
    • Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4

*Comments from the Dake bible

Phew!  That’s quite a list.  But they are all for our benefit and fullness of joy.

Most important is that we love our spouse with God’s kind of love which is agape love and which is unconditional.  This kind of love says “No matter what you say or don’t say, no matter what you do or don’t do, even if you hurt me, I still love you.  And I will always love you even if you don’t love me.”  Phileo love is brotherly love which is a companionship kind of love, like best friends.  Eros love is intimate sexual love which by the way, takes up the least amount of time of all 3 kinds of love yet seems to demand the most amount of attention.  So why make it so difficult?  Just relax and enjoy each other.

Marital love includes all 3 of these kinds of love in harmony when God is at the center of your relationship.

But without God in the picture, love gets distorted and can quickly devolve into a more worldly kind of love that says “If you do this for me, then I’ll think about doing what you want me to do for you.  Otherwise, forget it!”

This kind of love is natural and is of the world but can so easily creep into marriage relationships when we place our needs before the needs of our spouse.  That is why we need to prefer our spouse before ourselves and all others and seek their interest before our own.  This is not natural but it is spiritual.

Look at it this way.  Allow the Lord to love your spouse through you.  Be His instrument of conveying His love for your spouse through you.

Marriage is not a contract but a covenant relationship.  It is not a 50/50 deal but a 100% commitment by both of you regardless of what the other partner does or does not do.  By this you are honoring both your spouse and the Lord.

Forgiveness plays a huge roll in keeping a marriage a happy union.  Unforgiveness quickly devolves into the worldly kind of natural love described above.  If your spouse does something you don’t like, whether it was intentionally or not, will you still love them unconditionally to give in to their request to be intimate with you?  Most will say: “Absolutely not!  I will not forgive them until they come groveling at my feet and beg for my forgiveness!”  Well, that sums up the breakup of almost all marriages today in a nutshell. 

But this should not be so with us as believers in the forgiveness of Christ of our own sins.  Did He not say that if we do not forgive our brethren from our heart, that he will not forgive us?

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. Matthew 18:35

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:25-26

— Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Luke 6:37

Did He not teach us to pray for the forgiveness of our debts as we forgive our debtors?

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Matthew 6:12

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Luke 11:4

He committed to us the word of reconciliation.  This means that we are to reconcile with our brother.

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19

Did not Jesus freely forgive those who crucified Him on the cross?  They did not even ask Him for forgiveness.  And I sincerely doubt that your spouse has ever crucified you, right?  But yet this is His example of love and total forgiveness that we ought to follow.

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. Luke 23:34

Peter even asked Him how often he should forgive his brother and 7 times in a day seemed like an awful lot to him.

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22

How often do we forgive our spouse?

If we harbor unforgiveness against our spouse, our best friend and life companion, we are poisoning our very souls to be embittered against them.  And for how long?  If we are not careful this poison can start setting and last for the rest of your life.  It slowly chips away at your intimacy and before you know it, your innocence is lost forever.  

Guess what?  This is exactly what the enemy wants.  To poison your souls against each other to break up your steadfastness with each other in the Lord.  Only unified are you strong.  Apart you are weak.  He cannot fight you when you are strong and together.  But once you give in to his schemes, which is what they are, he’s got you right where he wants you.

The minute the enemy sees a crack in your togetherness, he takes full advantage and starts whispering in your ear the bitter thoughts of your heart.  He’s been around a while and knows every trick on the book.  He will suggest a thought that matches with your emotions and when you bite, he’s got you right where he wants you and starts driving the wedge between you and your spouse as deep as you will let him.

He loves nothing more than to see couples fight and scream at each other while he just eggs it on.  First the one, then the other and back and forth, fanning the flames higher and higher.

But you cannot go there.  You need to immediately take every thought captive and subject it to the obedience of Christ.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:5

God has joined you together and you can let no man separate you and certainly not the enemy.

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Mark 10:7-9

Why not freely forgive them and stay in love and not slip slide into anger, hate and bitterness?  Stay together in harmony.  Resist that devil and he will flee from you.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Forgiving is forgetting.  If you say you forgive your spouse but are not forgetting what they did and are still holding everything against them, throwing it again in their face the minute they misstep, then you have simply not forgiven them at all.  And if you have not forgiven them, then just as we learned above, you are not forgiven of your sins either. 

You fault your spouse but refuse to see that you are just as guilty yourself and yet expect your spouse to forgive and forget your sins against them.  Or worse, you actually believe that you have no fault against them.  It’s only they that has fault against you and you are perfect, or so you believe.  Jesus talked about this very thing in His sermon on the mount and calls you a hypocrite.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5

How would you like God to remember and hold all your sins against you the minute you misstep?  And misstep you will.  No, you expect God to forgive you and wipe the slate clean and He does and remembers them no more.

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 8:12

And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 10:17

For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. Romans 11:27

If you wish to be forgiven, then you must stop being a hypocrite and forget all your spouse’s faults against you following Jesus’ words and His own example.  Wipe the slate clean and start fresh every day.

God chooses to forget your sins.  So must you.

After the honeymoon you will discover that your spouse is not perfect.  It’s okay.  Neither are you.  A true friend is one who can see right through you and still enjoy the show.  Make room for imperfections and learn to laugh at them together.

Be Adam and Eve in the garden.  Stay in your innocence.  Be like children with each other.  Remember…

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

Enjoy your freedom in Christ.  Do not judge or condemn each other with your words or deeds.  Be free with one another.  Allow your spouse to be free with you. 

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36

Live in the garden together happily naked, meaning you have no need to hide anything from each other or fear condemnation from one another.  Just don’t believe the serpent or eat the temptuous fruit of the knowledge of evil.  Bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit instead.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Live in love and choose to be in love every day with your mate.  That is what you married them for, isn’t it?  To live in wedded bliss all the days of your lives together?  Then choose to live the dream you set out for every day.  Don’t let it die and don’t let the enemy steal it from you.

Happily Ever After

Resources

An excellent teaching for couples is the Love Dare 40 Day Challenge which was the subject of the movie Fireproof.  It expounds on every aspect of agape love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and other applicable scriptures.  Watch the movie and download the book and outlines at the links below.

Enjoy your journey together!

Franciscus M. Dartee

Grow in Faith | Walk in Power

 

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