If you have followed us during this year reading articles of Support Your Heart, you may have noticed that many of them have been dedicated to strengthening marriage and protect our spouse from falling into sexual sin such as adultery, pornography, emotional adultery, masturbation, etc.
An important principle for strengthening your marriage is to believe that God has given your partner to look after her and bring her closer to God’s purpose; your marriage and therefore your family becomes your primary ministry.
My mother’s sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I had to neglect.. Song of Solomon 1: 6
Your vineyard is your marriage, your partner. It is a good time to think about whether or not you have been neglecting your own vineyard to serve and please others or for other reasons. I would like to touch on some points praying that the Holy Spirit speaks to you even more than you can read in this article.
Neglecting your marriage? In what ways?
Do you remember the moment when you first met your partner? Do you remember that first glimpse? He looked so handsome! She was so beautiful! The physical aspect of love is a reality we cannot ignore. There is a physical attraction between the couple that is very natural. It is a desire placed in us by God. For a moment, think about your own physical appearance. If you are being negligent or overly unconcerned, that could be dangerous to your relationship. You do not want him or her to look at someone else in that way, right?
Protect your marriage by making sure that you are attractive to your spouse.. What do you need to do? Stay clean and well groomed. Dress. It might help you to the salon, use a perfume that attracts your spouse, lose some weight, dress differently, etc. Do your best to be attractive to your partner. Why would one think “Now that I’’m married, I don’t have to go to all that trouble anymore.” ?
Queen Vashti refused to appear before her husband, the King. Does that remind you of someone who neglects his/her appearance?
Hegai, who was in charge of the King’s harem, was very impressed with Esther and treated her with great kindness. He ordered servants to prepare a special diet and give her beauty treatments.
8 When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. 9 She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.
12 Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. 13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. (Esther 2:8-12)
In this passage, Esther was being made ready for the king to see. Note the emphasis on physical beauty. It is clear that the king would be interested in a beautiful virgin, and so Hegai made sure that Esther was as nice looking as possible. Perfume, cosmetics, beautiful clothing…Hegai did his job well. No doubt this helped, because some time later, she was chosen as queen.
Another physical aspect of marriage that you must take care of is intimacy with your partner. The Bible says:
Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.
4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5
Notice, this is not optional. We do not say “no.” We are advised to give our bodies to each other.
Caution: As we have said in other articles – “be sure that you let God speak directly to you, about your own behavior, through the scripture and do not use His word as a weapon against your marriage partner or anyone else.”
Have you been denying your partner? It is very important to have regular sex with your partner. It is a gift of love, and it is a gift of God as well as being a teacher so that you can learn more about true intimacy in the relationship. If you are having any problems or physical complications that prevent you from having sex, bring it out in the open. Maintain those lines of communication! And do not settle for “no sex.” It could be that the two of you need to counsel with your pastor or your Doctor. Sex in marriage is a big deal.
Without it, the Bible is very clear that the temptation will be right there if you do not fulfill this sacred need. Paul said:
But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1 Corinthians 7:9
So, if they get married and do not have regular sexual intimacy, doesn’t it stand to reason that someone is going to “burn with lust”?
First, I need to address the husband. The Bible says:
For the husband is head of his wife as Christ is the head and savior of the church, which is his body. Ephesians 5:23
Christian man, as the head of your wife and your home, you should be aware that your leadership should be like the leadership of Jesus. Pray for wisdom in leadership. Ask for Godly discernment that brings your family to know God personally, His leadership to guide your wife and family, a Christ like leadership that serves others in the same way that Jesus served on earth.
Ask yourself, “Am I what God expects as head of my wife? What should I do to improve?” Do you read your Bible? Your wife and children see what you do, and imitate you… your wife takes her cues from you. Are you helping your wife to grow in Christ? Do you go with your wife to church? I urge you – do not let her go alone. You are living example. Be a good one!
Remember that your family is your main ministry. Never neglect their spiritual growth. It is impossible to do right by serving within your congregation and leading other people if you do not invest as much in your family.
But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Joshua had a clear call from God to lead the people of Israel to the promised land. However, he would not do alone. His family was with him and he was first-of-all their leader. So dedicate yourself to your children and wife so that together you can strive to fulfill God’s purpose.
Emotions were put into us by God. In fact, God expresses His own emotions throughout Bible. He was angry several times with the people of Israel for such disobedience to the point of wanting to destroy them. Jesus was angry with merchants who were in the temple. Jesus was sad to see Israel as sheep without a shepherd. And our Lord wept when his friend Lazarus died. God is jealous for His people – Israel. He wants our hearts to be dedicated and focused on Him alone. If you realize God is a God who shows his emotions, then you can see how important it is to pray for godly emotions. And how important is it then to take care of your own emotional life?
Do some self-analysis. Are your emotions uncontrolled? Are they affecting and hurting your spouse? Do you find it impossible to control anger? Do you become upset to the point of regret after a conflict using words that hurt your partner? Is your jealousy unmanageable?
Sometimes we become irritated and take it out on our partner. At other times we might experience discouragement or sadness to the point where we neglect our partner, our physical appearance and even neglect others when we really ought to be seeking wise counsel from our pastor to get help with that depression.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1: 7
In another version, this passage uses the phrase “sound mind.” God has given us the power to control our emotions. And He has given us the good sense to get help. Knowing and admitting that we are in trouble is key!
What do you need to do? Do not be afraid to confess your lack of control over anger. God can help you. Your spouse can help you. I pray the Holy Spirit will speak to you after reading this article and show you more areas of your life that may have been neglected. He can help you maintain and strengthen your marriage.
Do not neglect your vineyard.
Go to work on your own person and your marriage.
If you are in a relationship with a sexual addict or in a relationship that involves adultery, tell us what is going on…. [email protected]
We can help.