Deuteronomy 24:5-7 (Part 2) – Quick: Tell Me About Your Future (Is Your Spouse Standing Beside You?)

Posted: March 31, 2017 in Book of Deuteronomy
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Deuteronomy 24:5-7 (Part 2 of 4)

Miscellaneous Regulations

Newlyweds. Holding hands. Opening doors. Hugging up. Snuggling up. Complimenting. Little notes. These are the early days of marital relationships. Then, life happens. The daily grind happens. Paying bills happens. Him leaving his underwear by the clothes hamper instead of in the clothes hamper happens. Her taking two hours to get ready to go somewhere happens. It takes a lot of energy in those early days to maintain that honeymoon state in a marriage. Eventually, because of familiarity and because of the humdrum of life, we fall away from those cute little (and sometimes nauseating to the outside world) displays of affection during the early part of marriage.

 

I think that both the giddy early days of marriage and the seemingly less-frenzied years later are necessary parts of the development of a couple’s marriage. I am not saying that we should not continue to try to go over the top showing our spouses that we love them in later years but we should not automatically assume that our marriages are in trouble just because we are not pawing over each other all the time like when we were newlyweds. Yes, if we are doing things that let our spouse now that we love them then we need to get back to it. But, a lot of our over the top stuff in the early part of marriage is induced by the newness of the physical relationship and the passion that it creates. That kind of passion that comes in the early parts of marriage is simply not sustainable. That is why it is important that we marry someone who can be our friend as well as our lover. My mom, celebrating her eternity in heaven now for 6 ½ years, used to tell me that “you need to marry a woman who can be your best friend in the living room as much or more than she is your best friend in the bedroom!” Long-term love simply cannot be based on physical passion. It is not sustainable. That is not to say that there should not be periods of passion in marriage that is older than a year. Passion comes and goes. And you appreciate it when comes back but do not think the world has ended when a cycle of passion has ended in a long-term marriage. It comes and it goes. But is your spouse your best friend. Can you communicate with her with just a look? Can you look at him and know just by the way he looks back at you that you are the most important thing in his life? Can you have conversations about anything? Can you enjoy silence together and just enjoy being in the same room with them? Do you look forward to just spending time with your spouse? Is your spouse your best friend? These are the things that kept our grandparents and the generations before them married for 50 plus years. They were best friends. Are you best friends with your spouse?

 

When you think of best friend, does your spouse come to mind? When you think of life without your spouse, does it send a chill through your soul? We all get older, fatter, and wider than we used to be as we grow older. Is your love for your spouse dependent on how good their physique is? Do you want a divorce just because they don’t look as good as they used to? Have you looked in the mirror lately? Neither do you! If you fall in love with someone just because of their body shape, then, you are not in love at all. Do you love your spouse’s soul? Does your wife give you a feeling of home and of comfort and of unconditional acceptance? Does your husband make you feel like a princess and feel protected and cared for and secure? Do you love your spouse’s soul? When you love someone because there is a soul connection not just a physical one that’s when you’ve got something.

 

When we look back on our marriage and all that we have been through together as spouses, can you think of having to do it with anyone else? The shared history of a husband and wife is another thing that makes a marriage more than just physical entertainment. The heartaches, the triumphs, the problems with kids, the accomplishments of our kids, the family times that were and are priceless that are remembered forever, the later years of freedom as the kids leave home, the experience of grandkids, all this collective history. When you look back on it all and you think, man, I could not have made it through it all without that lady right there or that man right there, then that’s true love. Love endures. Love is being afraid of what life will be like when he or she passes on before us. Can you say that about your spouse? If you can’t, then, please seek help for your marriage.

 

My wife and I have been married for seven years now and we have been together as a couple for almost a decade now. And, yes, that passion in our marriage now comes and goes. But she is my best friend I can honestly say. Sure, we have annoying little habits that we annoy each other with. But, I would not take anything for the relationship that we have. I enjoy being in her presence. We have communication where we can make each other laugh with just a quirky look. We have been across the country and back together. We have stories that define our relationship. We have dreams of our future that we both believe in. We have stories about our lives together than are priceless gems that bring smiles and laughter. We have history. When I think of life without her if she passed away, I would feel lost. She makes my life so easy. She takes care of me. She loves doing that. It is not a chore to her. Whatever would I do without her. We love each other in a basic soul kind of way. I know her soul and she knows mine. How could I ever live without that if she passes before me? That’s marriage. She is my best friend and when I think of the future events of life, she is there. It’s not just me there. She is there too. She is part of who I am at the soul level. Thus, future thoughts include her being by my side without question.

 

Marriage is important to God. There is no doubt about that. With that in mind, let’s read the passage, Deuteronomy 24:5-7, and for this morning let’s concentrate on Verse 5:

 

5 If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.

 

6 Do not take a pair of millstones—not even the upper one—as security for a debt, because that would be taking a person’s livelihood as security.

 

7 If someone is caught kidnapping a fellow Israelite and treating or selling them as a slave, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from among you.

 

Why do you think that God exempted men from pretty much all social responsibilities outside the home during the first year of marriage? It must be pretty important to God that a husband be home with his wife during this foundational time for a marriage. It was important to God that even though Israel was going to be at a constant state of conflict with some enemy that required a standing army that a man should have a formative time for his marriage to his wife. God sees marriage as the fabric that hold society together. If we don’t get it right from the beginning then society itself is in danger.

 

Much of the troubles that we see in today’s world is because marriage is no longer important as a life-long institution. We change marriages like we change underwear. We have kids with different names from their mother. We have kids with different names than their father. You need a scorecard to keep up with what kids belong to what marriage if the child was even born in wedlock to begin with. Our destruction of marriage as an institution is the basis of many of our social ills today. We have so cheapened marriage that is no longer the purview of just a man and a woman. Anybody can marry anybody today. I can marry a cat if I want to based on the way the Supreme Court’s ruling reads.

 

But real marriage, the lifelong commitment, the marriage that God intended between a man and his wife, that real marriage was what was so important to God that he made special provision for the incubation of it at its beginning. If God takes it take seriously so should we.

 

Let us be a people that holds out for the marriage that God intended for us. Let us be a people who marry because we have looked at the woman that we are in love with and we see best friend as much as we see lover. We see a person that touches our soul just by being beside us. Let us be a people that chooses our spouses wisely. Let us be a people that can love for the long-haul. Let us be a people who place the needs of the marriage before the needs of ourselves. Let us be a people that are purposeful about letting our spouses know that they really do touch our soul. Let us be a people that loves our spouses even when we are having disagreements. Let us be a people that submit ourselves to the good of our marriages. Let us be a people as Christ followers that people look at and say that’s the kind of marriage I want.

 

Marriage is of high importance to God. Marriage should be of equally high importance to us. So much so that we  choose our spouses wisely. So much so that we choose that person that we can be friends with outside the bedroom as well as in it. So much so that we see their happiness as important or more important than our own. So much so that we really just love them deep down in our soul. So much so that they complete us. So much so that we cannot imagine the past or the future without them.

 

As Jim Gallagher, pastor of Calvary Chapel in Vero Beach, FL, said in his blog entitled, “Happy Marriage,” says,

 

Whether you are a husband or a wife, perhaps it is time to make an effort to invest in the happiness of your spouse. Instead of thinking of all the ways you’ve been  disappointed,  why not spend time thinking of ways to pour love into your spouse, and see if the God who parts the seas, is able to put life into your relationship.

 

Amen and Amen.

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