Last week I posted the first five of the 10 Commandments of Marriage. Here is the second set of five. This article also reviews the first five so you don’t have to look back.
Last week we gave you the first 5 of the Ten Commandments for Husbands and Wives as shared by Elisabeth Elliot, with comments of our own in [brackets]. This week we’ll begin by giving the first 5 we gave last week (you’ll have to look at last week’s message to get the additional comments) and then we’ll share numbers 6-10, with additional comments included. Cindy and I believe that if we, as couples, lived by these commandments, our marriages would be a lot stronger and richer. We hope you gain from them as we have.
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR MARRIAGE:
1. RESPECT THE IMAGE OF GOD IN THE OTHER PERSON.
2. REMEMBER THAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU A GIFT IN YOUR SPOUSE.
3. LOVE ALWAYS MEANS SACRIFICE.
4. RELINQUISH YOUR "RIGHTS."
5. LET EACH ESTEEM THE OTHER BETTER THAN HIM/HERSELF.
6. PRAY FOR EACH OTHER AND WITH EACH OTHER. [We aren’t only to pray together at meal times. That’s important, but as we pray for and with each other at various times, our relationship grows all the deeper. We’ve sure found that to be true in our own marriage. God has a way of uniting us all the more as we pray together. "There’s nothing that makes us love someone as much as prayer for him [her]" (William Law).
Concerning praying for each other, we want you to know about an interesting book we just discovered. It’s titled, "The Marriage Prayer: A Prescription to Change the Direction of your Marriage" by Patrick Morley, published by Moody Publishers. They give you a 14 Day Marriage Prayer Challenge to pray for your spouse. Here’s what they say on their web site: "Prayer changes things because God answers prayer. Everyone knows couples ought to pray for one another — but many actually do it. Take the 14-Day Marriage Prayer Challenge. Here’s a next step any person could take to build a better marriage. Print out a copy of the Marriage Prayer and pray it for the next 14 days."
That sounds simplistic, because we know of people who have been praying and crying their hearts out for years, and they have seen little change …YET! We say YET because you never know what God still is going to do. It may be that you need to P.U.S.H. — in which you: Pray Until Something Happens. (We have an article on our web site at www.marriagemissions.com which explains this a bit more.) If that means that you P.U.S.H. for one day, 14 days or 14 years… we hope you will persevere to do so.
The prayer this book and the web site challenge you to pray is simple, yet profound. Husbands, here is what you would pray: "Father, I said ’til death do us part’ — I want to mean it. Help me to love you more than her and more than anyone or anything else. Help me to bring her into your presence today. Make us one, like you are three-in-one. I want to hear her, cherish her, and serve her so she would love you more and we can bring you glory. Amen."
Wives, here is what you would pray: "Father, I said ’til death do us part’ — I want to mean it. Help me to love you more than him and more than anyone or anything else. Help me bring him into your presence today. Make us one, like you are three-in-one. I want to hear him, support him, and serve him so he would love you more and we can bring you glory. Amen."
We hope you will take up the challenge (and don’t end it in just 14 days). Pray FOR each other and WITH each other and see what GOD will do.]
7. NEVER GO TO BED ANGRY. [See Ephesians 4:26-27 and Psalm 4:4, where God tells you to do this. We all need reminders not to allow bitterness to take root (see: Hebrews 12:14-15). Hopefully your husband or wife will agree with you to live out this "commandment" for the health of your relationship. If he/she won’t, ask God to help YOU to do what you can, so bitterness doesn’t take root in your own heart. Keep in mind the saying, "Anytime we reconcile, it’s a picture of what God wants to do with man."
Love aims at unity (it’s a great goal to TRY to aim for). "Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs" (1 Corinthians 13:5).]
8. WHENEVER YOU’RE WRONG, ADMIT IT. WHENEVER YOU’RE RIGHT BE QUIET. ["The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit" (Proverbs 15:4). "If you have played the fool and exalted yourself, or if you have planned evil, clap your hand over your mouth! For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife" (Proverbs 30:32-33). "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips" (Proverbs 27:2).]
9. KEEP SIGHT OF YOUR PLACE IN GOD’S ORDER. [God can work in wonderful ways when we view our role in marriage as completing each other rather than competing with one another. Again, remember that love "is not self-seeking." Read Hebrews 10:24 and then look for ways in which you can encourage and help your spouse "to love and good deeds."]
10. BE FAITHFUL TO YOUR VOW. [Be a promise keeper — not a promise changer or a promise breaker.
I (Cindy) saw an advertisement on television that said, "The rules have changed." Unfortunately, in marriage, many couples are living as if the rules have changed. But the reality is that God’s rules haven’t. They were the same yesterday. They are the same today, and they will be the same tomorrow as well. The marriage vow is still to be honored even if our spouse doesn’t keep up with his/her side of the vows. As God tells us through the Bible, "Let our yes be yes, and our no be no." ]
Our prayer for you is that God will speak to your hearts to show you how to love one another "as unto the Lord." We pray you’ll look for ways to out-serve and bless each other and make God’s ways your ways in how you live out your married lives as a living testimony to the glory of God.