Do you treasure your spouse? Do you practice a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love? Stephanie takes a look at what the Bible says about relationships.
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Husband And Wife
I left my hubby in a city a couple of hours from home this past weekend. He is having surgery both Monday and Wednesday. The facility is beautiful, not at all like your typical hospital. And the grounds are amazing.
I have a very busy week ahead and thought I was prepared. But as my daughter and I went in search of a restaurant to eat at before heading home, I began to miss Dave—a lot. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been married to someone for 35 years and you know they’re anxious about what lies ahead.
It certainly didn’t help when I had a vivid nightmare that first night. I woke myself calling out and was heavy-hearted all day.
Thankfully, when I had trouble sleeping the second night, I simply prayed for each person who came to mind whose situation is much more challenging than my own—from those with sick and injured friends to those whose marriages are going through rough times to those who have lost their spouse after decades of marriage.
Man And Woman In His Own Image
Genesis 1:27-28 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it …” (ESV).
God created both man and woman in His own image. He created them to populate and care for the earth. He created them to love and work alongside one another. This still describes our purpose to this day.
As Christians, we are to reflect God’s glory. Even more than that, because His Holy Spirit dwells within us, His very nature is to pour forth from us. This will only happen as we draw near to Him and He draws near to us as it says in James 4:8.
Not every Christian couple will have children of their own. But as Shaunti Feldhan says in her book The Life Ready Woman, we ought to invest in the lives of the next generation, whether they’re our own children or someone else’s. If your church is anything like mine, I’m sure the children and youth ministries could use more help.
Although I’m not an environmentalist per se, I believe it’s still important to care for the world that God gave us.
The 1 Corinthians 13 Kind Of Love
Husbands and wives are to love one another. “Well, d’huh,” you may say. But I’m talking about the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love, a love that is patient and kind, a love that does not boast or become irritable—that kind of love.
We may not literally work side-by-side with our spouse, but if our marriage is to be strong, we must take the other person into consideration when we make decision regarding our career as well as our shared tasks, such as caring for our home and raising our children, should the Lord bless us with sons and daughters.
Bridegroom And Bride
The relationship between bridegroom and bride is the one the Lord chose as a picture of Jesus’s relationship with the church, all genuine believers.
Ephesians 5:25-27 says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (ESV).
Revelation 19:6-8 says, “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb, has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure’—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints” (ESV).
Aren’t those amazing truths?
If you’re married, I encourage you to treasure your spouse and seek to bless them this day and every day. And even if you’re not, I encourage you to consider how Jesus’s relationship with believers is a picture of marriage.
For further study, I encourage you to not only read but also memorize 1 Corinthians.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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