A few days ago I introduced this series of articles. You can read the introduction here.
Read Ephesians 5:15-33.
Key verse: 31
One of the saddest parts of our “fast-paced, never-stopping, world-of-instant-everything is that we have lost the ability to be close. Or so it seems! It is increasingly difficult to have conversations without a person suddenly detaching themselves from the conversation to interact with a friend on Facebook or via a text message. In many homes, both spouses work outside the home and arrive home each day to another full-time job. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough hours to get it all done and marriages and families all suffer. God has a better plan and it can be summed up in the word closeness.
Verse thirty one has its roots all the way back in the book of Genesis on the sixth day of creation when God made the first marriage. Genesis teaches us that God made Adam first and designed him to work. God fellowshipped with him and loved him! Yet God also saw that Adam needed someone else. He needed a help meet and he needed off-spring. Genesis 1 also teaches that when God made Adam and Eve He wedded them together and He blessed them. His blessing, according to Genesis 1-28-29, involved sexuality, children, and food (and in that order!!!). Simply stated, God presents commands concerning human sexuality before He presents instructions concerning food! Genesis 2 further examines this story and adds some of the details missing in chapter one. Adam states that his wife was “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” In other words, he says that “she is me.” He also gives us the verse that Paul again uses in Ephesians 5:31. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” Here Adam is saying that he and his wife are inseparable. In other words, he says that “we” are “one!” Finally, God’s word declares that the man and his wife were “naked and were not ashamed.” The marriage relationship is completely unique. It is like no other relationship in the world.
The point here is this: God intends husbands and wives to be close. The way we talk to each other (words) can help us to develop closeness. Sarcasm and silliness may have a place but can destroy closeness. In fact, things like irritability and grouchiness not only destroy marriage relationships, they also destroy our Christian testimony. Serving God together (worship) can help us to develop closeness. Couples should pray together, read Scripture together, attend church together, and go soul-winning together. Finally, actively pursuing closeness (work) is important as well.
In order to be close, the “basics” are important. Husbands loving their wives! Wives submitting to their husbands! As insignificant as these statements may sound, they are a basic element in a couple being close. When a wife feels loved and a husband feels reverenced, great things happen in a heart, a marriage, and a home. There are important “building blocks” if a couple is to be close. It takes time. It takes talking. It takes selflessness! Finally, remember that in our generation, it often involves a “battle.” Enemies abound. Busyness and selfishness and a lack of spirituality all destroy closeness. Slow down! Treat each other royally! Make your marriage a priority. You will be glad you did.
So, lets evaluate and see how we are doing.
- Are you and your spouse close?
- Are there any elements that are obviously destroying your closeness?
- Do you pray together?
- Do you worship together?
- Do you every read God’s word together?
- Do you go on dates together?
- Do you spend time talking?
- Do you treat each other royally?
- Are you loyal to each other?
- 10. Do you practice intimacy?
- 11. Do you eat together?
- 12. Are you willing to find ways to be closer?
So how are you guys doing? Are there any special ways you have practiced or specific steps you have taken to help you and your spouse to be especially close to one another? I would love to hear about them.
Thanks for reading.
Your sincere friend,