By David Reynolds
It is very important what we believe about the institution called marriage. Our beliefs must be based upon a foundation even deeper than our values. They must be based upon the word of God.
Love is more an act of our will than it is of our emotions. When the going gets rough, it will be our beliefs which will determine our decisions and actions.
- Belief: God made us different and unique.
“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6).
- Belief: Marriage is a union for life.
“And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mark 10:8-9).
Children are temporary. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24)
- Belief: God has determined an order of authority and responsibility within a family.
“But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (I Corinthians 11:3).
- Belief: God has determined relationships within the family.
Husbands: Love, nourish and cherish your wife (Ephesians 5:25, 28). Honor your wife (I Peter 3:7).
Wives: Reverence and submit to your own husband. (Ephesians 5:22-33; I Peter 3:1). Love your husband and children. (Titus 2:4)
Children: Honor and obey your parents (Ephesians 6:1-2).
Fathers: Provoke not your children to wrath (Colossians 3:21).
- Belief: God has determined our roles within the family.
Husbands: Provider (Genesis 3:19; I Timothy 5:8), Protector (I Samuel 30:18). Priest (Joshua 24:15
Wives: Homemaker (Titus 2:4-5; Proverbs 31), Mother (Genesis 3:16)
- Belief: God has limited sex to a union between a man and a woman bound together by marriage vows.
Within marriage it is pure (I Corinthians 7: 2-5; Hebrews 13:4)
Outside marriage it is forbidden and shall be judged (Exodus 20:14; Romans 1:26-28).
Not only is it important that we base our beliefs on the word of God, but it is very important that our partner does also. If we share a common experience, a common faith and a common expectation our marriage will be built on the rock. When the rains come and the winds blow, it will stand.
It is with this knowledge that God instructs: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14).
Unless You Two Agree
“Can two walk together, accept they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
Question: “What can one I do when one parent makes a fair consistent rule for good discipline; then the other parent says, ‘Oh, go ahead. You can do that, no matter what she says.’ ”
The above scenario is sad. It happens in many families of America today. I see it most often when the marriage has been destroyed and one parent has custody and the other visiting rights. If the marriage is still together it is a sure sign of trouble ahead.
Parents: We must, for the sake of our children, be united when it comes to conduct, rules and the enforcement of rules.
- Disagreement will destroy your children.
With so many of our values and morals shifting in our society; we must provide consistent discipline while they are developing self-discipline. How can they develop their own system of controls without a model of what is right and wrong. They must know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.
Consistent discipline gives a child a feeling of security. They may not like it all the time; but without it they are very uneasy, unsettled and confused.
I happened to cross the St. John’s bridge today and never used the rails in any way. However, the rails supplied me with a nice feeling of security while passing over.
Discipline is the guardrail on the bridge of life.
- Disagreement will destroy respect for both parents.
It is important that one parent not be viewed as the one responsible for the discipline; for children will push the limits when that parent is absent.
It is just as important that the other not be viewed as easy, for they will forever badger that parent and avoid the other when they wish to get their way.
Decisions soon are not based upon right or wrong, but rather on whether or not it is possible to manipulate a parent in order to get their own way.
If there is open disagreement of parents before the children; the younger children become very anxious and the older children lose all respect.
- Disagreement will destroy your marriage.
The lack of agreement on discipline procedures and methods of raising children is the fourth highest reason given for divorce.
Our children are very important to us and we all have strong opinions on how they should be raised. We will not agree at all times, but it is important that we accept the fact our spouse does love our children and wishes to do the right thing by them.
Never undercut our partner in front of our children.
When we do not agree and feel our spouse has been too harsh or too easy with our child, we must talk about it away from their hearing. We must reach a compromise in private on general guidelines. It is important that both parents feel comfortable.
The same must hold true when the school or church makes a decision involving our children. Openly support all authority. When there is a concern discuss in private.
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife… as being heirs together . . . that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind…” (I Peter 3:7-8).
This chapter “Beliefs That Strengthen a Marriage” written by David Reynolds was excerpted from How Can You Play House without a Home: Biblical Advice for Christian Families and may be used for study and research purposes only.