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Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose: Godly marriages and families don’t come by accident! Couples need to learn WHAT kind of marriage they are seeking and HOW to form priorities to gain those godly families. A Wrong Approach to Marriages: Part 9 of Setting Priorities for Godly Marriages includes summary and study references.
Be careful though, I have seen a misapplication of this principle. A couple tries to carry out ‘love’ in ways that are not loving but confusing. This most often happens when a husband and wife confuse each other’s responsibility as a husband or wife.
Part of this problem stems from a lack of biblical teaching. Each do not understand what God expects of them as a husband or wife. The culture has so twisted their minds that it has messed up even the most basic understandings which a generation or two ago would have been so obvious.
Some of the problems result from unbiblical values due to bad experiences. One spouse might deep down be convinced he or she never want a child to experience what he or she had experienced in one’s own upbringing. This seems like an unselfish and caring value–keeping any pain from reoccurring–but it counters God’s will and grace and fostered by false knowledge and faith in God. There are many such confusion of roles: Maybe the husband should stay home and care for the children? Why is a husband doing a wife’s job or a wife working and the man at home? Maybe it is okay for emergency but not for the long term. God has differently structured things.
Linda, my wife, makes sure the kitchen is cleaned up before going to bed. Sometimes she is so tired. I see some pans soaking there. I am tired too but just take one pan after another and tackle them, trying to make them clean (not always up to her standards though). Do you see how saw the need and stepped in to help her when she was tired? I try to be sensitive to her needs. And she is sensitive to my needs like the issue in the car. These things are right and good but taking over another’s role for the long term is not proper and warps the way God constructed the marriage to be. It is better to go with less money than de-prioritize what God has instructed us as important.
Look at your lives. Examine the lives around you. The fact is that those who prioritize their values against God’s will soon face all sorts of problems. It might be okay for a while but just wait until next month or year. God gave the husband and wives clear cut responsibilities in marriage. Moreover, they are to relate to one another in a certain God-given ways while carrying out different responsibilities.
God offers the best advice in His Word. If you doubt it, then you and those around you will suffer. (If you doubt it, talk to a couple that has a harmonious marriage.) Our hope is that you will actually take great hope in His sure Word and have Him help make those value adjustments which in turn reshape your life priorities. At first it will be difficult, but it will yield great fruit.
At the end of your life, God will not ask how much money you made. He is not concerned about this. Or even what kind of house or neighborhood you lived in. He is concerned whether you exemplified His harmony, purpose and love in your marriage and family to conduct His purposes for you as a family through His grace.
This series on Setting Priorities in Marriage concludes here. Hope you can look at more of our Christian training resources on marriage or other topics.
Each set of questions is matched to a certain article where the answers can be found.
• A Study Sheet for Marriage
• Your Goal for Marriage
• Assessment for a Couple
• Five Misconceptions of Good Marriages
• Defending the Design of Marriage
• Defining Intimacy
• Three Aspects to Intimate Marriages