THE HEART OF THE MARRIAGE
Pastor Jill Barlock
I have been sharing with women the need to keep our hearts free from things that would affect our relationship with God. The heart of anything is: the seat of life or strength, it means the mind, soul, spirit or one’s entire emotional nature and understanding. The central or inner part of anything.
I am not qualified marriage counselor. I can only speak as a minister and a woman who has walked with God and had a relationship with Him and with my husband for 40 years. The marriage relationship has a “heart” or a core relationship that must keep it strong and steady. We need to guard the heart of our marriage to walk in unity and harmony. God says that a man and woman become one. They should love one another as He loves the Church. We all know that it is difficult to maintain unity in the church. But it is possible to have a dynamic, growing church after many years! Keeping the zeal and passion alive. It is possible to keep a marriage dynamic and evolving over the years if we keep the heart of the marriage healthy. We often talk about the differences between man and woman. God planned it this way.
The enemy wanted to put them one against the other so to hinder the kingdom of God.
Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
The woman will always need more from her man, and the man will have other things on his mind. But within their differences they can thrive and grow. As time passes, these differences grow. They will need to be ever aware to nourish and tend to the heart of the marriage.
Proverbs 4:23 “above all things, guard the heart, for out of it flows all life.”
Power struggles that leave the other person feeling that her or she is a child, or is being bullied or dominated. An unwillingness to admit that we are wrong or ask forgiveness.
“The little foxes spoil the vines” We need to tend to our vineyard with attention.
Song of Solomon 2:15 “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”
THE HEART OF A MARRIAGE IS LOVE
Song of Solomon 1:1-5 “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.”
There is a definite spark going on here!
Song of Solomon 5:2-4 “I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking: Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.” I have taken off my robe—must I put it on again? I have washed my feet—must I soil them again? My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him.
She is too tired to open the door.
Time happens to all of us. We must guard the heart of the marriage so it does not grow tired, bored and cold.
God gives us a supply of Love. He can help us to love one another even through the difficult years, struggles over the children, economic conflicts, etc.
Romans 5:5 “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
The love of God is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
His love is: long-suffering, kind, does not envy, is not proud, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love NEVER fails!
THE HEART OF A MARRIAGE IS AFFECTION
Song of Solomon 2:5-6 “Strengthen me with raisins; refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love. His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.”
Song of Solomon states the love that they have, the affection that they have for one another. They go to the garden together; they go to the fields together. They spend time talking, walking, and being with one another.
Song of Solomon 2:4 “Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother’s house, to the room of the one who conceived me.”
This is something that is often affected ever the years. We can be so busy, so worried, or so important, that we just don’t give the other one attention.
THE HEART OF THE MARRIAGE IS COMMUNICATION
Song of Solomon 2:8 “Listen! My beloved! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.”
2:14 “My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”
She loves to hear his voice and he loves to listen to her.
After we are familiar with each other, this is eroded. We speak words that are not uplifting, encouraging or helpful. Complaints, etc.
Luke 6:45 “ A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
What is in the heart? What is in there will come out. We say things in private conversations that could hurt the other one. A gesture, expressions, looks, sarcasm, indirect criticisms, hurt and offends. We often let these things go, and they affect our relationship. We will often disagree, but we can say it in a way that it does not hurt and offend. Learning to have “the law of kindness” on the tongue.
THE HEART OF THE MARRIAGE IS HONOR AND RESPECT
1 Peter 3:6-7 “like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
This is a mutual respect and honor. Putting the other in first place, considering their ideas and opinions as valuable and worthy of attention. This is the heart of the church: people who honor God and respect His authority and His word.
Gary Smalley and John Trent speak about this in “Love is a Decision”.
Ways we dishonor another: Ignoring or degrading what they say, Burying oneself in the TV or computer when another is trying to talk to us, Creating jokes about another person’s weak areas or shortcomings, Making verbal attacks on loved ones: criticizing, judging or delivering lectures, Ignoring kind things done for us, Over committing ourselves to her projects, people so that everything outside the house seems more important than those inside the home.
Sometimes we need to do something out of the ordinary to keep our relationship going. Growing old together will be a great adventure. May God keep our hearts on fire!
THE HEART OF A MARRIAGE IS ADVENTURE
Song of Solomon 2:10-11 “My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.”
Song of Solomon 7:11-12 “Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside, and let us spend the night in the villages. Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom—there I will give you my love.”
God always has new and exciting things to show us. We can work together in new ways-in this adventure together.