Wedding Rings For Rent

By: Donna Clark

Those four words, in bold print, were in full display in the window of a jewelry store in Hollywood. How ironic. Sadly, many enter into the holy bond of matrimony already having an escape plan in mind if the relationship should fail. I once heard a speaker make this comment in regards to our marriages. He shared how people divorce on the grounds of falling out of love. Funny, he said, we don’t drop our vehicle at the junkyard when it runs out of gas. How true. When the tank gets low, we fill it up. In the last few articles, I’ve tried to pass on to you readers how to keep your marriage tank full by knowing your and your spouse’s love language and how to apologize effectively. Instead of focusing on the negative you see, look for the good, and be the change you want to see. Marriage is serious business and it’s hard work, I’ve mentioned that several times, but so worth the effort. There are many books, podcasts, conferences, and wonderful counselors to help us navigate the stormy seasons, but in all of that, there is nothing more powerful, more effective, than the guidance that is given to us in God’s word.

Ephesians Chapter 5 gives us so much insight into God’s plan for a marriage to be successful. And I promise you, if those instructions are followed, we will have great relationships. As I conclude my words of advice for the married, this last article will be based on everything the Bible tells us on how to make marriage work. Even if you aren’t a believer, His words are clear direction that will not fail.

To the men, Paul, writer of Ephesians, says this – you and your wife are now one. Loving her, caring for her, is doing your own self a favor. No one hates his own body, but loves it and cherishes it. Caring for her is caring for yourself. He also instructs the man to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave His life for it. When I first read that Scripture years ago, I understood it to mean that my husband should be willing to die a physical death for me, as Jesus did for all of us, His church. And I’m not dismissing the heart of love that would willingly do that. However, I believe it could be seen as laying down the desires that you have. If outside hobbies and interests take from your time and energy that is needed to support a healthy relationship with your wife, then there is a sacrifice that needs to be made — dying to some of the things that you want and looking at the needs of your wife. I don’t know why, but Paul wrote twice as many instructions to the man than he did to the woman. He tells you, husband, sacrifice everything and make her well-being a priority.

Wives, Paul tells you to submit to the husband’s leadership. I know this can be a topic for huge debate; however, when a husband is striving to be obedient to God and follow His teaching, not his own ideas and agendas, then the wife can find it easy to follow her husband and to listen to his guidance. The husband is mandated by God to be the spiritual leader of the home. When that submission to God is in place, the wife can find herself honoring and respecting her husband as God instructs. Women, you are to respect and encourage. You are to be your husband’s biggest cheerleader. Never should he feel he needs to look elsewhere to find his worth. When I think of the wedding band that we wear as a symbol of our commitment, it’s never ending, it’s continual. If a husband loves God, loves his wife, then the wife in turn should find herself loving and respecting her husband. He then feels honored, will love his wife, and so it goes. It’s a continual circle of a love that won’t fail. Going further, when children see these things being lived out between Mom and Dad, it sets a precedent for them as they look at marriage for themselves. If Mom respects Dad, the children will follow suit. Rudeness and disrespect of Dad will not be allowed, and Mom will be loved by her children. Only if we will follow God’s lead.

I wish I could conclude with a promise that this is easy to be lived out; there are days when it’s not. Our humanness, the fleshly desires, can fight against the very actions and words that honor God and bless our marriage. It’s a battle at times. However, seeking God every day helps us to follow His words and always remember His words are for our good and well worth the crucifixion of our own desires, holding our tongue, and serving our spouse as we would our Creator.

Praying love and strength for your marriage –

By: Donna Clark