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Rainbow Divider

Chapter 12

Shipwrecked Marriages and How to Prevent Them

“And the Pharisees came unto him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, what did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10:2-9.

According to statistics more marriages in the U.S.A. are headed for separation in the divorce courts than ever before. It is not uncommon to hear of couples who have been married ten, twenty or thirty years breaking up and going their separate ways. In some instances couples stay together until their children are grown and then separate.

Many reasons are given for these shipwrecked marriages. Sometimes another woman or man is involved and in some cases they simply want their so-called freedom. Sometimes both parties are guilty of not really wanting to make a go of it. Very often each side blames the other. As a result of all this the psychiatrist, the medical doctor, the minister, the marriage counselor, the divorce lawyer and the courts are doing a booming business.

For a long time Hollywood has set the pace in making a joke of marriage, divorce and any concept of marital sanctity. Today hardly anyone is censored for marital infidelity or divorce. And the growing trend is to simply live together without marriage or any commitment of faithfulness.

What is the real cause of this attitude and shipwrecked marriages that society has come to accept as simply part of our way of life? I could answer this question by simply saying, “People need God.” Basically this is absolutely true. But the truth is, the whole fabric of our society has so degenerated in the matter of morals and God-consciousness until hardly anything is sacred any more. Our world will become more and more like the world of Noah as we approach the end of this age. Genesis 6:5.

With the growing release of demonic forces upon the world, mankind must draw nigh to God or be possessed by his own depravity. This, I believe, is what is actually taking place. More and more the enemy is coming in like a flood. But (praise God!) a standard is being lifted against him. Isaiah 59:19. The light of the evening time is increasing. Zechariah 14:7. God’s word sets men free (John 8:32) is searching out and finding a remnant of people that are looking for the coming bridegroom. Matt. 25:6. Although darkness is covering the earth and gross darkness the people, a few are hearing his voice. Heb. 3:7. As the light increases they will arise and shine in preparation for their coming Lord. Isaiah 60:1-2, Psalms 45:13-14.

Beloved, a revelation of what God is doing will do more to stabilize lives and save marriages than all the psychiatrists and marriage counselors in the world.

A couple whose marriage was on the verge of breaking up who began attending one of my meetings over twenty-five years ago is an example of this. They were a typical young couple with every earthly reason for making a success of their marriage. They were nice looking, intelligent, well educated and enjoyed a good standard of living. Despite the fact that both of them had religious backgrounds and the Lord had blessed them with two beautiful daughters, their marriage was on the rocks.

Under the influence of the gospel they discovered a new purpose in life and soon found peace with each other. This case, as well as millions of others, has proven that we must have something to live for other than self. Earthly, carnal things can never take the place of God and the peace that he gives. Jesus said, “Peace I give, not as the world giveth.”

However since there are so many aspects of truth that relate to marriage our purpose here is to give more detailed specifics on how to prevent shipwrecked marriages.

PREPARATION

The old saying “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” is certainly true of the marriage state. The fantasy that the magic bliss is going to make you live happily ever afterward is one hundred percent wrong. Don’t be an ostrich. Sticking your head in the sand won’t make your dreams come true. Take a good look before you leap. We need to be as realistic about marriage as we are about choosing a career, buying a home, establishing a business or any other important endeavor.

Jesus himself taught this principle in regard to the kingdom of God, which is spiritual union or marriage to our heavenly Bridegroom. Luke 14:28-33. Other than union with Christ and his body the church, marriage is the most important decision you will ever make in this life. There are numerous factors that enable us to “count the cost” before we make such a vital and important decision.

LOVE

What you call love may not stand up under the stress of marriage. Most of the romantic notions that people have are sheer fantasy. If you think that love and kisses and hopping into the bed is all you need for a happy marriage, you are headed for bitter disappointment. If your love is not based upon other qualities than physical attraction or sexual desire you have a poor foundation on which to build a life together.

Marriage is the fusion or union of two lives. Like two similar metals capable of fusing together, in marriage there must be compatible qualities that enable the twain to truly become “one flesh”. Matt. 19:5. There must be mutual admiration and respect for each other if this union is to be effected.

Remember, you are going to live with this person the rest of your life or until death. The time to take a good long look is before the vows are made. Don’t be deceived into thinking your love for him , or her, is going to transform them into a “silk purse” from a “sow’s ear”. How often we have heard the bitter cry of anguish, “Mother, I didn’t know he was like that.” If you are a wise woman, or man, you will not build your future upon the disappointing sands of romantic fantasies. Be honest with yourself and consider the following questions about your prospective mate.

Is he kind and considerate of his own mother or sisters? Is he a harmonious part of a family unit or a loner? Is he a reliable, dependable person? Does he hold a job, working regularly or bounce around from one thing to another? Does he have a profession or know a trade that he enjoys working at? Is he a drifter, a hippie, a religious cultist, an alcoholic or a criminal? Is he a skirt-chaser or does he consider himself a ladies’ man? What kind of friends or people does he associate with? What is his family like? Do you have things in common that you like to do together? And, most of all, do you both fear and reverence the Lord, sharing common religious views?

If the answer is negative to many of these questions you are asking for trouble to marry such a person. Marriage is not going to change all of these things. Some of these things are life-long traits that follow certain families from generation to generation. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking that marriage and your love are going to change all of this.

If you marry a lazy bum you are going to have to support yourself and him. If you marry a temperamental, violent type you can expect to be beaten and abused. If you marry a moody, loner type person you will spend many lonely hours by yourself. If you marry mama’s little boy, your mother-in-law will be the third member of your household. If you marry a skirt-chaser, you can expect to share your man with other women.

If you marry a rowdy drunkard type you will spend many lonely hours of anguish wondering if he is in jail, the hospital or dead. If you marry a confirmed hippie you might just as well put a flower in your hair, sandals on your feet, get your knapsack and hit the road.

The man must likewise take a common sense, practical look at the girl he proposes to marry and live with the rest of his life. Does she take pride in keeping a clean neat house? Can she cook? Is she interested in learning new recipes and trying to prepare nutritious and attractive meals? Is she more interested in working on a job or having a career than in being a homemaker? Is she a negative, nagging, jealous, domineering or dissatisfied person? Is she more interested in primping, partying and pretty clothes than in pleasing her household?

Does she possess a strong family spirit that will take precedence over the marriage union and keep running home to mother? Is she promiscuous, a prima donna, or a flirt that loves attention from the opposite sex? Does she have patience with and love children? Is she a bookworm, spending much of her time curled up on the couch reading true romances or drinking cokes and watching television soap operas?

Is she a complaining neurotic that is always going to the doctor who treats her for ills that exist only in her mind? Is she thrifty, appreciating the value of a dollar, or does she think that money grows on trees?

If a man doesn’t want to live with a dissatisfied, nagging woman, eat out of cans, sleep in unmade beds and see his children neglected, he had better open his eyes and consider the consequences.

If the answer is negative to many of these questions, the perfume and roses will soon fade and be replaced with the despair and bitterness of disappointment. Most of these questions, plus others, can be applied to both the man and the woman.

You don’t just marry a nice figure, a pretty face and beautiful hair. You marry the total personality. Their body may be the dwelling place of many devils that will make your life miserable and seek to destroy you in the process of time.

Spirits of pride, wrath, jealousy, dishonesty, immorality, laziness, sexual perversion and many others are very clever at camouflaging their presence until after the marriage vows. Evil spirits purposely release their hold upon the minds of their subjects and allow them to act normally at times.

I might add they actually inspire their subject to be gracious, considerate and understanding to deceive and seduce their victims. Don’t be deceived by sweet talk. Some have the same line for every girl or boy they meet. Psalms 5:9 says, “For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.”

This is why the gift of discernment is so needed in the church. This is also why anyone contemplating marriage needs to pray much, wait on the Lord and keep their eyes and ears open.

There is hope, there is help if a couple actually desires to save their marriage and will listen to reason. The basis of this reason has to be God’s Word. I do not have any hope in the ultimate or permanent sense for those who want help without God. The final criterion is God’s eternal Word which is forever settled in heaven. Psalms 119:89.

The Word alone must rule in our hearts and lives. It is through the Word of God that the man and the woman will find that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. Rom. 12:1-3. The Word will help them come into divine order. This is the place of harmony, peace and rest that God has ordained for them from the foundation of the world. Even as God has divine order and arrangement in his universe, he has a purpose and plan for mankind. This includes the man and the woman in marriage. The purpose, of course, is to bring them into harmony with God’s purpose and plan for their lives.

This is why divine counsel is so important to any couple whose marriage is in trouble. There is absolutely no way to help people who will not listen or receive counsel. God, himself, cannot help people who will not be reasoned with. Isaiah 1:18.

This is actually what Jesus had reference to when he told the Pharisees that Moses wrote the precept of divorce because of the hardness of their heart. But he pointed out that this was not God’s way in the beginning. Mark 10:2-9. It truly takes a hard heart and a stubborn, unyielding attitude for a man or woman to reject a mate they have lived with and shared life with.

It is only after Satan has had access to the mind for a period of time that a man or woman can do such a thing. Such a condition, which God likens to witchcraft (I Samuel 15:23), is actually rebellion against God. Unless the stubborn will of such a person is broken, there is no help for that person or his marriage.

Trouble in marriage or any area of God’s universe means something is wrong. This simply means there has to be a change — a change that will bring individuals into harmony with God and each other. Marital trouble is simply the symptom of sickness in the heart. Accusing, condemning and blaming your mate will not cure this disease.

Next to the church, the home is the most sacred thing on earth. This is where our children are nurtured and taught those things that prepare them for life and hopefully eternity. The home, as well as the church, has more to do with shaping lives and making a stable society than anything else on earth.

Marriage is a type of the union of Christ and his church and Satan works diligently at trying to destroy it. He hates it because of this and works relentlessly by many devious means to cause strife and division. If a couple can recognize the true source of their trouble, they will have taken a giant stride toward saving their marriage.

HOW SATAN DECEIVES

When the mind is not filled with God’s Word, Satan begins a slow campaign to make you dissatisfied and unhappy. Entering marriage with the false concept that marriage will be the answer to all your hopes and dreams, you will make it easy for the enemy to soon convince you that something is terribly wrong. From this point it is one step to the conclusion that the source of your trouble is your mate. Knowing that your conscience must be satisfied before you will sever the tie of marriage, Satan’s campaign is to delude you into thinking you are right and your mate is wrong.

One by one he begins to magnify faults and sow seeds of discord into your mind. You will become miserable, unhappy and critical, blaming your mate for all your trouble. Being unaware of what is really taking place, you both become negative about each other and your marriage in general. This strife and division is a sure sign that demoniac forces are ministering to your minds.

James 3:14-17 says, “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

The word devilish means demoniacal. This passage of scripture makes it very plain that there are two sources of wisdom. One fills your life with strife, division and misery. The other brings peace, harmony and happiness.

As long as one partner in a marriage union has faith and a positive attitude, there is some hope for such a marriage. When both become negative and disillusioned, their marriage is in serious trouble. Not realizing what they are doing, they actually provoke, strengthen and create in each other the same condition that they are in. It is the law of God that everything brings forth after its own kind. Genesis 1:21.

Time and again we have seen a clean young person with good moral principles marry the wrong kind and in the process of time they become like the person they marry. This is because the scripture which says, “the twain shall become one flesh,” has been fulfilled. Mark 10:8.

THINGS SATAN TELLS YOU

You never get to do anything or go anywhere. Your husband doesn’t take you out like other men do their wives. You never have enough money to buy things you need. Your clothes are old and worn out, and your furniture is broken down. All the money goes for house rent, or payment of the car, doctor bills and groceries. You never have any money of your own. You have to ask him for every dime you get and that’s why you are going to get a job and earn your own money. Your husband doesn’t have time for you and the children. But he has time to go fishing, play golf or have a night on the town with his cronies. He takes time to do the things he wants to do but he is too obligated and busy when you want to do something with him.

He doesn’t appreciate you or how hard you work. Your life is one of drudgery, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, cooking, sewing and looking after the kids. Worst of all, he doesn’t love you. If he did he would tell you once in awhile. You would probably faint if he sent you some flowers or a card, bought you a box of candy or remembered your birthday or anniversary.

All he wants out of you is to keep his house, raise his children, cook his food and go to bed with him when he wants some sex. As a lover he is the world’s worst. All he is interested in is in satisfying himself and then going to sleep. He never shares his business with you or tells you of anything interesting that happens on the job. When he gets home he is so grouchy and tired he wants to be left alone.

After the honeymoon wears off and the husband has time to observe his bride in a sloppy housecoat, hair in curlers and in a bad mood, he is subject to think he has married Gravel Gertie instead of Glamorous Gertrude. Instead of being warm, intelligent and exciting, she becomes a cold, calculating, sexless wonder. After a few years and some extra pounds he imagines her as being old, ugly and fat. Observing other men with their slender young wives, he becomes disgusted and disillusioned.

When this happens it is easy to imagine that what he needs, to be happy, is another woman, especially some young sweet thing that will understand him and always melt into his arms.

Besides all these things, all she does is nag, gripe and complain. He has to leave home to get some peace. Fact is, he wishes he didn’t have to go home in the evening. Sometimes she gives him the silent treatment and leaves the arguing and fighting to the kids. To hear her tell it, she’s the suffering little martyr living with a beast that doesn’t appreciate or understand her.

With this negative marital climate it isn’t difficult for Satan to convince one, or both the man and the woman, that if they had another mate they would be happy. Don’t be deceived! The thrill will soon wear off and you will discover the same old problems are with you. You may actually be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. The real trouble is on the inside.

LAST DECEPTIONS

One of Satan’s last deceptions to destroy a marriage is to tell the couple their marriage was a mistake to begin with. They don’t have anything in common and they don’t love each other. This leads to the point of no return. Convinced in their minds they have made a mistake and the only solution is divorce, they refuse all counsel. If they belong to a church they finally reject the counsel of the pastor or elders on the grounds that they don’t understand or they are prejudiced.

God’s Word says, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Prov. 11:14. This is why it is so important to know the Lord and be a part of a Christian fellowship where these things are understood. The love, the wisdom and the communication within such a fellowship greatly strengthen the bond of marriage. And they understand the strategy of the enemy when he mounts an attack against one of their married couples.

Time and again I have seen marriages broken up when one or both members of a marriage drift apart through outside interests or a job that puts them into close contact with other people. This is especially true when your contact is with members of the opposite sex. The girls in the office look like angels compared to the wife at home. Their hair is in place, their clothes are neat and their perfume is tantalizing. This same principle is true of working women who imagine it would be like heaven if they had one of the prince charmings they work with for a husband.

Too many live in a fantasy world before and after marriage. Their concept is not a practical one. Too much TV and love and romance magazines can cause this. The idealism portrayed by such programs as the “Waltons” is proof positive to many couples that something is wrong with their marriage. Living in such a dream world, it is very easy to imagine the grass is greener in another pasture. Some have changed pastures five or six times and they still haven’t found the right one; Hollywood is a good example of this.

A REAL CONSPIRACY

Until men and women see that there is a diabolical and intelligent conspiracy designed to disrupt, divide and destroy their marriage, their home and their children will continue to listen to the voice of the serpent.

Satan has many sources through which he can feed and nurture a spirit of division and rebellion. It may be close friends of the husband or the wife. It is most phenomenal how people with a familiar and sympathetic spirit are always close by to strengthen and justify one or both partners in a marriage breakup.

Some never forsake Father and Mother to become one flesh with their mate. When the tie of blood is greater than the tie of spirit, there is no real union. A marriage or church built upon such a foundation cannot stand. Remember Jesus said, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife: And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10:7-9.

Be careful about those people who justify and take up for you against your mate. When marriages begin to break up, true peacemakers with an understanding of these things are hard to find. All I can say is woe unto the person who becomes the tool of Satan in wrecking a marriage. There is a curse upon those that are instruments in breaking up a marriage. This, no doubt, motivated Jesus to say, “What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” Mark 10:9. On the positive side Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matt. 4:9.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Broken marriages often result in every thing you’ve worked for and accumulated as a union going down the drain. Savings accounts are wiped out. Homes that you have worked and sacrificed to buy are lost. Positions of influence and opportunity that took years of hard work and diligence to build are gone with the wind.

Besides all of this, you are going to embitter and wound each other for life. Inward bitterness is worse than cancer. A cancer just kills you and that is the end, but an embittered soul keeps springing up and defiling everyone it touches. Heb. 12:15.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of all is the effect upon the children of a broken home. Broken marriages wound and scar your children for life. Very few people know the heartbreak of a little child whose faith in his mother and father is shattered. And so often in the painful process, they are abandoned to the courts and the mercy of the world. Sometimes broken homes result in burdens being laid upon people who are not able to bear them. So often I have seen grandparents and other relatives have to bear this burden when they were not physically, mentally nor financially able to do so.

Broken homes do more to spawn maladjusted misfits than anything else. Many of the criminals, dope addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes and welfare recipients, along with the insane, come from broken homes. One of the greatest burdens upon society as a whole can be traced back to the environment of broken homes. Hospitals, mental institutions, prisons and welfare departments will gladly confirm these statements.

Although it is unthinkable, divorce and broken homes have become more and more common among those who profess to be Christians. What a terrible testimony for people who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. Such people are reproaches to Christ, the church, their children and their family before the whole world.

THE REAL PROBLEM

In the final analysis the real problem in shipwrecked marriages is rebellion against God. The hardness of heart that made the precept of divorce necessary to begin with was simply stubborn, unyielding wills that God could not touch with his mercy and love. It’s a matter of whether men and women want God.

When God’s Word has little control over our lives, our spirits are open to the influence of demoniac powers. Prov. 25:28 says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

This simply means we have no defense against the enemy. A marriage without Christ and the influence of God’s Word has little chance in our world today.

DIVINE ORDER

The world system and society, as a whole, knows little and cares less about divine order of God’s purpose and plan for our lives. Ignorance of God’s laws governing marriage and all human relationships does not nullify nor deliver us from the penalty of breaking them. God’s Word says, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6.

This is true of marriage as well as every other facet of human existence. Until the man and the woman find their God-ordained place in relationship to Christ and each other they will have trouble. All human relationships and endeavors will, in the end, miserably fail without God.

BE REALISTIC

May God help every couple who reads this message to realize there is an enemy who is trying to destroy them, their home, their children, their marriage and the work of God.

Wake up man!

God created you the head of the woman. I Cor. 11:3. You are responsible to take the lead in spiritual things as well as others. God intended for you to rule by truth, by love, by example and by honoring Christ as your head. God’s divine order for the man and the woman is set forth in Eph. 5:21-31, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

It may not seem important to most people but the headship of man over the woman must be honored and respected even as the headship of Christ over the man and the headship of God over Christ. It was when Eve moved away from the headship of Adam that she began listening to the serpent. In like manner when a woman despises and rejects the headship of her husband she begins to listen to the voice of the serpent. In reality she moves away from God and comes under the headship of Satan.

This is why there is such a great responsibility on the man to honor Christ as his head. Through honoring Christ as his head, the woman who is the weaker vessel, is also brought under the protective covering of Christ.

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to the knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” I Peter 3:7.

It will be noticed from the scripture above that honour and unity between the husband and wife are necessary if our prayers are not to be hindered. The reason for this is because division between man and wife is due to rebellion in the heart. Rebellion is always against God. Very few will even try to pray when their heart is full of rebellion. David understood this when he said, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalms 51:17.

Beyond doubt, as the head, man is more responsible before God than the woman. Great judgment awaits the man that refuses to honor Christ as his head and provide the God-appointed leadership that his wife and children need. Although every member of a family will give a personal account to God, a godly husband and father can do much to lead his family in the right direction.

Wake up woman!

God made you the helpmeet of the man and not the head. This does not mean God created you to help the man meet his bills by leaving your home and taking a public job. Women working on public jobs is one of the greatest contributing causes of shipwrecked marriages. This practice by married women is a direct violation of God’s Word.

Young women are commanded by the Lord “...to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:4-5.

In I Tim. 5:14 the Word of God says, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

Oh, I’m aware of the world system today that keeps many families so deeply in debt that they feel the woman has to work to help pay the bills. In order to do this they turn their babies over to a babysitter or some day care nursery. To keep house, work on their job and give just a little attention to their husband and children, it’s rush! rush! rush!. When the husband and wife are at home together they are so tired and ill that they are at each other’s throat fighting and blaming each other for their trouble.

This is the kind of atmosphere millions of children are being reared in. It’s no wonder they are joining the street gangs, becoming drug addicts, prostitutes, criminals and roaming the country from one hippie commune to another.

God never made the woman to take a public job driving a semi-truck, a taxicab, running a bulldozer, heading a corporation or becoming a politician. Don’t be deceived by women’s lib. The perverse spirit behind such movements is not liberating you. They are actually bringing you into greater bondage than you have ever been in before.

You are going to pay dearly for that extra money you make. Doctors, psychiatrists, hospitals, lawyers’ fees and jail fines for your children will take it all. And there is no way you can count the costs in heartaches, misery and broken lives.

When women leave their children and their homes to earn some money so they can have more of this world’s goods, they are out of divine order. The sin of covetousness is responsible for this. They would quickly condemn the liar, the thief, or the adulterer while they are just as guilty of breaking one of God’s commandments. Exodus 20:17.

Jesus himself, warned us of this sin by saying, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth.” Luke 12:15.

A few weeks ago I was visiting in a home and the mother, a widow, told me of her son and daughter-in-law who had separated after twelve years of marriage. In spite of the fact that they had lived together for twelve years and had two young sons, ten and eleven years old their marriage was shipwrecked. Having known the young man as a teenager — he is about the same age as my oldest son — I felt very badly for and tried to be sympathetic with the mother. In discussing the cause of separation, I made mention of the fact that women working on public jobs was greatly responsible for many broken homes.

Although I had no knowledge of what had happened in this case, the mother quickly ventured that this was how this marriage was broken up. The young man’s wife had met a man in the office where she worked. After a little flattery and attention, she had fallen for him and no longer wanted her husband of twelve years.

Women must learn to be content in doing those things God created them for. They must do it as unto the Lord and take delight in it. Proper mental attitude makes all the difference in the world.

Learning and working at being the kind of wife God wants you to be is a lifetime career. Being a good housekeeper, a good cook and homemaker is one of life’s greatest challenges. Being the kind of God-fearing Mother that will nurture and bring your children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord is greater than being a world famous movie star. Being in rebellion against these things is rebellion against God who created you for this purpose.

THE REMEDY

The woman and the man need to surrender their wills in these things. They both need to learn to live within their means. Trying to keep up with the Jones’ may be what others are doing but it is a tool of Satan to destroy you, your home, your marriage and your children. God’s Word says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” I Tim. 6:6-9.

The man had better realize that he is responsible to God to work and provide for his family. I Tim. 5:8 says, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than infidel.”

God says that the man who will not provide for his family has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. I don’t know of a more serious indictment that can be brought against a human being. One who is worse than an infidel has reached the end of the line.

MARRIED TO UNBELIEVERS

Although the Word of God strictly forbids a believer to marry an unbeliever, we find many unequally yoked together in such marriages. Regardless of how it happened the believer needs to make a success of his marriage if he possibly can.

In the case of believing wives married to unbelieving husbands, the wife is more responsible before God than the husband is. This is simply because she has light or a knowledge of God that the husband doesn’t have. According to I Cor. 7:13-14 and I Peter 3:1-12 the believing wife might be the means of bringing her husband to Christ.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome of such a marriage, the believing wife or husband has no right to leave or put away (divorce) their mate as long as they are pleased to dwell with them. In such cases the believer should honor his marriage relationship and yet honor and glorify Christ with his life.

According to I Cor. 7:15, if the unbeliever departs because he or she does not wish to continue the marriage relationship to the Christian wife or husband, a brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases. However, the believer needs to be sure in his or her heart that he has sincerely sought God’s help in trying to save his marriage.

I believe there is no obstacle too great to overcome if a couple sincerely desires to please God. The first step is a surrender of their own obstinate wills in the matter. The next step is to agree and pray together for help from the Lord. Matt. 18:19 says, “Again I say unto you, if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”

The help they will receive as they humble themselves before God and each other will, first of all, be grace to accept each other as they are. Next they will receive grace to make changes and adjustments that are needed on both sides. Very seldom is one person totally guilty and the other totally innocent.

The man and the woman need to be considerate of each other in the realization that both of them have their personal crosses to bear in their marriage union. If the woman doesn’t have the strength and peace of God in her heart, the confinement of the home, crying kids and the never ending chores of keeping house can become maddening. And the man in never ceasing labor, well or sick, rain or shine faces a burden that grace alone will enable him to bear year after year.

While continuing to pray together and seeking God’s help, they must communicate with a willingness to hear what the other has to say. Always end your sessions with prayer from your heart that God will help you. If necessary, get some godly counsel and advice to help you in things you don’t understand.

Above all things, don’t give up. Continue to seek God from your heart. He is looking on. Jeremiah 17:10. The key to saving your marriage is in opening your heart to God. The words of David in Psalms 51:17 are still true. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

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