Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Marital Harmony: Taking up the Cares and Crosses of One Another

Hey Covenant Groupies,

I was just recollecting the fact that, not only are we embarking on our annual Couples Retreat, which God has allowed Kevin and I to participate in for 8 years but that we have about 4 newly married couples in our church, one couple just reached their first year. The one year mark with any couple always gets me to thinking about Kevin and my first year. I HATED it! I wanted a different husband and a different life. It was a horrendous struggle for the both of us. Just the mere fact of getting to know one another was so excruciating. I think we talked about that in pre-marital counseling, but I didn’t remember any of it when we had our issues; which stemmed a lot for our awful personalities. I wanted him to familiarize himself with my ways and vice versa.

I do, however, remember wanting the husband described in Deuteronomy. He was called to be attentive, caring, and at home. For us, it didn’t happen immediately, but shortly after being married, God created a wonderful situation where Kevin and I were able to spend quite a bit of time together; his hours at work were cut and we began working together – daily. Whoa! Be careful what you ask for. Again, not easy, but we had to work on it. Before we knew it, our year had come and gone, we were still a bit clueless about one another and the truest sense of our intimacy suffered because we were trying to do EVERYTHING all at once which caused some very important things to fall by the side. God was so merciful to us.

I want to share with you what the commentary says about this Deuteronomy husband and also, why the first year of marriage is so important to God that He mentions it in His Holy Word.

Matthew Henry Commentary Breakdown:

In Deuteronomy 24:1-5 the Bible speaks specifically to the husband and the role he is to take in truly loving his wife. However, if he finds something wrong with her and begins to detest her, he may, of his own free will and hardness of heart write her a letter of divorcement. Furthermore, the Bible says that in order to avoid detesting his wife a husband is “not to be sent to war or have any duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.”
This fitly follows upon the laws concerning divorce, which would be prevented if their affection to each other were well settled at first. If the husband were much abroad from his wife the first year, his love to her would be in danger of cooling, and of being drawn aside to others whom he would meet with abroad; therefore his service to his country in war, embassies, or other public business that would call him from home, shall be dispersed with, that he may cheer up the wife that he has taken.

NOTE: 1. It is of great consequence that love be kept up between husband and wife, and that everything be very carefully avoided which might make them strange one to another, especially at first; for in that relation, where there is not the love that should be, there is an inlet ready to abundance of guilt and grief. 2. One of the duties of that relation is to cheer up one another under the cares and crosses that happen, as helpers of each other’s joy; for a cheerful heart does good like a medicine.

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