I have been thinking about marriage, and while talking with some people I have decided to put down a few things I think we all should look for in a spouse, but let look at it from the other direction: ourselves.
One of the more important things in life is the ability to introspect your own self. I think we all spend too much time thinking about and talking about how everyone else should improve themselves, and not ourselves. So allow me here to challenge us all to better think about and work on ourselves, so that we can be the better spouse, and if we can be better, we will be in a better position to know and look for the right qualities in the other person.
First we must focus outside of ourselves to Christ. If we do not understand how far we fall short of God’s glory and Holiness in our own sinful lives, we will never be able to be the spouse we need to be. If we also likewise do not comprehend the depth of God’s love and grace towards us that He died for us while we were yet sinners, we will never have the motivation to be the spouse we need to be. Basically if we are not trusting Jesus for our salvation from our sins before God, we will not be nor motivated to be who God calls us to be.
Humanity: First we must cling to our Savior Jesus, and trust in Him above ourselves and everything else in the world. He must be our first desire, and hope in this life. If we truly understand who we are as sinners and what He did for us on the Cross, this shouldn’t be a problem for us. Only after we are seeking to love, obey, and trust our loving savior Jesus, can we love our spouses and be the husband or wife Jesus calls us to be.
Let us learn the Gospel clearly, and remind ourselves every day of its teaching and truth. Let us find our hope and joy in Christ first. Let us be honest with our savior about our sins and needs and wants. Let us be quick to ask for forgiveness and run to His loving arms. This understanding of our own sinfulness and His Grace will help us be forgiving and loving of others.
Men: Let us seek to be the Prophet, Priest, and Kings of our household. We are a Prophet because we preach God’s words to our wives and families. We are a Priest because we represent our wives and families before God in prayer and position. We are a king because we are in charge of our families and responsible for their welfare and provision. God has asked us to preach His Word, correct and call out sin, pray for our families, provide for our families, and lead our families in His Word and Will. Let us seek to develop these traits and habits in our lives now, so we can better perform them in our marriage. We are to seek the welfare of our families like our own, and to lift them up before God, while desiring to see them grow closer to Him in Thought, Word, and Deed. Only when we are submitting to our Husband Jesus, can we be the husband we need to, to our wives. Remember that the woman’s role is no less ordained or important before God, we are one body. We are to be like Christ is to His church.
Women: You are to be the helpmate to your husband, a supporter, and encourager. You are to work along side your husband in his calling before God as he seeks to cultivate this earth and create culture. You are to seek his good through prayer, love, and submissive Godliness. You are to be an encourager of Godliness to him, but you cannot encourage him to be Godly and trust God if you are not trusting God yourself. You must learn to submit to Christ’s leadership if you want to be able to submit to your husbands. Unless you are trusting Christ to provide for your needs, you will never be satisfied and able to encourage and support your husband like you should. You should be wise, gentle, and willing to work hard in your support of the Family. Seek now to develop a Godly reliance on Christ, and humble submission to Him while you are single, and even once you are married. Your husband isn’t more important than you before God, he just holds more responsibility, and thus potential condemnation than you. You are to be like the Church is to Jesus.
Couples: seek the good and sanctification of the other. Never stop praying for them, that God would protect them in trials and temptations. Seek their welfare, and not after your own. When you put their needs first, God will provide yours in a much fuller and complete way, and that usually through them. Find your hope, and motivation in Christ, that way you will not be discouraged when your love and work isn’t reciprocated. What value is your love when it is only given to those who give it back? Rather love like Christ and give without expecting a return, and rejoice when it is, and do not despair when it isn’t, for Christ is your fullness.
Do not forget that who you marry, is God’s will, and thus you should seek to make the best of it. Perhaps God has called you to suffer and love someone who doesn’t love you back, so that you will be strengthen in your faith, and they won to Christ. Marriage isn’t for your benefit primarily, but for God’s glory and the other person’s good, of course when these 2 things happen, your good is taken care of too. So let us set aside all foolish thinking that marriage is primarily about us, and learn that it is primarily about Christ, and His call for you to love your spouse unconditionally like He loves you, and for you to seek their good as much as you seek your own, and not apart from seeking your own. Christ died that we His bride might live, let us do the same for our spouse. If you are married, God has commanded that you obey Him, and love your spouse no conditions, ands, ifs or buts. Even if they cheat on you, God’s primary will is for you to forgive and love them anyways. It seems that Scripture teaches that you may divorce them if they are unbelievers and no longer wish to be married to you, you may let them go.
Marriage is primarily obedience to Christ. Christ calls us to love and seek the good of our spouse no matter how they act or behave, and thus we must do it. He has given us the ability in the Gospel through the Holy Spirit. If we rest in His promises and trust His Word, we will have the strength to obey.
At least thats how I see it