From the earliest scriptures, God states that He did not design people to live alone. He takes the marriage relationship very seriously and has a deep interest in the way we are treating our spouses.
The gift of marriage does not come to everyone, but if God wills it for us, we have certain responsibilities to fulfill.
After assuring His people that He deeply loved them, the Lord spoke through the final Old Testament prophet, Malachi, to address some of the areas where the people and their priests were falling short of His desires. One way was in how they disrespected His prescribed sin sacrifices, keeping back the very best offerings for themselves. A second way that led Him to sadly reject even their good sacrifices was the way they were treating their spouses.
14 Yet you ask, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have acted treacherously against her, though she was your marriage partner and your wife by covenant. 15 Didn’t the one God make us with a remnant of His life-breath? And what does the One seek? A godly offspring. So watch yourselves carefully, and do not act treacherously against the wife of your youth. Malachi 2:14-15 (HCSB)
For those chosen to experience it, the gift of a good spouse is one of the greatest joys God has created. A loving partner who supports us through both good and difficult times is a precious and vital sustainer throughout our life’s journey. The author of Proverbs 31 writes about the blessings of a wife, but the same applies to a good husband:
10 Who can find a capable wife?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will not lack anything good.
12 She rewards him with good, not evil,
all the days of her life.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing,
and she can laugh at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom
and loving instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the activities of her household
and is never idle.
28 Her sons rise up and call her blessed.
Her husband also praises her: Proverbs 31:10-12,25-28 (HCSB)
The marriage relationship, like life itself, has its many challenges and difficulties. But God offers to help get us through even the worst storms and bring us into the light of gratitude and appreciation for what He has provided.
God watches over our marriages and has certain expectations for them and for how we treat each other. Scripture tells us that the Lord will even hinder our prayers if we are not treating our mate with the love and respect that we have promised.
4 Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge immoral people and adulterers. Hebrews 13:4 (HCSB)
7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7 (NLT)
It is my belief that IF God wills marriage for us, He will go to great lengths to pair us with the right spouse. Their entrance into our lives is not a random occurrence, but one that that He has choreographed from the beginning of time. The Lord knows far better than we what is best for us. If we are wise, we will follow His word and trust Him to get us through the dark and difficult moments, whether in singleness or in marriage.
May we all experience serenity, gratitude, and peace in the loving care of God whether in marriage or in singleness.
Lord, if You have placed us in a marriage relationship, help us to follow Your will by honoring and loving our spouse today. Help us to listen carefully to them and to provide them with all the love and support they need to live a joyful and fulfilling life in You. Help us to move forward together in whatever holy direction You have chosen for us.
And if we are currently single, show us the paths You have planned for us from the beginning of time. Whatever Your will for us, help us to avoid harmful relationships and to pursue holy ones. May we live a fulfilled life honoring You either in singleness or marriage, whichever situation You have chosen for us in this season of life. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.