Love between a husband and wife is the most powerful force in the world. An intimate marital relationship displays a beauty and wonder unique among all human relationships. There is no greater physical relationship on earth.
Some marriages endure a lifetime, filled with excitement and joy. Others don’t last—for a myriad of reasons. But one thing remains constant: No matter how long a marriage lasts, the great synergistic power of an intimate love transforms a couple to the very depth of the partners’ beings. Neither will ever be the same again.
What defines an intimate relationship? Sometimes it’s revealed by a unique friendship, shared with no other. Sometimes it’s experienced by what is not said, just felt. Sometimes it’s welded together by obstacles shared and endured. And sometimes it’s observed in the lives of their children, when a husband and wife’s cup fills up and spills over into those little hearts and minds. All of these wonderful things transpire because of making right choices.
Psychologist, author and TV personality Dr. Phil McGraw advises couples and families to make right choices: “Starting right now, you can begin to make choices and take day-to-day actions that will create nothing short of a phenomenal family. Whatever its state, you and your family members collectively own it. You as the parent and leader of the family have particular ownership. Whatever is happening, good or bad, is happening on your watch. You can choose to have a phenomenal family if you just resolve to do it and know where to put your focus” ( Family First, 2004, p. 30).
Every happy family begins with a happy marriage. Husbands and wives who unselfishly choose to follow biblical principles in sharing their lives with each other create a marriage relationship that grows increasingly stronger and deeper. On the other side of the coin, some couples mistakenly assume that when their marriage isn’t working out, that must mean they should separate or divorce.
This is an emotional myth. An in-depth, groundbreaking study on marital relationships revealed that when a troubled couple stays together, the marriage usually turns out much better. Dr. Linda Waite, University of Chicago sociologist and head of the study, writes, “Two-thirds of unhappily married spouses who stayed married reported that their marriages were happy five years later.” Such couples deliberately chose to remain married. They rolled up their sleeves and worked out their differences.
Regrettably, some couples simply allow their marriages to happen and attribute the negative results to God: “It just wasn’t meant to be.” This begs the question: Did a loving God, who invented marriage, deliberately design marriage to fail so often? Since God has designed our lives to be governed by right choices (Deuteronomy 30:19 Deuteronomy 30:19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:
American King James Version×), why wouldn’t this apply to the most intimate physical relationship possible?
A marital relationship remains the most powerful teacher in the world, teaching us compassion, understanding, patience, forgiveness, courage, loyalty and trust. The Bible remains the best guide for a happy marriage, offering the best marital choices possible (Ephesians 5:22-33 Ephesians 5:22-33 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 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.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
American King James Version×). In this issue, we encourage you to make the best choices for your marriage—which will bring marital happiness. GN