Practical studies for marriage


Written by ANDRÉE SEU

April 13, 2012, 9:29 AM

There is a way to study something when it’s theoretical (60-year-old woman researches rodeo bronco-busting), and there is a way to study something when you need to know by next Saturday.

I am getting married next Saturday so I perused Scripture today for instructions on it. I already had a general idea but I wanted solid, not Swiss cheese.

Although I am of the belief that every portion of Scripture has something to say on every topic under the sun, I went to the more pointedly relevant passages I knew: 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 11, 1 Peter 3. Here are a few things God brought to my attention:

1 Corinthians 7:3: My husband has “conjugal rights” (that’s the ESV. The Greek is ophelomenein eunoyan: “benevolence [that is] due”), and I must not deprive him of them. My NKJV translates: “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.”

This tells me that it is never right to withhold “affection.” There will never be a situation in my upcoming marriage in which I will have the right to give David the silent treatment in order to make him “come around.” Whatever other vicissitudes the future may serve up, the one constant will have to be my unwavering affection.

1 Corinthians 7:5: I learn here that God rather expects there will be times in my marriage set aside for “fasting and prayer.” Interesting: Fasting and prayer are not commanded here; they are assumed. Evidently, troubles will arise—or petitions will be made—that will call for the extra earnestness of prayer joined with fasting.

1 Corinthians 11:9 says “the woman [was made] for the man,” and not the other way around. There’s a major paradigm shift, and accords with the Genesis 2 account. I am to be a helper, not the head. It’s always good to know the real deal, to know one’s place. Even Jesus knew His place (John 14:28; 6:38). God has a chain of command.

Lastly, 1 Peter 3 tells me how I will be beautiful even as my body wastes away. I circled “respectful” and “pure conduct” (verse 2) and “a gentle and quiet spirit” (verse 4). It’s a good place to start next Saturday. There is enough to work on just in those few words to last me a lifetime.