Truth in Marriage
I was recently reading an article that was explaining how the destruction of a church can happen. The author was discussing that their particular demise isn’t necessarily brought about by external forces, rather it can be an inside job. As I was reading what the apostle Paul says on this subject, I noticed something hidden away in plain site in the fourth chapter of II Timothy. As I began to absorb what he was saying, I started to notice something very interesting when viewing those scriptures from a marital perspective.
Many times in the Bible we read where Christ and His bride (the church) are held up before us as a model of how we are to operate in our own marriages. We see great direction and instruction in the fifth chapter of Ephesians for both husbands and wives alike. Those wonderful passages of scripture contain practical commands on how to be successful in marriage. In fact, these passages in Ephesians are often quoted in Sunday School classes and from the pulpit, probably on a regular basis.
In the same way that the Heavenly Marriage is our model for our earthly marriages, when reading the scriptures below in light of marriage we can take the warnings that Paul writes about for Christ’s church and apply them to our own marital relationships. He begins a series of warnings for the church in II Timothy 4:2-4,
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
A major step in the destruction of any marriage (heavenly or earthly) is rejecting the truth of any situation, especially when dealing in what God’s word says about marriage. The scripture above warns that because of our own lusts (and selfishness), we need to guard our minds and our hearts from developing “itching ears” which will seek an alternative to the truth. Once this falling away from truth begins, because of the hardness of their hearts they will also begin to reject those who speak the very truth that have already begun to despise. Eventually their truth becomes relative to their selfish desires and it says in Proverbs 14:12,
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
Just like their rejection for the truth and the truth-tellers, they will embrace those whose motives are less than admirable. We may have well-meaning friends and family, but remember only God will have pure motives when advising you what to do when you don’t know what to do when struggling with issues in your marriage. Those loved ones may think they have your best interests at heart, but sadly many only advise their loved ones with the favor of only one of the parties and not the marriage as a whole. So seek true, godly council concerning matters of the heart and start with seeking God through reading the bible and prayer.
Remember what I said at the beginning of this post, if there is going to be a breakdown or destruction it will probably come from within. Maybe not at first, maybe it will take a gradual wearing down of your defenses so it will take persistence on your part. You will have to guard your thinking so that bad thoughts don’t become bad beliefs in our heart. Guarding your heart starts there, and that is critical because it says in Proverbs 4:23,
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Paul may not have had marriages in mind when the Holy Spirit inspired these writings in II Timothy, nevertheless, this is great advice that can also be applied to help keep every marriage strong in the truth and within the will of God.
Scriptures for Meditation
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. II Timothy 4:2-4
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23