June 7, 2013

“But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.  The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.”  1 Corinthians 7:2-3

wedding in church

wedding in church (Photo credit: Brian’s Tree)

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, and in the presence of this company, to unite this groom and this bride in holy matrimony. Marriage was ordained by God in Eden and confirmed in Cana of Galilee by the presence of the Lord Himself, and is declared by the inspired Apostle Paul to be honorable among all men. It is therefore, not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, soberly and in the fear of God.  Whereas, it would be good for these two to remain single as Paul was single, they have determined it is better for them to marry because they can no longer exercise self-control.

These two are inflamed with a passion for one another that is beyond their self-control to resist the temptation of sexual immorality.  Therefore, this groom and this bride come before us to enter into this concession we call marriage as a safeguard against the temptations of Satan due to their lack of self-control.  It is fitting, therefore, that we should on this occasion, begin by asking God’s blessing on this marriage service. Let us pray.

I have never been to a wedding ceremony that started out this way but most adults understand the practical advice that Paul is giving us.  We need to build into our lives safeguards to help us fight temptations in areas where we know we are weak.  One of the roles of marriage is to provide an appropriate avenue for inflamed passions.  An important role of marriage is sexual purity.

I realize that there are a lot of couples who enter into marriage without sexual purity being one of the reasons.  There are a lot of wonderful blessings and reasons God has given us the institution of marriage.  However, it is a mistake for couples to forget about this important and practical function of marriage that safeguards both the husband and wife from sexual temptation.

There have been countless examples of marriages and families being shattered by a spouse who sought the satisfaction of their passions beyond the bounds of marriage.  The need for self-control never subsides.  For most, the fact that they are married is an acknowledgement to their lack of self-control.  The marriage bed is part of the discipline that marriage people should use to keep their bodies under control.

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  1 Corinthians 9:27

It is a disgrace, the number of ministries and witnesses that have been damaged due to Christians failing to discipline their bodies and keep them under control.  This is not limited to the marriage bed.  A married couple is a team.  A man and wife should be striving together in all aspects of their lives to assist each other in disciplining their bodies to the glory of God.

If one lacks self control of their tongue, the other should help them in keeping it shut.

If one lacks self control regarding a substance, the other should give up their freedom to help them beat that addiction.

If one lacks self control in overeating, the other should limit their self to help them.

If one lacks self control in their responsibilities, the other should encourage them not to be a sluggard.

If one lacks self control of their anxieties, the other should speak the truths of God’s promises.

San FranMarried couples who are walking together in faith have a huge advantage in the disciplining of their bodies.  We all have our weak areas.  A spouse should know their partner’s weaknesses.  A loving spouse will want to help their partner have victory over their particular weakness.

I want my wife to run her race of faith well.  I want her to finish well.  I want her to receive the prize.  Therefore, I am committed to helping her.  She wants me to help.  It is an expression of my love for her.  She doesn’t need help with her strengths.  She needs help with her weaknesses.  I need help with my weaknesses.  I need her to help me in those areas of my live where my self control is lowest.  I want her to help me.

We show each other love by supporting each other in our respective weaknesses in order that we will both be better at disciplining our bodies as we run our race of faith.

May our marriages be all that they were intended to be including a safe haven for bodies which are control impaired.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for my wife.  Thank you for giving me a person who loves me and wants to help me follow you better.  Thank you for giving me a person who is committed to my well-being.  Father, may your blessing pour out on her.  May your face shine upon her.  May your Spirit fill her and abound in her.  Lord, help me to help her.  Give me wisdom in how I can practically support her in her weaknesses and may you give her the desire to help me in my weaknesses.   Father, we want to give you all the glory in our marriage.  We want to run well as a couple and as individuals.  We want to finish well.  Lord, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. Question: If a couple can resist temptation, does that mean they should not get married? Just wondering.

    • I doubt if there is an answer that fits all people. There is an expectation in the culture that I live in that people should get married. It is an assumption not overtly related with temptation but more with the accepted path to happiness and fullness. I would encourage a couple who does not have an issue with temptation to consider why they are seeking in getting married. If a person feels that they can better serve God in the context of their culture by being single then they should do that. If they feel like they can better serve God in the context of their culture by being married then they should do that. The responsibilities of marriage change how we can minister. It can help in certain circumstance but it can also be a hindrance in other circumstances. I think these are questions that every person who is contemplating marriage should prayerfully consider. We are all called to glorify God in all that we do; including getting married.

  2. Good thoughts today. Finishing well means to know where you want to finish. In Christ, we finish strong by crossing the finish line into heaven. That’s finishing well.

  3. amen..wise words indeed! I think our society teaches us to defend our spouses at all costs…..and in doing so, we are actually hurting our marriages…but in walking together with my wife in faith…we depend on each other for the truth…and the grace we each need to overcome our weaknesses.

  4. There are some good points here, but practically speaking, some weaknesses and faults I see in my husband are best prayed about, than told to him about and vice versa.

    Thank you for the like on my blog.

  5. Lots of good points here 🙂

  6. Interesting. I think the hardest part for me is knowing how to show my husband where he is weak because he takes it so personally. He thinks I’m doing it out of spite or trying to show him up. How to lovingly show your spouse how to be better is hard. Men especially have a hard time with this. They don’t want their wives to be right. And honestly, it makes me annoyed because then when he tries to show me where I’m wrong, I won’t listen to him either. I just think he’s being picky. Truth is we can both learn from each other. Like Rebeca, I always thought turning a blind eye was loving. I can’t fix my husband. He has to want to change…I can’t do the changing for him nor can he fix me.

  7. Vera I want to thank you for all your valuable insights..may God bless you.I would to fellowship with you if possible.

    Minister Roderick Fowler

  8. As ever, a thoughtful, insightful and biblical ‘take’ on love and marriage, JD. I wish I had known these things when I was married. But I have made my youthful mistakes, and now enjoy the simple joy of Paul-like celibacy.

    Rebeca, I admire your taking a personal instruction that will probably strengthen your marriage.

  9. Reblogged this on iamb3lov3d and commented:
    This is something my heart desires (as well as someone to pray the prayer for me that I am already praying for my potential future husband):
    “I want my wife to run her race of faith well. I want her to finish well. I want her to receive the prize. Therefore, I am committed to helping her. She wants me to help. It is an expression of my love for her. She doesn’t need help with her strengths. She needs help with her weaknesses. I need help with my weaknesses. “

  10. Very good, thank you for sharing. Loved the beginning (funny) but made a clear point! God bless…

  11. Amen!

  12. Your imagined wedding ceremony opening was brilliant! If “we marry because we feel in love” is one unhealthy extreme of reasons for getting married, “marrying because we can’t resist having sex” surely lies somewhere towards the other extreme.

    Thank you for this post. What a beautiful testimony and example of a husband loving his wife as Christ loved the church, wanting to present her perfect and radiant.

  13. Very thought provoking. I tend to turn a blind eye to my husband’s weaknesses, and he does to mine as well. I have always seen this as the ‘loving’ thing to do. Perhaps that is the wrong way to look at it. I will certainly be praying for wisdom. Thank you for you insight.

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