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7 More Things A Man Should Know About Marriage

In last week’s Marriage Memo, I wrote of seven things men need to know about marriage.  In a culture of counterfeits and mistruths, it’s important to understand what marriage is about.

Here are seven more things men should know.  As you read through the list, ask God to remake you and help you understand what it means to be a man and a husband.

Our modern world tricks a man into thinking that more sources of sexual stimulation will satisfy him.  But like a drug, they thrill but do not satisfy.  Sexual entertainment, images, and illicit sex erode rather than enhance sexual joy in a marriage.

They way to become a great lover is to practice with only one woman for life.   It is to be generous, exclusive, and serving—not greedy, distracted, and taking.  A great relationship and great sex are connected in marriage, and that only happens when a man’s sole target of sexual affections, imaginations, and enjoyment is his wife.

This is a period of semi-blind euphoria that makes the relationship magnetic and easier. It’s as if our Creator gives that to us humans to get us jump-started in marriage.  Couples should know that when the euphoria wears off and they eventually settle into normality, the different feelings they experience do not indicate that they married the wrong person or are not “in love” anymore.

It often causes the onset of reality to begin almost immediately after the wedding, depending on how long the couple had been living and sleeping together.  Research shows that divorce and issues of mistrust are more common for those who cohabit before marriage than for those who do not.  Cohabiting is not “good practice” for marriage.

One way of defining commitment in marriage is never considering divorce. If you know that you won’t be leaving or divorcing, it forces you to face differences and problems and work through them.

In marriage it is the security of commitment that allows a woman to feel peace in the relationship.  The assurance of a husband’s commitment helps a woman entrust herself to him emotionally and sexually.

Marriage is not automatic, and it’s often difficult.  The euphoria of romantic infatuation in the first years of marriage fades, requiring the mature resolve to behave lovingly and invest relationally to build a deeper bond than infatuation.  Marriage will take intentional and continual effort.

Now it’s true that a good marriage to a good woman can make you happier than most anything else on earth.  But if your goal is to be happy, then you will be focused on yourself, and you will damage your character and your relationships.

If you aim to be holy—like Jesus, not like a monk—you will invite God to change you.  You will allow your marriage relationship to change you and crush your selfish will and defensive pride. You will experience true oneness in your marriage—you’ll be deepest friends, intimate allies, generous lovers, caring providers, complementary partners, spiritual enhancers. (Thanks to Gary Thomas for the idea)

He is to steward and shepherd himself and his wife’s union.  He is to be proactive at assisting God in healing her past wounds, creating oneness in their bond, and assuring her (and their children) of his love for her.

Women are natural responders when men initiate in love, prayer, and humility.  Men must not be passive, arrogant, distracted, or controlling.  A man will not point the finger at his wife’s behavior or shortcomings, but will examine his history as a husband and ask God to change him.  His heart, his care, and his initiative is the key to his wife’s response and the health of the marriage.

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___samha___

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