People have all kinds of opinions about marriage, but in the Bible this is the main point: “Christian Marriage is a gift from God.” One of the most important relationships you will ever have is with your spouse. Enjoy it. Work on it. Improve it. In this brief format I was to share my “Five C-words for Christian Marriage.” A good marriage will build on all 5 of these. (2 or 3 will not do it)
1-The First Word is “Chemistry.” This is a growing and very strong passion or attraction for your partner. You desire to be with this person all the time. Song of Solomon 8:6-7 talks about “love is as strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. It’s flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame.” Good chemistry in marriage of course includes the gift of sex and physical closeness.
2-The Second Word is “Communication.” Sexual, physical, and romantic love receives most of the attention in today’s culture, but “communicating” your love to your spouse is even more important. We need to learn the “language” of love. We need to become better listeners. Encouraging words are more important than critical observations. James 1:19: “Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” Listen to the feelings behind the words. Talk.
3-The Third Word is “Compassion.” This is not average or easy love, but deep sacrificial love. This is “Agape” self-giving love. 1 Cor. 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;” Most of us are not as loving or as compassionate as we think. Many of us work hard to get what we want. Real compassion for another person is “messy” and takes a lot of time and effort.
4-The Fourth Word is “Commitment.” People who get married are crazy enough or committed enough to promise to love each other and take care of each other: “in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish,” for the rest of their lives. You can’t always control your feelings or your bad luck or your health or bad choices, but you can control what you promise to do.
5-The Fifth Word is “Christ” of course. Jesus Christ affirmed the covenant of marriage and revealed God’s own self-giving love on the cross. The Holy Spirit helps those who are united in marriage to be living signs of God’s grace, love, and faithfulness. Jesus says this in John 15:12-13: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Most undervalue Christ’s role in marriage.