Protecting Our Spouse

God’s plan for marriage will lead to a beautiful, fulfilling relationship. Scripture teaches us how to find happiness in our marriages (Genesis 2:18-25Genesis 2:18-25
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18 Yahweh God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground Yahweh God formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for man there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh. 25 They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

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; Ephesians 5:22-25Ephesians 5:22-25
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22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body. 24 But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it;

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One-flesh marriages create a powerful bond that will withstand the challenges that arise. We will be glued and cemented together for all-time in joy (Genesis 2:24Genesis 2:24
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24 Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh.

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In a one-flesh marriage, we treat our spouse, as we would expect to be treated. We do all that we can to bring joy into their lives. They are a part of our very souls and we cherish and nourish them daily (Ephesians 5:29Ephesians 5:29
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29 For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord also does the assembly;

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Sadly, many Christian couples live ostensibly as roommates. Their passion has cooled into a form of playing house. The years have robbed the union of the bonds it once rejoiced in. Their arms become lonely and their connection frays.

In 1 Corinthians 7:4-51 Corinthians 7:4-5
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4 The wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but the husband. Likewise also the husband doesn’t have authority over his own body, but the wife. 5 Don’t deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and may be together again, that Satan doesn’t tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

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, we see a very important aspect of marriage that may be framed only in selfish terms for many spouses. However, in a one-flesh bond, this passage is vitally important.

Living in a sex-saturated society, we must do all that we can to protect our spouse from temptation. Spouses know if their mate is susceptible to temptation in this area. They need to do what they can to help their spouse remain pure.

Their body now belongs to their spouse and it must be treated with the same love, respect and gentleness that Christ demands (Ephesians 5:25Ephesians 5:25
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25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it;

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Paul writes: “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:51 Corinthians 7:5
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5 Don’t deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and may be together again, that Satan doesn’t tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

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“We are told in this passage that the husband and wife are actually robbing one another if there is not mutual pleasure in the sexual relationship.” /1

“In fact, “physical sex in marriage serves to reinforce spiritual fidelity by inoculating the mind against temptation.”/2

We have a responsibility to our spouse in this area. It may require special planning to accomplish these goals with a family and a hectic lifestyle. However, we need to do this in order to maintain a healthy marriage.

Our bodies belong to our spouses. Accordingly, we must keep them free from lust, pornography and adultery. Sanctify them to our spouse and our love.

We need to take care of our bodies so they will remain presentable. Letting ourselves go physically is unfair to our lover.
We need to have a big picture attitude toward marriage. When we do, we will make time for one another and realize that minor disputes pale in comparison with a lifetime together.

We will jealously guard our intimacy and nurture it, becoming educated in ways to thrive.

There are two areas where we must protect our spouse and far too many are failing to do so. First, we must do our part to keep our spouse from temptation, as we have discussed.

Second, we must protect their reputation by speaking well of them in public and with our friends.

If we will do these things, build strong communicative bonds, we will find ourselves in a special place where the one-flesh bond can blossom.

Our children and those around us will see us modeling God’s plan for marriage and Christ will be praised (Ephesians 3:20-21Ephesians 3:20-21
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20 Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to him be the glory in the assembly and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

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1/ Ed Wheat and Gaye Wheat, Intended for Pleasure (Fleming H. Revell: Grand Rapids, 1977), 30.
2/ Daniel R. Heimbach, True Sexual Morality (Crossway Books: Wheaton, 2004), 168.

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Richard grew up in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre and has three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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About Richard Mansel

Richard grew up in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre and has three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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