Current Progressive Dairyman digital edition
Advertisement

Just dropping by ... Marriage and the pillar of salt

Yevet Tenney for Progressive Dairyman Published on 30 June 2016

My daughter is getting married at the end of the month. Everything is a flurry of preparation. The traditional wedding quilt is almost finished, and we are preparing for the journey to Wisconsin, where she will be married.

I can’t help but think of the advice I would love to give her – but I know she will not have ears to hear.

advertisement

advertisement

Advice is one of those things everyone wants to give but no one wants to take. I have learned that if someone asks for advice, which is seldom, you give it sparingly and let them talk. Most of the time people just want to lay out the scenario so they can make the decision on their own.

However, since I have a captive audience in my readers, I will give the advice to them and hope that one day I can hand my daughter a copy and she will read it.

At least my readers can choose to stop reading and will not offend me if they close the magazine or rip out the page and throw it in the trash because they disagree with me.

My advice to the newly married couple is found in the scriptures. These scriptures were not intended to be specifically for married couples, but they are relevant and, if followed, will bring great joy to marriage.

A short little verse in Luke

The first scripture is a short little verse in Luke that contains a multitude of sermons.

advertisement

Remember Lot’s wife.
—Luke 17:32

As you recall, Lot was commanded to leave the city of Sodom because God was going to destroy it. God further commanded that no one should look back. Unfortunately, Lot’s wife did not obey the commandment and was turned into a pillar of salt. Now, I don’t know if Lot’s wife did more than turn back.

Maybe she ran back and was hit by the fire and brimstone and was petrified in a stone image like those found in the city of Pompeii after the volcano. I don’t know if she really was turned into a statue or if it was figurative, but I do know her progression was stopped, and she was destroyed along with the wicked city.

No one knows why she turned back. Maybe she left something she felt was precious and wished to retain it. Maybe she longed for the lifestyle of the people who lived in the city. I have a feeling it was more than mere curiosity about what was happening to her friends and family.

She probably didn’t believe her husband’s warning came from God. Maybe she thought it was just a foolish whim. However, the reason why she looked back really doesn’t matter so much as the fact that she did. Her story becomes a perfect lesson for marriage.

Married couples must follow God’s command to Lot and his family. Don’t look back longing for yesterdays, wishing you had made a different choice. What would it have been like to marry the one you left behind or have the career you never obtained? Don’t look back, longing for the freedom you once had.

advertisement

You cannot turn back the pages of time and walk in yesterday’s shoes. You must move on and keep your mind focused on the present and your future with your spouse. Looking back only breeds dissatisfaction, and you will find yourself fantasizing that everything was “roses and sunshine” back then.

The grass of yesterday is always greener than the grass of the mundane present. Face it, you were not happy with your single life or you would never have chosen to marry in the first place.

Remember, it won’t be any different if you change back to single life. The luster of the past and the future are always glorified by the shades of reality.

Put Christ first in your marriage

Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
—Exodus 20:3

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
—Matthew 6:33

These are two scriptures that, if followed, will bring mountains of joy to your marriage. Christ, as a silent partner, will help you keep your perspective. His counsel to turn the other cheek, and blessed are the peacemakers, will come in handy when you find yourself bedfellows with your could-be enemy.

Christ will soften your heart when you are angry and will remind you of the lifelong commitment that you made at the altar. He will fill you with charity and compassion when you need it.

Put on the whole armor of God

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians to put on the whole armor of God is great advice to the newly married couple. Armor connotes a war is going to be waged, and that is exactly what is going to happen.

You are going to fight every day of your married life to preserve what you have and build for the future. You will be in literal combat with the worlds of darkness that lay siege to rip you away from your eternal destiny. Paul describes it this way:

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
—Ephesians 6:11-14

Paul advises us to put on the girdle of truth and carry the breastplate of righteousness. Marriage is a sacred bond of trust. You cannot lie to your partner with any intent to deceive, or you will destroy that bond. You must be faithful in all things. Righteousness implies you know and follow God’s commandments.

It means “Thou shalt not commit adultery” – not even a little bit. That means alone in front of a computer or on a business trip. The breastplate of righteousness will shield you from those who would sneak into your bosom and encourage you to be unfaithful. Wear your breastplate with integrity.

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
—Ephesians 6:15

Shoes imply travel. Paul is telling us to travel life’s highways being prepared with the gospel of peace. The gospel of peace is the inner workings of Christianity. If your daily walk is guided by the gospel, you will be a certain kind of individual.

You will have the desire to bless those around you as Christ would bless them. You will be willing to apologize to and forgive one another. You will desire peace above all.

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
—Ephesians 6:16

Faith is so important in marriage. The adversary is constantly trying to destroy faith. He will tell you all is lost. This problem can never be solved. You cannot forgive this wrong.

There is no reason to continue. The mindset of faith is literally a shield against those thoughts. You must block any thoughts of despair or giving up. All problems can be solved with the help of the Savior. Use the shield of faith to your advantage.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
— Ephesians 6:17

The helmet of salvation is the knowledge of God’s plan for us. We all have a mission in this life, and we have a mission as married couples. God expects us to accomplish something great. We will need the sword of the Spirit, or the word of God, to cut through the deceptions of the world.

Families are God’s greatest mission. Without families, His children will not have a secure place to grow and be nourished.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
—Ephesians 6:18

Finally, and the most important, God wants us to pray daily and often during the day. As married couples, pray with and for each other. Don’t just pray in words. Pray with your heart.

There is so much power in allowing your spouse to hear the positive desires of your heart for him or her. Then get up from your knees and help God make your prayers a reality.  PD

LATEST BLOG

LATEST NEWS