“Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.” – Gone
“Gone Girl” What a truly scary movie. What a warning of a marriage gone so horribly wrong in the hands of two self centered people. And how easy might it be for people to live their own versions of this inside their own marriages if there is no fear of God or respect for one another — if they have no understanding of covenant, of commitment, of an abiding and enduring relationship.
When we as spouses see each other, in all of our flaws, in all of our mess, in all of our crazy, and we remember our covenant and remember our own flaws – we can see how blessed we are to have such a fitting helpmate in life. We aren’t perfect, so how can we expect perfection from another? But have we trained our eyes to seek out their beauty, their treasure, the life in them shining forth? Or have we trained ourselves to only be critical and blind to what makes them precious and valuable in the eyes of God.
The way that married men and women get into “Gone Girl” kind of trouble is not so much rooted in the temptation that walks past their eyes when away from each other — as it is rooted in their forgetting the value of what they already have.
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. – Proverbs 31:10-12, 28-31 ESV
And there are men and women who have had a good spouse, but who have sown the wrong things into their marriages and who have starved their spouses of the love that they needed to grow — and they have ended up with a withering, almost dead relationship that now needs lots of tender loving investment in order to bring it back to a good place.
Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord , and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray. – Proverbs 5:15-23 ESV
Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked. It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory. A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. – Proverbs 25:26-28 ESV
No, don’t pollute your life with adultery, pornography, lusting after another, indulging in old memories, or fantasizing about new possibilities. Drink from your own fountain. Invest in your own marriage. Value what you have and invest in it. Long term investment, not manipulation so you’ll get something back today. Selfless love and appreciation for your partner that God has provided to you.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. – Ephesians 5:22-33 ESV