Some Truths Marriage Has Taught Me

Some Truths Marriage Has Taught Me

Monday’s Column: Neal At The Cross

Neal Pollard

Yesterday marked thirty years of marriage to a woman I met when she was still technically a “girl” almost 32 years ago. God has blessed her with extraordinary beauty and youthfulness, but He has blessed me by her in ways far deeper than that. She constantly encourages my spiritual growth, helps me read my spiritual compass, and drives me to be closer to God and do His will better. This is not only a daily benefit I enjoy in marriage, but a benefit I typically enjoy throughout each day! Yet, she is also fun-loving, has a great sense of humor, and loves life and people profoundly. I could not have asked for a better mother for my children, and I could not have dreamed for a better companion to travel life’s road with.

Paul indicates that God created the marriage relationship to illustrate the relationship Christ would have with the church (Eph. 5:22-33). That’s profound! The Author of the most intimate relationship on earth wants us to learn and grow through this transformation connection we call marriage. He teaches us vital truths throughout His Word that we grasp and understand to our great benefit. Consider a few of them.

  • “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband” (Prov. 12:4a).
  • “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Prov. 18:22).
  • “House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord” (Prov. 19:14).
  • “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life” (Prov. 31:10-12).
  • ““You have made my heart beat faster, my sister, my bride; You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes, with a single strand of your necklace. How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than all kinds of spices” (Song 4:9-10).
  • “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself” (Eph. 5:28). 
  • “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them” (Col. 3:19). 
  • “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered” (1 Pet. 3:7). 

I am impressed with how much God honors and upholds marriage. He invented and instituted it (Gen. 2:18-25). It was His sweetest gift to humanity, second only to the sacrifice of His Son for our sins! He has given us an instruction manual to help us navigate the many ups and downs that are a part of it. It can bring us some of life’s most difficult and excruciating moments. But undoubtedly, it will give us some of the sweetest, most memorable, and sustaining moments, too. 

So much happens in three decades of life, especially in the marriage context. While it seems like just a moment ago that we stood before my dad in Manchester, Georgia, that Friday afternoon, seeing three grown, married children and some inevitable physical changes in the mirror tells me more time has passed than it seems. In the treasure chest of my heart, there are so many memories and events over the span of those years. Invariably, right there in my mental picture of them all is the sweet, pretty face of that blonde, witty, and intense beauty who grounds me, balances me, and pushes me to be my best me. 

It scares me to think about where I would be without her. It humbles me to think she chose to spend her life with me. It blesses me to think that, as the Lord wills, I get to do life with her today and for as many days as He gives us together. Thank God for the blessing of marriage! May I bless my Kathy as she has blessed me! 

Twenty-Four Blessings Of Being Married To A Godly Spouse

Twenty-Four Blessings Of Being Married To A Godly Spouse

Neal Pollard
My dad performed the wedding ceremony for Kathy and me at the Manchester church of Christ in Georgia on May 22, 1992, which, as I’ve been reminded, was also the last show for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. It was also the day Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia joined the United Nations. But, all in all, it was a quiet, ordinary day in the world. For me, it was anything but ordinary! It was day one of a life that has been full of surprises, enjoyments, discoveries, and a full array of experiences. Certainly, there have been some lows but also many more highs. It has, in so many ways, been full of blessings. Anyone who marries a faithful Christian can anticipate so many blessings. Consider just a few:

  1. A companion who loves your soul.
  2. A mate who puts God above you.
  3. A spouse who will influence your children to love God.
  4. One who is bearing the fruit of the Spirit to live life with.
  5. One who stays connected to God faithfully, in Bible study and prayer.
  6. One with whom your most important activities revolve around Christ.
  7. A partner who gladly embraces her God-given role and place.
  8. A mate who holds you accountable to the role and place you should fill.
  9. One who is not chasing the world’s ideals, not being led by its values and expectations.
  10. A companion with whom your conversations constantly involve the spiritual.
  11. One who knows what good clean fun looks and feels like.
  12. One whose orientation is to serve and not to be served.
  13. A spouse who creates trust and confidence that sustains you even when you are apart.
  14. A consort who loves the body of Christ, the church, and who is interested in its members.
  15. One whose greatest beauty (and attractiveness) is to be found beneath the surface.
  16. A partner who will treat you with respect and dignity, not demeaning you or running you down.
  17. One who is more focused on pursuing your happiness than passively waiting for you to cause theirs.
  18. A spouse with whom your most fulfilling moments are spent serving your Lord.
  19. One who looks for opportunities to reach your neighbors and other associations for Christ.
  20. A mate whose emotions are most stirred by spiritual things.
  21. A lover who is exciting and alluring because of her faith and not in spite of such.
  22. One who forms goals with you, short-term and long-term, that point toward eternity and lead toward heaven.
  23. A help-meet you become more desirous of growing older with every day you are growing older.
  24. A partner you like more the more you know her because she’s being transformed more into the image of Christ each day.

What an enjoyable exercise, literally counting the blessings of a life lived with a faithful Christian mate. Please do not interpret this as a suggestion that marriage is trouble-free, challenge-free, conflict-free, and pain-free. It is none of these, but persevering through the troubles, challenges, conflicts, and pain can be one of the forces that strengthen our marriages. Let us build marriages that cause us to celebrate our anniversaries, having a deeper appreciation for the person God gave us to walk through this vail of tears with—a person with whom we can find enormous nuggets of fulfillment and genuine joy in even life’s darkest episodes. Have you let your mate know how much they mean to you? If not, why not stop whatever you are doing and tell them. Even better, show them! They are one of your choicest blessings!

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