In Part 1 we looked at how people get married with no understanding of how the family finances are going to be handled and how that can cause problems in the marriage if not dealt with quickly. We also reviewed God’s Plan for Marriage and how Satan has been attacking marriages and that the importance of marriage has been sharply declined over the past 50 years. If you missed it just click here…★ Thought for the Day – Marriage & Money – Part 1 ★ to catch up.
Part 2 of our trilogy of posts will delve into how to have unity in our Marriage by discussing the Differences between Men and Women and how our enemy, Satan exploits those dissimilarities. Tony Evans made this point…
Satan hates God and he hates us and thus comes at marriages with great ferocity that is why it is so important for us as Husband and Wife to be aware of the battle we are in and to try to understand who the person is that we have become one flesh with. Jesus said in Mark 3:24-25 (NASB):
And Amos 3:3 (NKJV) says:
“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?”
Amen? Do you see that as being true?
Without agreement, it is impossible to move forward. Men and Woman are different and with those differences can conflicts can arise.
Someone once said that:
- “90% of the friction of daily life is caused by the wrong tone of voice.” Unknown.
Instead of battling our spouse, we should see Marriage for what it is, a gift from God and a special covenant with each other. If we could all grasp that simple concept to approach our mate with love and respect, then perhaps “90% of the friction could be eliminated.” Colossians 3:18-19 (MSG) says
“Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master [other translations say “the Lord”].
Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Don’t take advantage of them.”
Now you may have noticed that the verse in the image of Colossians 3:18-19 is reversed, but that is intentional to get the men seeing their role first because this verse has been taken advantage of by men who use it as a tactic to control their wife. I love how the Message translation says before the word “submit” to “support” your husband. God knew that Men needed help and He blessed us with the perfect companion. In Genesis 2:18 (NKJV) God said “I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Submission does not mean less than, our wives are comparable or equal to us. God set the man as the head of the household but he knew that the man was going to need help, for all aspects of our lives including the finances. We need to work as a team loving and respecting one another.
In Ephesians 5:24-25 (NIV1984) the Apostle Paul says it a little differently comparing our actions to that of Christ,
- “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”
The Greek translation for Love here is agape, which is a spiritual love, not sexual. It is by definition a selfless and unconditional love that is not based on what the other person does for me but instead it is about sacrificing yourself for your spouse, just like Christ did. When we submit and love each other as the Apostle Paul instructs, we are being sanctified and made ready to be the bride of Christ. This of course is not what the enemy of our soul wants at all so he twists and distorts God’s Word to see submission as negative. The reason for this is clear in James 4:7 (NIV1984),
- “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
There is power when we submit to each other and especially to God. Submitting or humbling ourselves eliminates the sin of pride, if we don’t then Satan wins and we lose, just like in the Garden. Husbands we need to love our wives as we love ourselves just as Christ loved the church, which he laid down His life for. And wives part of the submission is respecting and supporting your husband. You know the old cliché that “it takes two to fight?” Well it’s true. The key is getting to the root problem of why we fight and try to understand the other spouse’s point of view. In 2010, Author of the best-selling book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, John Gray released a follow-up book called: Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice: Hormonal Balance – the Key to Life, Love & Energy. In the book he discusses that,
- “The Difference between the sexes and how they relate to one another is biochemically based and can be found in our hormones.”
Gray talks about the unique ways that each gender deals with stress and how the stress hormones harm our health and complicate our ability to relate to one another. What I found most interesting about the book was how polar opposite Men and Women really are. The Hormones of Fire and Ice or Men and Women are Testosterone and Oxytocin. In the book, he explains when a man springs into action and solves a problem, he releases Testosterone to deal with stress and as he acts he feels competent and powerful but then soon after has to rest to rebuild his Testosterone levels. A woman on the other hand needs to share herself in nurturing situations to release Oxytocin but then afterwards she needs to receive nurturing and understanding herself to rebuild her hormone levels. The wisdom to understand here is that relaxing on the couch is crucial for a man because he is rebuilding a vital hormone to deal with stress. Conversely getting nurturing support reduces the stress for a woman so Men, she needs to share her feelings and we need to be available because this is vital for her to be able to deal with stress. That is where the analogy comes from that Men are on Ice because they need to shut down and go into their “cave” while Women are on Fire needing to communicate and receive love and support; to deprive either person of this only builds stress in them and ultimately in our relationship.
These two critical hormones not only help us individually but also relationally. Gray also cites in the book findings from the Researchers at the prestigious Schupps Clinic in San Diego, who concluded that:
- “Heart Disease is most often triggered by unresolved emotional issues like financial stress, Divorce, loneliness or an inability to effectively communicate with a child or Spouse.”
3 out of the 5 items cited in this finding are exactly what we are talking about. When I read this statistic it was a huge red flag that “unresolved emotional issues” can cause Heart Disease. We need to recognize the stressors and help not only ourselves but our spouses to deal with the stress. The symbolism of “Men are from Mars” and “Women are from Venus”, two entirely different planets is great to make the distinctions between the sexes but God made us just the way we are and if we want unity in our marriages then we need to accept one another just how He made us. Psalm 139:14 says:
Men and Women are different and that is a good thing, the question remains though “How do you achieve unity in your marriage?” Well the answer may seem obvious but HE is often not engaged when problems arise, the answer is….”God!”
This is the key to everything in life. It starts as individuals, (hopefully when we are young) and then continues into our marriages as adults. Having God at the center of our hearts and our marriages will not only help us relate to one another but also in our finances. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT) says,
“A triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” I did a little research on this and found that people have incorporated this scripture into their wedding ceremony by braiding three colored cords, Gold for God, Purple for the Groom and White for the Bride. What a beautiful way to publically declare that God will be interwoven in your marriage. With God is at the center of our marriages, Satan does not have a chance to break us up because when a Husband and Wife are bound together in Christ, they are stronger than as individuals themselves. By keeping God at the center, His love will continue to bind the two of you together as one throughout your marriage and you will truly be “One Flesh” not knowing where you and end and where the other begins!
If you would like to read the next post that wraps up the “Marriage & Money” Trilogy, click here. We delve into People’s View of Money vs. God’s View of Money to understand how to have unity in our Finances.
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