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Marriage is about kingdom living. When you have experienced it, you know that this is true. (1 Cor 7:27-28 KJV) In the first century B.C. the apostle wrote these words which are recorded in God's word: Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. If you are an unmarried individual, you see this example of Christ's love for His church in the Christian marriages of those believers around you. For the believing man, you can look back over the years and the trials that came, like mountains to overcome, and you know that your marriage is so much better now than it was then, because in walking through it with the Lord, you learned from Him how to love your wife in a deeper way.

The relationship had always been like a dream come true. When you asked her to become your wife, she joyfully accepted. The date of the wedding ceremony was set. When it came time, you vowed those never to be forgotten words:

I _____, take you ______, to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.
You received the fulfillment of the verse: "The man who finds a wife finds a gift from Yahweh!"

Yet the value which we place on a gift, especially that gift of stewardship makes all the difference. It's like the man who signs the contract and buys that shiny brand new car right off the showroom floor! What an awesome purchase it was and he doesn't want so much as a scratch or a scrape to happen to it. The right owner can keep that car looking and running good for many years. Or to the contrary, a careless person will can run the best of vehicles into the ground!

Marriage is a treasure which requires stewardship! Even the very good and blessed of marriages are honed by God not in the daily routines of life, but in the very furnace of affliction, the Great Refiner watches to purge the dross and purify ones marriage into that which we have always dreamed.

But now, this is what the LORD says: he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.


This band of gold is a symbol of that which is eternal, the pastor said in the ceremony. When you put it on hr finger her eyes shone with the sparkle of joyful tears. Now as the years pass, God works within you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. His will is that as co-workers together with him, your marriage would have the sparkle of the cherubim feet in Ezekiel chaper one, which sparkled as burnished brass. Like feet burned in the fire, John the Apostle said in describing the feet of the Saviour when he saw Him in the vision. And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. (Rev. 1:15)

The former coalminer and blacksmith, Evan Roberts, came into prominence as a revivalist early in November 1904. He had just returned to his home near Swansea, South Wales, after an enduement with the Spirit's power at the West Wales gatherings mentioned earlier. His experience there was unforgettable:

I fell on my knees with my arms over the seat in front of me, my face was bathed in perspiration, and the tears flowed in streams.... I cried out, "Bend me! Bend me! Bend us!.... It was God's commending His love which bent me, while I saw nothing in it to commend. After I was bent, what a wave of peace flooded my bosom.... Then the fearful bending of the judgment day came to my mind, and I was filled with compassion for those who must bend at the judgment, and I wept.... I felt ablaze with a desire to go through the length and breadth of Wales to tell of the Savior, and had it been possible, I was willing to pay God for doing so. 4

We pray our prayers in terms which we have heard but not always come to understand. But God who searches the hearts, knows the mind of the Spirit. In the midst of our fiery trials, as we struggle and strive for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, we must expect God to bend us to His will. In marriage, it is easy for the person who experiences "the growing pains" of marriage to be tempted to think that they have missed the mark, and married the wrong person.

The Apostle Paul called forth "sufferings" that he might know Him whom to know aright is life eternal. Suffering for righteousness sake is that part of "Kingdom Life" that you do not always hear has been ordained for our personal benefit. But to know Christ is to know Him in His sufferings as well as His ascended glory!

Long ago, as a new believer, I read a book written by a man who had been married for many years. The book was entitled "The Dark Threads The Weaver Weaves." The title comes from a poem of the same name. The book's author had experienced blessing as well as suffering in his marriage, and the revelation which He held of Jesus Christ was far more precious than gold. What a marvellous testimony was contained within the pages of that little book. Perhaps at the onset of the marriage you did not know the Lord. Or you may have underestimated the importance of your calling in God. How few people expect marriage to emulate the portion of the Apostle Paul's life in which he states "I wrestled with beasts at Ephesus!" But the more you long to know God in that dimension which pushes beyond the status quo, the more the forces of hell will oppose and resist you on all sides. Make sure that your committment to Christ as well as your marriage is non negotiable.


My life is but a weaving Between my God and me. I do not choose the colors, But God works steadily. Often God weaves sorrow, And I, in foolish pride, Forget God sees the top While I the underside. Not until the loom is silent And the shuttles cease to fly Will God unroll the canvas And explain the reasons why. But, the dark threads are as needful In the skillful weaver's hand As the threads of gold and silver In the pattern God has planned.


"But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, seed of Abraham My friend. You whom I drew from the ends of the earth and called from its far corners, to whom I said: You are My servant; I chose you, I have not rejected you-fear not, for I am with you, be not frightened, for I am your CREATOR; I strengthen you and I help you, I uphold you with My victorious right hand." (Isaiah 41:8-10)

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.

6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-

7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." (Isaiah 43)

The pattern within our heart is for a destiny and a purpose. It is placed there by God to keep us pressing by faith toward the price of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus--toward God's divine excellence. Couples must be committed to partner with Him in this incredible of all works, for it is a portrait of the love of the Saviour and Bridegroom for His Bride, the Chrch. If an individual is unmarried he or she can walk in sanctification of body, soul and spirit, determined to not defile themselves in any manner which is unbecoming of the people of the Most High God.


The Scriptures allow for divorce and remarriage in exceptional circumstances (Matthew 19:9; 5:32), therefore it would be wrong to deny a man the opportunity to serve as a leader in the church based solely on his previous marital experience without knowing much more about the circumstances involved.

Since the definite article is lacking in the Greek text when speaking of the “woman” and “man” (wife & husband) the emphasis seems to be on the character or nature of the man involved, not his marital status. The whole tone of the context is an emphasis on the kind of man to be considered as an elder or deacon.

Greek scholars agree that the structure of this passage should be translated “a one-wife sort of husband.” Kenneth Wuest expresses this view in his translation of this passage, "He must be a one-wife kind of man in that he isolates and centralizes his love upon one woman and that forever."

The literal interpretation then of “husbands of only one wife” is clearly "a one woman man." In a culture where men were frequently tempted toward unfaithfulness, the Apostle Paul made it clear that an elder in the church was to be a "one-woman man," or in other words, a man that had integrity toward God and His word, and who was loyal to the covenant wife the Lord had given him, and to her alone. Apostle Paul stressed the necessity of strength of character and the Christ-like nature of a godly man in these verses rather than marking a single experience in his life for inspection.

The joining of a man and a woman is, according to scripture a physical as well as a spiritual union. For this reason, Jesus stated that the man who looked at a woman to lust after her has committed sin already in his heart.

When God singles out the absolute necessity of fidelity of heart in the pillars of His church, he is saying to godly men, "Be the husband of one wife." Do not be lusting after other women. Guard your relationship as a precious treasure. Because to lust, spiritually moves one beyond the realm of that which God considers appropriate behaviour for a man, and particularly, one that has been selected to be one who "watches as an elder, over the souls of God's flock, and is therefore an example to them.

"Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." (1 Corinthians 6:15-17)


It is important for the church, the Redeemed of the Lord, to see that infidelity or unfaithfulness begins in the heart of the individual as lust. The bible in stating "All men do not have faith," actually speaks of faithfulness. When lust conceives, it brings forth sin. And sin brings forth death. No believing wife can bear the thought of her mate yoked to the soul of another woman in an intimate fashion which marriage in Christs name, has reserved for her alone. Be the husband of one wife in body, soul and spirit. For "...He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit."

The scriptural concept of lust can actually refer to any strong desire. It is frequently used of sin. Colossians 3:5, "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. This speaks of impurity, uncleanness or passions in ones life which do not line up with God's word. Therefore, lust defined means "to have an eager, passionate, and especially an inordinate or sinful desire, as for the gratification of the sexual appetite or of covetousness; often with after. Whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. (Deut. Xii. 15) Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matt. v. 28) The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy. (James iv. 5)

Desire is so normal that we might feel a measure of guilt for any strong desire we might have. We need not do this because God created us with the ability to have desires, and He pronounced our desire for intimacy in marriage as a good thing. (Genesis 1:31). Through these passions or strong desires we accomplish goals. Paul exhorts the brethren to "earnestly desire the best gifts" of God (I Corinthians 12:31). David writes that God Himself desires "truth in the inward parts" of men (Psalm 51:6).

Desire means "a strong yearning." However, some desires are destructive, and these the Bible usually calls "lusts." These desires are often shown as cravings for satisfaction of the physical appetites (for example, food, alcohol, sex, money, pleasure). Paul tells Timothy, "Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (II Timothy 2:22). Though Scripture speaks of desire in both a good and an evil sense, the man of God recognizes that he can have evil desires, turns from them when they arise, and pursues after what is good.

The desire for power is a strong desire in many people's lives. An individual may possess a passion to be number one, to compete, to dominate, to assert their will, and to have or gain control. Such an attitude frequently produces envy and contention. Others passionately pursue possessions and the glory associated with owning them. The desires in a persons life can take forms such as passions of pride (such as for academic acclaim), social status, and inordinate ambition. These cravings can take the form of a person becoming "self centered" and "self serving" rather than desiring as the servant of Christ, to serve others, or to see their lives in full union with Christ. In this, one cannot be the true light and the witness God wants them to be. Jesus is called both the True Light which now shines, and the Faithful and True Witness. He is our living example, enthroned in the heavens, having won the victory.

As Colossians 3:5 instructs, a desire taken beyond what is lawful is simply idolatry through which we gratify our carnality.

A passion or strong desire is not necessarily an evil thing. The pastor may say: "We covet your prayers." He means we earnestly desire your prayers for us. Strong desires of the lower nature are the problem, if not dealt with in a biblical manner. The evil spirits which come to tempt an individual are both tearing and building a house. Temptation can come to a marriage of 50 years with the desire to be single again. A barrage of thoughts assailing you with such things as "I'm going to be in the grave before any of my dreams come to pass." This is a spiritual assault of defeat and unbelief. Or it may take other forms to gain a beach-head, such as actual temptation to commit adultery. Both of these examples are equally serious. But the temptation may seem plausible or seemingly innocent. "She doesn't even fold the clothes in the laundry basket." Then as the day progresses... "I should get me a wife that likes to take care of me!


The scriptures themselves describe life in terms as a gladitorial arena.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The Apostle Paul possessed Roman citizenship. When the he wrote of the need for the believer to understand the nature of the fight, he was aware of the arena of battle there in Rome, where gladiators fought, and so he was alluding to seeing people conquerored. Roman legionaires dressed in the battle array of their splendid full armor. If you know something of Roman weaponry and of the life of Paul you know that he was in frequent contact with the Roman soldiers because his preaching of the gospel brought frequent imprisonments. He'd had occasions to see Roman soldiers fully equipped from head to toe and to ponder on this. Roman citizens of the era saw soldiers drilling, and preparing for battle. The word of God speaks of the Church shining in full strength, challenging us not to walk as children of darkness, but to arise and shine for the glory of the Lord is risen upon us.

The zenith of the Roman Empire and it's era as a world government was primarily due to the well-equipped Roman Soldier who was trained in strategy, weaponry, defense, and understanding the enemy. Using this pictoral message, of the soldiers armor as an example, the Apostle describes the Armor of God in the Book of Ephesians (Chapter 6:10) as both a defense and an offensive weapon. There were six pieces of armor used. Two were considered offensive weapons: shoes and sword. Three were considered defensive weapons: breastplate, shield, and helmet. Yet another piece of armour was considered neutral and that was the loin belt or girdle.

One day as I was in prayer, God gave me a family to pray for. The man was in an arena like a gladiator with the opponents net over his head. He said to himself: I never intended for it to be like this. When I was getting married, they told me that you could recognize when things were going sour and simply get a divorce. Now I've stayed in the thing and I've lost everything. And God said: This woman is not the man's problem. His problem is that he rejects God's word, and when consequences come, he feels the Lord has failed him. No matter who he was married to, things would be the same. His life requires change and personal spiritual growth. Marriage is a picture of Christ's great love for His church. His love is the "sweetest thing we know." It's like honey in the honey comb. When we live according to God's word, things don't "get sour." He teaches us in His word, how to keep things fresh. One of these ways is to keep the lines of communication open--praying in the Spirit.

Do you know that even in a trial, if one will receive God's counsel from the pages of His word, the entire family can learn and know the Lord in a deeper way. But if God's word is rejected, the family is left like a ship in time of storm without a pilot or a compass with which to navigate. This individual had become so deceived that as he pondered Cain's killing of Abel, he was thinking how easy it would be. Remember the devil gives you the bait but hides the hook! He allows you to feel a rush of emotion that may even mimic freedom. How many men wake up behind bars to find that they've been tricked by the Evil One.

Do not be ignorant of Satans clever methods or strategies concealed in thoughts which may come to you in "first person, as if the thoughts originate with you. Reject the verbal assault against your mind. Ver. 18 states "Flee fornication." Be like Nathaniel, an Israelite in whom was no guile." That was what the Lord said of his character. What was the result of his life of fidelity before God? "An open heaven." Revelation from God's word is a marvellous thing. It feeds us like manna from heaven.

The young Patriarch Joseph experienced betrayal at the hands of those he loved. But he did not lose his focus upon God, and God used his gifts and calling as a testimony even in the midst of his trial. No matter how deep the pit you find yourself in, Jesus is deeper still. Keep yourself for her (your own wife) alone. Do not even allow your mind and heart to be enticed away to the error of the wicked.

Breakthrough Intl 5214 South 2nd Avenue Everett, Washington 98203-4113 Telephone (425) 257-9511

5214 South 2nd Avenue,
Everett, Washington 98203-4113

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