Pastor Sam Crosby
January 30, 2018
San Saba’s First Baptist Church
My wife, Jan, loves to have a fire in our wood-burning stove. We both grew up with wood heat in the home and both enjoy the glow and warmth that a fire adds. We recently made a trip to the outdoors to cut firewood. Our stack was low and the weather was still cold. The normal routine is for me to cut while she hauls, but on this particular day, she wanted to run a second chain saw with me. After getting it started, I handed it to her. She was decked out in her safety gear and timidly approached the first cut. It wasn’t long after a little coaching that the sawdust was flying and trees were falling – little trees.
Marriage is strengthened when couples spend time together. It doesn’t have to cost money and need not be elaborate. A walk through the park or a drive through the country can provide opportunity for needed time together. When is the last time you skipped rocks on the pond and shared a Blizzard from Dairy Queen? Marriage is about building and nurturing a friendship with the person you treasure most in the world. The Bible counsels “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life” (I Peter 3:7, NLT).
Marriage is strengthened through affirmation and encouragement. I was hesitant about the chainsaw but she proved me wrong (although she was sore the next day). The truth is, once she felt confident, we finished the task in a shorter time. She can even start the saw on her own now. One of the most powerful things you can do for your spouse is…praise him or her! Solomon advised in Proverbs 10:21 “The lips of the righteous nourish many…” Paul challenged, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,….” (I Thessalonians 5:11). Verbal abuse ranks high as a reason for divorce. Make sure your home is filled with compliments and encouragement while you filter out the insults, cut-downs and criticisms.
Marriage is strengthened through projects or goals that interest both people. Couples must find common interests to deepen the bonds of friendship. A married couple in the Bible became close friends to the Apostle Paul. Acts 18 records the work of Aquila and Priscilla in the city of Corinth. Scripture says that their occupation was tent makers. They were driven from Rome because they were Jews but God used this adversity to provide encouragement to Paul. They were devoted followers of Jesus Christ who, together, taught and equipped the preacher, Apollos, in his understanding of the gospel. Their names are mentioned six times in the Bible, and always together. Working together toward a common goal will bless your union.
Invest in your marriage through the Love & Respect Conference at San Saba’s First Baptist Church on February 9-10.