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4 Aspects 4 A Lasting Relationship: Part 7

Photo courtesy of emwraps via Flickr
Photo courtesy of emwraps via Flickr

We’ve previously looked at how relationships are more fulfilling when they involve interdependent compatibility of heart, mind, soul and body. Now let’s now pull it all together to solve the mystery of relationships.

First Clue — Men as Husbands

We find our first clue in Ephesians 5:25. A husband should love his wife the same way Christ loved the Church (His followers; believers) and gave Himself for it. This word “gave” means to surrender, commit, entrust, or yield.

Christ humbly served others even though He is the head of the church. He did not come to earth to be waited on or to pursue His own desires; instead, He gave His life for the world. He served others, helped them when they could not help themselves, and looked out for their best interests (Matthew 20:28). He sacrificed His life so His followers could be free from the controlling effect of sin and could live the abundant life He offers (John 10:10).            

The primary responsibility of a husband is to meet his wife’s needs lovingly, respectfully, affectionately and faithfully. He is to give his time, energy, attention, focus, purpose, motivation—his all—to her.

However, to keep this from feeling a bit one-sided, there is a second clue that applies to a wife. Using the same example of husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the Church, ask yourself, What did Christ tell the Church?

Second Clue — Women as Wives

In Mark 12:30, Jesus gave a new commandment to His followers: to love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. This word “love” refers to a direction of the will and finding one’s joy in the person being loved. It is the unselfish passion of the heart involving deep compassion and a choice of the will. It is demonstrated through passionate acts performed by a committed heart. It requires a daily choice to love completely, unselfishly, and passionately.

The word “heart” in this verse refers to the core of human sentiment. This correlates to the emotional aspect. The words “mind” and “soul” correspond to the intellectual and spiritual aspects. The word “strength” refers to physical power and ability. To fully experience Christ’s abundant life, we are to love Him spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically. All four aspects are to be equally present and fully engaged.

In applying this spiritual comparison to marriage, we find that a wife is to be equally, wholly, and lovingly interactive with her husband—spirit, mind, soul and body. This involves her reciprocal response to the complete love her husband gives her.

Mystery Solved

The relational fog clears when we apply Christ’s modeled behavior to marriage. Marriage is about putting your spouse’s needs first, not being waited on hand and foot. It is about personal sacrifice for the benefit of your spouse and family, not about having your own personal agenda and lifestyle. It is about giving of yourself—even laying down your life if necessary—for the protection and provision of your spouse and children. When you are prepared and committed to do so without hesitation, you are ready for marriage.

Consider a potential spouse from this perspective. As Christ loves the Church completely, so husbands should fully love their wives. As the Church loves Christ, so wives should love their husbands with all their heart, mind, soul, and body.

The mystery of a man and a woman is solved when both people in a relationship fulfill their corresponding roles. A husband and a wife are to love each other with all their hearts, minds, souls, and bodies. Compatibly. Faithfully. Unconditionally. Passionately. Interdependently.

 What Is the Desire of Your Heart?

What is the sincerest, deepest desire of your heart? To answer this, consider these additional questions. What level of intimacy in marriage do you want and are you prepared to create it? How patient and persistent will you be in finding compatibility in all four aspects? Are you truly interested in finding interdependence? Or do you simply want to continue doing what’s been done before and risk having your relationship efforts ending up with a negative outcome?

If your heart’s desire is marriage, what is your reason for pursuing such a relationship? There are many misguided motives for wanting to be married. They all miss the mark and can result in heartache, unfilled expectations, miserable lives, and possibly even divorce and a broken home.

Here are some misguided reasons people have for wanting to get married as well as some candid responses to those reasons:

  • Do you want a world-traveling partner? If so, have your travel agent book you on a group tour.
  • Do you simply want someone as an outlet for your sexual urges? Shame on you!
  • Do you want someone to make you laugh and share exciting times? Hire a clown.
  • Do you want to simply coexist with someone? Move in with your parents or siblings.
  • Do you want a constant companion who tolerates you no matter what? Get a pet.
  • Do you want some one-sided affirmation? Update your Facebook profile picture.
  • Do you want someone to share life’s expenses? Get a roommate.
  • Do you want to enjoy social status? Get involved with your community or join the chamber of commerce.

All these reasons will fulfill your developmental, experimental, creative, or thrill-seeking pursuits. But they do not require marriage.

If the true desire of your heart is to enjoy a satisfied, fulfilling, and abundant life with a compatible spouse, with whom you share an intimate journey filled with mutually enjoyable experiences, then look for the person uniquely matched with you in spirit, mind, soul, and body.

A genuinely satisfying and lasting marriage can be found. The fulfillment, thrilling companionship, and pure ecstasy of lifelong perpetual romance all await you. Are you up to the challenge? With compatibility and balanced interdependence in all four aspects, proper progression through the dating stages, God’s guidance, and your patience, you can find your special someone with whom you are Matched 4 Marriage and Meant 4 Life!

Read the rest of the series to find the wisdom you need for a lasting relationship.

Used with permission and excerpted from Nate’s book, Matched 4 Marriage – Meant 4 Life.

About Nate Stevens

A missionary kid raised in a Christian home and church, Nate Stevens is a lifelong student of Scripture. He has enjoyed a 36-year banking career in a variety of leadership roles. He is the author of "Matched 4 Life," "Matched 4 Life Workbook," "Deck Time with Jesus," and contributes to the Moments book series (Divine Moments, Spoken Moments, Stupid Moments, etc.). He co-leads a singles ministry in the Charlotte, NC area and is a popular speaker / teacher at conferences, seminars and Bible study groups, speaking on a wide variety of topics. Nate currently lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, is a newlywed to his beautiful wife, Karen, and is an active dad with two awesome kids, Melissa and Mitchell.
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