Be Kind to Your Spouse

April 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Biblical Marriage, I Corinthians | 7 Comments
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And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

I Corinthians 13:3-4 (emphasis added)

Christian spouses must “be kind” to each other.

Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

Song of Solomon 4:8 (emphasis added)

We must “come down” from the “high places:” the things in our lives that seem so important that they are overshadowing the importance of giving time and attention to our spouses. These include not only the material hobbies and pleasures and pursuits of this world, but even the “good things” we do: our devotion time; our prayer time; our church time; our ministry time. I am not saying that we shouldn’t be doing these things. We should. But there must be times when we pause, and say to our spouses, “‘Come down’ and spend time with me.”

There is also a warning that our “high places” are not only keeping us from spending time and attention on our spouse, but they can also be dangerous places.

Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

Song of Solomon 4:8 (emphasis added)

The mountains of Lebanon looked like mighty strongholds – but they were really the mountains of leopards and of lions’ dens. Satan, like a roaring lion, is out to devour your marriage and your family. I should want my wife to feel safer – physically and emotionally – with me, than with any worldly fortification.

Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.

Song of Solomon 4:9

Does your spouse – with just one of his or her eyes – just a glance in your direction – ravish your heart? True Christian love is kind, and kindness says that you should respond as though it does.

How little we understand of agape love! The word “ravished” means to capture someone’s heart – to make him or her come alive with desire – literally to cause the heartbeat to speed up. Was there ever a time when just a glance from your spouse made you so excited that you felt giddy – when your heartbeat sped up? Sadly, for many, that time has departed, but “kindness” reminds us that we must show excitement toward our spouse – not because he or she “deserves” it, but because of grace.

In Song of Solomon the husband goes to visit his bride, and she says,

I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

Song of Solomon 5:2-3

How often does your spouse want to spend time with you? How often does he or she knock on your door, and find you too “tired” (or too lazy)? Too often our response is, “I’ve done enough for you today. I’m having ‘me’ time now.”

I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

Song of Solomon 5:6

If I am not exercising kindness, and my spouse is making me plead with her just to spend time with me, my flesh wants to say, “Just forget it – if you want to spend time apart from me, go ahead. From now on, you come to me – I don’t come to you.” And I forget that the sovereign God could say the same thing about me. But instead He shows kindness.

The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love. What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

Song of Solomon 5:7-9

Are we so careless with our spouse’s love that others will think, “What’s so special about a ‘Christian’ marriage? You don’t even get excited about spending time with your spouse. Why should we want that?”

Kindness is evidence that you are anxious for your spouse to notice you – that you desperately want to be in your spouse’s presence.

A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

Song of Solomon 4:12

Christian marriage must be “a garden inclosed.” It must be a place where – out of kindness to your spouse – you have shut the door to many things – even things that aren’t necessarily bad, but that just aren’t indicative of kindness.

Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.

Song of Solomon 4:16

As a faithful spouse, one of your greatest desires should be that your disposition is so kind that your mate would come to you and find you pleasing. Christian marriages are to be a picture of Christ and the Church, but not everything should necessarily be seen by the outside world. When you are awaiting your spouse, your attitude should be that of a prepared place waiting with expectancy to be filled at any moment with the presence of your spouse.

For kindness to be present, though, Christ must be the center of your marriage. He must be invited into the midst of our marital homes. If you invoked His Name at your wedding, do not think that He will now sit meekly on the sidelines of marriage like a genie in a bottle waiting to be summoned out to patch up our lack of love. Once you have invited Him, there are repercussions to ignoring Him.

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