A C.A.L.M. and Courteous MarriageJuly 25, 2012 at 6:47 am | Posted in Biblical Marriage, I Corinthians | 7 Comments
Tags: 1 Corinthians 13, 1 Corinthians 15, Christian marriage, courtesy, courtesy in marriage, good manners, marriage, marriage counseling, Proverbs 15
Ideally, married couples should have a relationship that is both passionate and peaceful. No one wants to live in war zone – and that includes a “cold war” zone. So it is important that our marriages be C.A.L.M.
Christian love in marriage…
… [d]oth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
I Corinthians 13:5 (emphasis added)
“Doth not behave itself unseemly” means that it is not rude. The opposite of being unseemly or rude is being polite or…
Being courteous does not have to do with how you “feel.” Note that the verse says that Christian love does not “behave” itself unseemly. In public, most of us are conditioned to thinking one thing and doing another, at least much of the time. At home we tend to let our guard down. This results in the tragic consequence that we are often more polite to strangers than to our own spouses. You may have heard the joke about the wife who came back from her honeymoon and called her mother on the phone in a state of great distress. “Mom!” she wailed, “You won’t believe the way Bill has been talking to me ever since we came back home. He was as sweet as could be while we were traveling and relaxing, but now he has started using all these four-letter words!”
Her mother was shocked. “Honey,” she said, “that doesn’t sound like Bill at all! I don’t want to embarrass you, but can you give me some idea of the types of four-letter words he is using?”
“Okay, Mom,” said the new wife, “here goes, but brace yourself … He’s saying things like ‘cook’ and ‘dust’ and ‘iron’ and ‘wash.'”
That’s a silly joke, but the truth is there are serious and potentially controversial things that have to be discussed and worked out in a marriage. They are more serious than asking your waiter for the check “please.” But there is nothing so serious that it can’t be discussed with courtesy.
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
I Corinthians 15:33-34
“Good manners” might sound like the kind of thing that is not super-spiritual, but apparently “good manners” are extremely important to God since they are directly contrasted with the type of communication that God calls “evil.” The Bible tells us to “awake” to righteousness, so we really have to shake ourselves if we are going to remember to be courteous to the people with whom we are the most familiar (the most obvious of whom is your spouse.) They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder and familiarity breeds contempt, and there is an element of truth to these proverbs, but, as Christians, we are to be yielded to the Holy Spirit, not to the “common sense wisdom” of the world around us. Courtesy is the first step in having a “calm” marriage, and, if you ask anyone who has had a tension-filled, drama-filled, or contention-filled marriage, they will tell you that you are definitely better off with a calm, peaceful marriage. We want passion in marriage, but we want it to be a loving mutual passion. If I could be a little blunt for moment, what we want is passion in the heart and passion in the loins – not passion upside the head.
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.