It says, Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice with the wife of your youth. Enjoy the relationship. Enjoy the marriage. And these four ways of enjoyment, you might see them as four pillars of a balanced marital relationship.
God wants you to delight in your spouse in all seasons. And today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Pastor Skip examines four keys to having a marriage that is balanced and blessed. Now, here's an offer that'll help you connect with God's design for fathers and understand why they are such a vital part of a strong family. Here's Skip to tell you more. And we can chart the explosion of juvenile crime, drug use, and abortion that have grown simultaneously.
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That's connectwithskip.com. Okay, we're in Proverbs 5 as we join Skip for today's teaching. Happily ever after.
We've heard those words and we have heard them typically where? Fairy tales. It's the fairy tale life, happily ever after.
Night in shining armor, Mary's beautiful princess. They go off to the castle and they live happily ever after. Okay, now segue to real life. It's not happily ever after. It can be good, it can be happy, it can be satisfying, but it's not like there's never a problem and it's happily ever after. In fact, truth be told, for many relationships, they don't enjoy, they just endure their relationships.
This week I came across a CNN study, a CNN poll. They looked at 24,000 people over a 15 year period of time and they discovered that people who were getting married were no happier after they were married than before they were married. So marriage didn't like bump up their happiness at all. In fact, they basically said if you were a happy person before you got married, you were a happy person after you got married. If you were a grumpy person before you got married, you were a grumpy person after you get married.
It's who you are that needs to change. But one study that got my attention was from the Daily Mirror. It's an English newspaper in Great Britain that cited 65% divorce rate among couples. And the reason, by and large, this study said people were getting divorced is simply they found marriage to be mediocre.
Just mediocre. It didn't give me anything that I expected, it's just mediocre, hence the relationship didn't last. Well, there is a better way, a much better way, not just to endure but to enjoy.
However, I will say you have to endure some things in order to get to the enjoyment part. There was a husband who had a health issue, a major health issue, and he went to a doctor. The doctor ran a series of tests. He went to the doctor's office with his wife. The wife was in the waiting room, he went through the tests. The doctor looked at all the results and called his wife in and said to her, ma'am, your husband is very sick.
There's some things you're going to have to do for him or he's going to die. She was rather shocked and she said, yeah, like what things? He said, well, you're going to need to make him, fix him three meals every day and give him a full body massage twice a week and have intimate physical relations with your husband regularly. She left the office, went out to the waiting room. Her husband was waiting with bated breath and said to his wife, what did the doctor say? And she turned to him and said, he said, you're going to die. There's a better way.
Can you turn to your neighbor and say, there's a better way. And the Holy Spirit through Solomon gives us what is the better way in chapter five and also the Song of Solomon. Now, as we look at these passages, let me just give you a little quick background. Did you know that Solomon wrote three thousand Proverbs? The Bible says you only have like five hundred and thirteen in the Book of Proverbs. He wrote three thousand Proverbs and one thousand and five songs.
Now we're going to look at a couple of Proverbs and the Song of Solomon. He wrote a thousand five. He was very prolific. But Solomon was royalty. He was a king's kid, so he grew up with anything he wanted. He was a spoiled kid. That's how I see Solomon. And Solomon had a penchant for volume. He liked lots of stuff.
You read the Book of Ecclesiastes. Here's a guy that had a bankroll. He could have anything he wanted. He was very curious about life. And so he got male singers and female singers and gardens and animals. He had his own zoo. And the guy had lots of women.
Right? How many wives did he have? 700 wives and 300 concubines.
It was a pretty sticky situation. So he had a thousand women, which makes you wonder, was he really all that wise? But he was all that wise because 1 Kings chapter 4 says he asked God for wisdom and God gave him wisdom and very great insight and understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. That's right out of scripture.
The Book of Proverbs gives us insight into living well. The Song of Solomon talks about his own personal marital relationship. It's principally a book about the Shulamite, his bride, and Solomon. Many people think that the Song of Solomon or the Song of Songs, it's like his best hit, Song of Songs, was written to his first wife.
That's before he got the 699 other gals. This is the first wife. This is then marriage as God intended it to be. As we go through this today, there's some thing I want you to notice in Proverbs chapter five.
There's a single word that I'm keying off everything hinging on this word. It's the word in Proverbs chapter 5 verse 18, it's the word rejoice. It says, let your fountain be blessed and rejoice with the wife of your youth. Enjoy the relationship. Enjoy the marriage. And these four ways of enjoyment, you might see them as four pillars of a balanced marital relationship.
Number one, enjoy each other's company. The very word with implies togetherness. Now, I know the context principally, especially around verse 19 and 20 is all about the physical relationship.
We'll get to that. But the overarching message of Proverbs five, the second portion is about a husband and wife enjoying each other's company. It's intimacy due to harmony. They love to be together. Now, when couples first meet, this is never a problem. They want to be with each other. That young guy and that young girl, wild horses couldn't drag them away from each other.
He will drive to the ends of the earth. I remember when I first dated my wife, it was so far to get to her house. She lived like on the edge of Orange County and almost into Los Angeles County. That's I lived at the beach. It was like an hour to get there.
I thought this will never work. But then we went out and we went out again and I kept paying for gas and we went out again. We started really liking each other a lot.
I didn't care about the drive. The trick comes later on in the relationship, still wanting to be together, maintaining the friendship, cultivating the companionship, nurturing the relationship. With-ness, together-ness. Turn to Song of Solomon now. Song of Solomon, Chapter one.
I said we'd be bouncing back and forth. Now, this is all poetic. This is a bride speaking to her husband. This is a husband speaking to his bride. And the book talks about the courtship, the betrothal, the marriage after the wedding, et cetera.
But this is the early part. Now, look at verse three of Song of Solomon, Chapter one. She says to him, Because of the fragrances of your good ointments, your name is ointment poured forth. Therefore, the virgins love you. Verse four.
Draw me away. Verse seven. Tell me, oh, you whom I love, where you feed your flock, where you make it rest at noon, for why should I be as one who veils herself? That's a prostitute by the flocks of your companions. In other words, you have a young girl who's attracted to Solomon and wants to be with him and wants to enjoy a level of intimacy. But she's first attracted by Solomon's character.
Your name is ointment poured forth. I love your character. I love your personality. That's so important in a relationship. Beauty is passing.
Personality lasts forever. They're attracted to each other. She wants to be with him. And in verse seven, she wants to be close to him, but doesn't want to chase after him like a prostitute would. But that desire of being together is there.
OK, now get this. This is the beginning of their relationship. They're like starting to hang out. They're courting. The marriage hasn't happened yet. They want to be together.
This longing to be together doesn't continue in exactly the same way. By the time you get to Chapter five and six, there's an argument. There's a conflict going on. And Chapter five and six is about conflict resolution in a marriage. And as you go through those two chapters, which is 25 percent of the book, Conflict Resolution.
Interesting, isn't it? As you go through those two chapters, they still long to be with each other. They want to be together, but not because of hormones. But because of commitment. Their relationship is more mature at this point. And there's still a longing to be together, but at a different level. Now, just think about that. In every relationship of marriage, the thrill of discovery wears off rather quickly.
And those cute little idiosyncrasies can become annoying. Later on. As they discover each other, she snores.
He drools. This is weird. This is why Benjamin Franklin gave great advice.
Ready? He said, keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterwards. Good advice. The most successful marriage relationships are couples who take what they started out with and they continue with it. Leaving, cleaving, weaving.
We've already talked about that process. Leaving father and mother, cleaving, gluing to each other and weaving those threads, those cords throughout a lifetime, wanting to be together and doing it regularly. When Billy Graham and Ruth Graham, his former wife before she died in their early ministry, when Billy traveled a lot, a reporter came and asked Ruth, how difficult is it to be married to Billy Graham?
Because he would travel sometimes seven months at a time and not see his family for seven months. She said, it is difficult. I do get lonely. I do want to be with Billy. In fact, she said, sometimes I'll take one of his suit coats and I'll lay it next to me in bed just so I get the feeling of being closer to him. I smell his cologne and I feel like he's there. But then she said this.
Though it's difficult, 50 percent of Billy Graham is better than 100 percent of any other man. Here's a woman devoted to being with her husband and a husband, yes, called to do evangelism, but they love to get back together. So maximize the time that you spend with each other. Simple things, date nights, phone calls, texting, not while you're driving, but text and just kind of talk to each other throughout the day. In fact, can I just make a suggestion? Sometimes forget the movie.
Forget the play. Just sit with each other and discuss something. I know this doesn't, guys don't like this because when his wife says, honey, do you have a few minutes? I want to discuss something with you. Cold shivers go up his spine.
What would I do? But if you can get past that and learn to laugh and discuss. Discover some things.
It can be very, very helpful. This is togetherness with ness. With ness is a good witness of a solid marriage, wanting to be with each other. One young bride wrote a love note to her husband that simply said, please come and take my hand.
Let's walk. Give me you. Eyes that say hi. Glances that say I care. Handholds that let me know you were only teasing. Hugs that say thank you for being you. Kisses that gently want me. And then love that says I'll be here tomorrow and every day hereafter. That's enjoying each other's company.
That's the first pillar. Here's the second pillar of a solid marriage. Enjoy each other emotionally. You are so different emotionally from your spouse. You know that. Ever thought about enjoying the difference instead of going so different? Yeah.
I think you knew that a long time ago. How about enjoying each other emotionally? Verse 18 says, Rejoice with the wife of your youth. Rejoicing is a word of emotion.
Samach is the Hebrew word. It means to brighten or to gladden or to make joyful. Solomon also wrote in Ecclesiastes Chapter nine, Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your life. Many people don't live joyfully. They live routinely, insipidly, enduringly, grimacingly. How many people enjoy the different emotions of a couple? Listen, there's two things that that make a miserable marriage. Men and women.
People are people. So then how do you enjoy marriage? Here's how.
Ready? Here's how. Hard work. If you've been married for any length of time, you know what I'm saying is true.
Hard work. You don't have a good marriage because you say you have a good marriage. You don't have a good marriage because you want one. You don't have a good marriage because you know how to have one.
You have a good marriage because you have worked at it and committed to it and made a choice for it. And your emotion of rejoicing will be the caboose that follows the engine of choice. If you want a green lawn, it takes work. If you want to have a clean garage, it takes work.
If you want to have a balanced checkbook, it takes work. If you want to have a solid, good, thriving, rejoicing relationship, it takes work. I say, OK, OK, what do I need to work on then emotionally to have this enjoyment? Well, two things will help. And I'm being serious now.
Two things will help. And I'm speaking to men and women now because of the tendencies that men and women have naturally. Let me explain. Naturally, men tend to neglect their wives. That's the tendency.
That's their bent. That's who men are. If you put all things as they are into a marriage relationship, eventually, because of how guys are wired, they're going to neglect their wives and focus on other stuff. Men tend to neglect their wives. Wives tend to nag their husbands. That's a tendency.
It's a bent. So I want to speak now to husbands and wives based upon those tendencies. Number one, husbands focus. Focus on your wife. Watch your focus.
Find out what she needs and focus on that. I'd like you to turn to the Song of Solomon again, chapter one, and look at a few verses. As Solomon is now speaking, listen to his poetic words toward his bride. Verse nine.
Listen to this. I have compared you, my love, to my horse. Isn't that romantic? My filly among Pharaoh's chariots. You're a wife.
You're a woman going, I don't feel complimented by that. But you've got to know something about Solomon. You know what he loved? He loved horses. He collected horses. He was like Jay Leno who collected classic cars and motorcycles and a guy like that saying, you're like the Mustang Shelby Cobra and better. A guy would go, wow, she must be awesome.
I get that. So for a guy who loved horses like that, it was quite a compliment. In fact, let me just say, men, if you have enough horse sense to treat your wife like a thoroughbred, she won't turn into an old nag. Love her like Solomon did. You're like a filly among Pharaoh's chariots.
Look down at verse 15, chapter one, Solomon speaking. Behold, you are fair, my love. Behold, you are fair. You have dove's eyes. OK, so again, you're going great. You have a horse head and you have bird eyes.
This guy just is knocking it out of the park. But here's what I discovered. You know what's unique about dove's eyes? They can only focus on one thing at a time.
It's a peculiar thing. They can focus on one thing only. So what he's saying is, sweetheart, you are so fair. I realize you have eyes for me only. And because I know that, I have eyes for you only. And I'm focusing on wanting you and meeting your needs.
I want to prove that to you. Look at chapter two, verse 14. Song of Solomon, chapter two, verse 14. Same metaphor. Oh, my dove, he says to her in the clefts of the rocks, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your face. Let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.
Doves need to be coaxed out of the cliffs and the rocks or they won't get out in the open. It speaks of a husband when his wife is shut down. Emotionally, he's bringing her out to deal with it. He's focused. He's not neglecting. He's focused on her. So because men have a tendency to neglect their wives, men watch your focus.
Number two, this is for women. Women watch your words. Words have weight to them and they tear down or they build up. And when a man hears the words of his wife, they weigh on him. The Bible says words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in settings of silver. But listen to this, women.
Let this be a warning, gals. This is Proverbs chapter 27, verse 15, a continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. What is he saying?
He's saying a leaky roof leaves a home unprotected. A nagging wife leaves a marriage unprotected. Replace nagging words with kind words. Replace nagging words, contentious words, he uses, with gracious words. Watch it work in your marriage.
Watch it work. Of Jesus Christ, the New Testament says people marveled at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth. Women, I hope it's not true that if you were to speak gracious words, people would marvel. Wow, she said something nice. But what a wonderful thing to marvel at, gracious words proceeding out of your mouth.
Now it could be that up to this point, gals, you have worked off a grid, an old grid. And if you were to analyze, why did you just say that to your husband? You might answer, because it's true. That's why I said what I said, it's true. Yeah, but is it helpful?
The Bible says all things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. Well, I said it because he deserved it. How's that working out for you? I said it because no one else says these things to him. Somebody's got to say it. Or I said it because it felt so good to say it. I needed to vent.
Here's a new grid. Can I say it kindly? Can I say the same messaging kindly?
Or can he hear that now, is now the time to say that? Think of that description, gracious words or words of grace. You know what grace means, right? What does grace mean?
Anybody. Grace means unmerited favor, undeserved favor. How about speaking undeserved words?
How about dishing some of that up at home? How about making a meal of those words? That's Skip Heiting with a message from the series Keep Calm and Marry On. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and complete teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, here's Skip to share how you can keep teachings like this one today going out around the world, connecting you and others to God's word.
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800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Come back tomorrow to hear the conclusion of Skip's message and discover that God intends for you to experience sexual enjoyment in marriage. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
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