Have you ever let someone borrow one of your possessions, a book, a tool, or some other valuable device, only to have it come back basically in tatters or disrepair with not seemingly a care from the person you lent it to?
The reality is that our spouse has been given to us by God. It doesn't matter how many negative things you want to say about your spouse. They have been "loaned" to you by God.
Now I was taught that when you borrow something, you should try to return it in better condition than when you got it. If it is a shovel, then clean and oil it before returning it. Whatever it is, try to shine it up a bit. If it is a book, don't mark on it, spill on it, or "dog ear" it.
Our spouse is very precious to God. If they are not a Christian, who's to know if God has plans to save them? So, you have in your "possession" this precious, eternal soul. Are you just to use him/her to consume on your own selfishness, while putting "dents" and "scars" or "running His possession into the ground"? Is that how you are going to return His possession? Abused? Broken? Disheartened?
I would encourage you to meditate on these scriptures:
Zechariah 2:8, Psalm 17:8, 1 Peter 2:9, and Eph. 5:22-33.
Note that "apple of the eye" should be taken as the "believer". Do you really want to mistreat what God views as His precious possession, the "apple of His eye"? To do so would be foolish and invite the displeasure of God. To do so would be to bring discipline by God on yourself as a Christian. To do so would mean you are tearing up the very thing with which God has blessed you for your good. In other words, it's practicing self-destructive behavior.
We should have the same attitude toward our spouse (and then moving out as ripples of water to other family, friends, etc.) as Paul did to those he was ministering to: Gal. 4:19 "My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you—" .
Again, I come back to the text in I Peter 3:7 which should be memorized by every husband. But also by wives in the respect that it reveals that both partners are "heirs together of the grace of life" and therefore both are very special in God's eyes.
"Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered." I Peter 3:7.
May we hear the words from our Lord in regard to the spouse he has given us:
"Well done, good and faithful servant!" Matt. 25:23.
Or my take on it here: Thank you for "helping" Me to form My image in your spouse.
Pastor Robert was born in San Antonio but came back to Northeast MO where his mother's family has roots. He received his B.S. in Education from Asbury University in 1988. He and his wife Kerri have raised three children and have enjoyed starting a U-Pick blueberry farm. Robert has always been passionate about teaching God's Word and it has been a joy for him to lead the saints at Faith Baptist Church since 2015.